On Saturday while taking a break from the annual Louder Than Words music literature festival at the Palace Hotel, I found myself standing outside 8th Day marvelling at a very smart and imposing horse drawn Victorian style funeral carriage which was parked up there.
I initially thought it was something to do with a group of gothic lolita girls and steampunks I’d seen earlier on Oxford Road, but I think that was just an odd coincidence as I worked out eventually that the carriage was attached to a gathering group of people in hi vis vests inside and spilling out of All Saints Park across the road. The banners they had seemed to be for something called The 10th Day, which google reveals is something to do with Karbala.
What made this odd occurrence even odder was that it must only have been about 20 minutes since the first of the days marches had passed down Oxford Road: The protest march against the treatment of Kurds in Turkey.
The 10th Day people must have headed off down Oxford Road at about 2pm as I could hear their drummers over John Robb interviewing Kristen Hersh upstairs at the Palace Hotel.
The third march? That was the Anti-Fracking demo and march in the city centre, which you can read about over on Frack-Free Manchester. I did know about this one in advance actually, but as with every march on a Saturday, knew I wouldn’t be able to attend as when I’m not attending Louder Than Words I’m working.
Despite the nature of these three marches, it does feel oddly reassuring to hear the sound of people on the march again in Manchester as, increasingly, I’ve been starting to see last years TUC March as a kind of last hurrah and wondering what will happen next.