FOOTSLOGGERS who have tramped 200 miles to Manchester from Wales will cover their last leg tomorrow morning to join the People’s Assembly protest at the Tory conference.
They left Tredegar, south Wales, on September 22 under the slogan: “Walking the breadline.”
Local trade unionists played host as the marchers stopped in towns along the way.
There was a heroic welcome at Hoylake in the Wirral on Merseyside on Wednesday and on Thursday they crossed into Liverpool using the famed Mersey ferry before heading up to Wigan.
The Tredegar team includes protesters from around the country.
“I’m here because I’ve had enough of what this Tory government is doing to the people of this country,” said delivery driver and Unite member Craig Farlow, from Newton Aycliffe in County Durham.
“There are people in my town who are struggling to keep a roof over their heads and 25 per cent of the children in the town are below the poverty line.”
He is one of four on the march who completed last year’s 300-mile Peoples March for the NHS from Jarrow to London.
In the Wirral, Merseyside, trade unionists gave each marcher a new pair of trainers and a sumptuous meal.
They have now been joined by Merseyside marchers to jointly trek to Manchester on a 60-mile route stopping at towns along the way for more public meetings and rallies.
“I meet a hell of a lot of people who are struggling as a result of austerity measures,” said New Brighton volunteer co-ordinator Steph Gregory.
“I meet people who are frightened of doing voluntary work in case it affects their benefits, people who are scared of being off work ill because they could lose hours because the companies they work for are taking on workfare victims.”
Today the marchers walk from Wigan to Salford before their final leg tomorrow to join the main protest march in the centre of Manchester.
By then they expect their ranks to have grown to 3,000.