Anti-cuts march in Manchester: More than 35,000 attend

Thousands of people have marched through the centre of Manchester

More than 35,000 people have taken part in a march through central Manchester protesting against government cuts.

The TUC organised the March for the Alternative to coincide with the Conservative Party conference. Many protesters wanted tax avoidance tackled and spending to encourage growth.

On the eve of the conference, David Cameron pledged no U-turns on cuts and dismissed calls for extra spending.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said no arrests had been made during the march.

'People are angry'

A post-march rally was held at Number One First Street close to the conference centre.

About 200 protesters from the anti-cuts group Occupy broke away from the main march and positioned themselves in Albert Square, where they said they intended to stage a sit-in.

GMP said that some people had initially covered their faces, but were asked to remove hoods and scarves.

At the scene

As protesters gathered in Liverpool Road a sense of anticipation and determination hung in the air.

They had come in their thousands to tell the coalition government "cuts are not the cure".

At 13:00 BST prompt, they set off along Deansgate - chanting, whistling and blowing the odd vuvuzela, with banners, flags and balloons aloft.

The union members, other workers, children in pushchairs, parents, grandparents weaved their way through the city centre in front of a noticeable - but friendly - police presence.

As they turned into Lower Mosley Street and passed Manchester Central - hosting the Conservative Party conference - the marchers became even more vocal in their criticisms of the government's policies.

They then made their way to a rally at Number One First Street, where union leaders were due to address the crowd.

A small group of protesters attempted to break into the Bridgewater Hall, the home of Manchester's Halle Orchestra, but were stopped by police.

One woman fell during the march and was treated for head injuries, but no other casualties were reported.

Members of the Salford branch of the TUC began their march into the city at 10:30 BST.

Other groups took part in the protests, including students and animal rights groups.

Manchester Central Labour MP Tony Lloyd, who was among those at the head of the march, said: "People here are angry, but many are frightened.

"This government is slashing billions and billions from our public services.

"Even top Tories are calling on George Osborne to go for a proper Plan B and go for growth."

Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, who also took part, said: "We all know the cuts are hurting, but they're not working and you can't cut your way out of a recession.

"If you clawed all the tax back that has been evaded and avoided and you put in a Robin Hood tax, we'd raise a very, very, large amount of money."

TUC march Manchester The march passed off peacefully, police said

Chancellor George Osborne said from inside the conference: "It's your democratic right to march, but in the end marching is not going to move on this economy.

"Every job that is lost is a matter of regret, but I'm working flat out to create jobs - there were half a million jobs created last year."

Tory Party Chairman Baroness Sayeeda Warsi said: "We're making sure that this generation does not bankrupt the next.

"Not saddling them with our debts, not maxing out on the nation's credit card, but building a better future for our children."

Demonstrators walked along Deansgate, John Dalton Street, Princess Street, Portland Street, Oxford Street, Hall Street and Bale Street before taking part in the rally.

Students marched along Oxford Road and fed into the main march, along with Salford TUC members who marched from Salford Crescent.

The Conservative Party conference is being held at Manchester Central until Wednesday. It is estimated it will generate £27.4m for the city's economy.

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