“Enough” march in solidarity with Palestine was a reasonable size, perhaps 7000 or 8000, would have been my judgement based upon comparison with a reasonable home attendance for Swindon Town FC. However, the Morning Star claimed 20000, which seems a bit optimistic, but they may have had a better view then I did. In particular it was good to see banners from a number of twinning groups, showing the gradual spread of very practical solidarity work, supporting Palestinian towns and communities. Just sending the photos of the demo to our twinning partners in palestine helps them know they are not forgotten.
Given the significance of the 40th anniversary of the occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza and Golan Heights it is perhaps surprising that more emphasis wasn’t put in this demo, but it seem to have become slightly overshadowed by the 24th June demo in Manchester. In the end just eight of us came down from Swindon.
The British left was there in all its farcicality. A naive observer would think that we must be so strong to support such a diverse range of publications.
And London is a weird place
By making my way to a pub in Whitehall, for refreshment after the demo I was in place to see 500 naked cyclists going past, apparently something to do with opposing car use.
Then on the way to Embankment tube station I was privileged to see the bizarre spectacle of an Orange march, with assorted nut-jobs from all parts of these fair islands wearing their bowler hats and sashes, swaggering and beating big drums. When Gordon Brown talks of British values, this is presumably not what he means? But what else is there about Britishness? A fictitious national identity to forge together our island nations into an imperial project of bigotry, conquest and plunder.
We were told off by the police for mocking them, and I was told I could be arrested for pointing at a sweaty middle aged fool in a suit with a union jack clown hat and asking if he was part of the master race. Even under new Labour I am not quite sure what legislation this is against.