Taking Action... Anti-war protesters and union members vs the Government

Protesters: Stop the War Coalition, Communication Workers Union, Unite Location: Labour Party Conference, Manchester Target: The Labour Government Date: 20-22 September

 

THE LOWDOWN

Third sector organisations co-ordinated a series of protests to coincide with this week's annual Labour Party conference. The groups used the heightened media presence to gain coverage, as well as putting vocal pressure on the Government to bow to their demands.

- Why were they protesting?

The Stop the War Coalition march called for British troops to leave Iraq and Afghanistan. Unite organised a march for public sector workers in an attempt to improve a 2.4 per cent pay deal for council staff. Hundreds of postal workers from the Communication Workers Union protested against post office closures.

- How did the national media cover it?

The Manchester Evening News downplayed the scale of the protests, saying 'numbers will be only a fraction of those at the last summit'. The Daily Mirror, meanwhile, used the headline 'Mass demos to rock the Labour Party', picking out Gordon Brown as the target. The Guardian reported the story under the headline 'Anti-war protest outside conference'.

- What was achieved?

The groups achieved national coverage for their protests. They were also picked up regionally, with papers using local attendees as a way into the story.

Paul Herrmann/www.reportdigital.co.uk.

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