Watch: thousands protest at Victoria Square in Birmingham near Conservative Party Conference

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The Conservatives were met with large protests as the party gathered in Birmingham

Thousands of people gathered in Birmingham city centre on Sunday (2 October) to protest against the government at the Conservative Party Conference.

The conference is taking place at the International Convention Centre (ICC) over the next couple of days following what has been a turbulent few months for the party.

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The Tories’ new regime will be looking to move forward into a new era, but were met with large protests in Birmingham as locals campaigned against the cost of living crisis, and chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s controversial mini budget which cut the highest rate of tax and removed the cap on bankers’ bonuses.

Victoria Square at around 2pm on SundayVictoria Square at around 2pm on Sunday
Victoria Square at around 2pm on Sunday | Birmingham World

Organised by the People’s Assembly, thousands of people descended on Victoria Square to hear speeches from campaigners, including RMT rail boss Mick Lynch who hit out Kwarteng’s budget.

Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg was also greeted with loud jeers by hundreds and was greeted with loud jeers by protestors.

Protestors in Centenary SquareProtestors in Centenary Square
Protestors in Centenary Square | Birmingham World

The Conservative MP was escorted by police officers as he walked across Victoria Square, where demonstrators gathered to demonstrate against the Government tax cuts and climate crisis as the Tory conference gets underway at the ICC.

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The crowd pursued him, jeering and booing, with some shouting “Tory scum”.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch told the rally in Victoria Square that “we are in the middle of a class struggle”.

He said: “We pay tax to support our people not to subsidise the rich.

“The rich should be subsidising us”. He also said the Government was “acting in the interests of their people”.

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To loud cheers, he said: “We’re going to change this country, we’re going to change society.”

Protestors dress up as Liz Truss and Rees-MoggProtestors dress up as Liz Truss and Rees-Mogg
Protestors dress up as Liz Truss and Rees-Mogg | Birmingham World

Other demonstrators also expressed their anger over the Government’s move to axe the top rate of income tax for the nation’s highest earners during the cost-of-living crisis.

Following speeches in Victoria Square, protestors then marched through the city centre and to Centenary Square with placards and chants against the Tories.

Birmingham World spoke with some of the protestors about their reasons for protesting, which you can see in the video above.

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Protestors marched through the city centre and to Centenary SquareProtestors marched through the city centre and to Centenary Square
Protestors marched through the city centre and to Centenary Square | Birmingham World

Jane Elledge, 53, an IT trainer from Bromsgrove, said: “Enough is enough really. We’ve had Brexit, we’ve had falling standards, we’ve had people having to work two jobs, people starving, people with no heating, and just the kind of final straw is the announcement of the richest people getting a tax cut.

“Trickle-down economics doesn’t work. We get nothing – nothing for the working people.

“It’s got to stop. Tories out.”

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