Campaigners welcomed the cuts-crazed Conservative conference to Birmingham today with a massive protest.
Hundreds took to the streets to oppose the brutal coalition.
Victoria Square was a sea of banners and placards as speakers decried the savage, ideologically driven austerity and sell-offs.
A march had earlier wended its way through the streets in a carnival-like atmosphere but with a deadly serious message.
Unite regional secretary Gerard Coyne told the rally: "We need to stand up for our rights. There is an alternative."
He urged everyone to work towards the TUC-organised demonstration on October 20 to "demand a future for all the 99 per cent, a future which works."
He was followed by NUT general secretary Christine Blower, who railed against Michael Gove's attacks on state schools.
Gove says "he is intensely relaxed about private firms making money from the education sector. Well we are not relaxed," she stated.
She said that one in five young people are out of work and sky-high tuition fees mean most can't afford to go to university.
"It is vital the trade union movement stands up to the 1 per cent. We have to be on the streets in huge numbers on October 20."
PCS vice-president John McNally said that the Tories were intent on using the cover of a recession they and their friends the bankers created to engage in class war.
"They have cut £27 billion from welfare while the rich have received £30bn in tax breaks.
"The problem is not that they are cutting too deep and too quickly, but that they are cutting at all."
Ucatt general secretary Steve Murphy said he was "angry and disgusted" at what the Tories and Lib Dems were doing to families across Britain.
He branded the government "dreadful, destructive, demented and divisive."
Perhaps the biggest cheer of the day went to RMT general secretary Bob Crow, who accused the coalition of "an ideological attack on working men and women.
"Everything we have gained since World War II, they want to take away," he said.
He also attacked Labour leader Ed Miliband's support for pay freezes as a "disgrace."
He thundered: "We don't want pay restraint - we want dividend restraint for the bosses.
"Enough is enough, we should be implementing the TUC motion looking at the practicalities of a general strike."
If you appreciated this article then please consider donating to the Morning Star's Fighting Fund to ensure we can keep developing your paper.
Official inflation figures understate the real extent of rising costs, but even the government's own CPI scheme lays bare the ongoing misery for working people and those dependent on benefits.
The Con-Dems have had it their way too long. We have to turn this country around
How high-quality primary schooling could help solve global poverty