A 62-year-old woman was arrested and cautioned for common assault yesterday, after a Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament protest involving 70 people was broken up by mounted police and officers with dogs.
Kate Hudson, the CND chairperson, complained the response was heavy-handed. Greater Manchester Police said last night that a Section 14 order, compelling the protesters to disperse, was served after they "refused to co-operate".
Joe Richardson, a graphic designer, who was also arrested, said he was merely a passerby who stopped to watch. He said he was told by officers that CND had failed to provide advance notice of the protest.
"I couldn't help but stop to look because the protest had seemed so insignificant - just a bunch of old peaceniks," he said.
Nathan Jackson, 30, one of the protesters said: "There were fewer than 100 people gathered and no sign of any trouble."
Police said they believed the group "intended to cause disruption to the city centre and conference area".