2 April 2011

#march26

The only question for me on the big anti-government march on 26 March was which banner to march under as various groups that I belong to or support were taking part.

I chose to march with the peace contingent as one of the easy cuts this government could make to address the deficit is Trident. We've never used it and never will use it but we still spend billions on it.

This was also the opportunity to protest against our imperialist involvement in Libya where we have taken sides in somebody else's civil war just because we don't like Gaddafi.

All the peace groups congregated on Victoria Embankment between Temple and Blackfriars. I got there around 11am and had plenty of time of lap up the atmosphere before we got going.

And the atmosphere demanded to be lapped up as it was thick with indignation, good humour and camaraderie. Four hundred thousand people with one purpose.

As expected, the Kingston Peace Council / CND were there and I spent most of the day with them and their colourful banner.

I've been a member for years but have only managed to get to a few meetings so this was a good opportunity to meet some fellow members. Through this I learnt that one shares my surname and lives just round the corner from me and another used to work for the same company as me until very recently.

For five hours we marched slowly along the Embankment to Parliament, up Whitehall to Trafalgar Square, along Pall Mall and Regent Street to Piccadilly Circus, and finally west on Piccadilly towards Hyde Park.

There was no point going in to Hyde Park at that point as it was almost 5pm and the speeches had long been over by then. So I nipped in to Green Park station and made my way home after an exhausting but exhilarating six hours of standing, walking and occasional marching.

During all that time I saw no violence, no anger and less damage than Westminster normally gets on a Saturday of hosting hordes of shoppers, football fans and fun seekers.

I brought the TUC issued flag that I had carried all day home with me and I'll end by quoting the three final words on it; "Jobs - Growth - Justice".

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