Saturday, 26 March 2011

Every Man...and His Dog

Picture by Nicola Keane
Today I marched with 500,000 people...and a handful of dogs, as the British people came together today to say 'NO!' to the cuts being imposed on us by the coalition Government.

The morning started with a busy train journey down to London St Pancras, a sign of things to come.  I came across a young group of free thinking individuals, who were on their way to the Embankment where the march started and I asked what they were marching for, their response was for 'the removal of the corrupt economic system we currently live in'  I was not hopeful enough that this would be the majority of peoples opinion for the day but it was a start.

As a veteran of the 'Battle for Parliament' protests in November 2010 it was clear that today was something different.  No longer can people point the finger at 'students' without jobs for being trouble makers as men, women and children of all ages walked side by side from the Embankment to Hyde park.

The march was billed as 'the march for the alternative', I asked a few people what the alternative may be,  and had a mixed bag of responses.  Some people were asking for the return of Labour, for these people 12 months is a long time and the 13 years of Labour we have just had has already been forgotten.  The socialists were marching for a move towards communism and yet it all seemed like the point had been missed.  All these 'isms' capitalism, communism, socialism have been tried and all have failed in their various guises throughout human history.

Picture by Nicola Keane
One banner mentioned Egypt, Greece and their recent demonstrations but the problem is this; what do we do if we remove the coalition Government?  Do not be fooled into thinking Labour would not be cutting as hard or as deep. They are opportunistic and are revelling in this moment to prey on people in these hard times. Ed Milliband's speech was actually quite inspiring...if he wasn't so full of shit.
Some common misconceptions I hear about politics and voting is that "if you don't vote, you don't get to complain".  This is wrong because if you do vote YOU legitimise what they do to you, just ask the students conned into voting LibDem. You do not get to vote on anything else until they manipulate a situation they want your opinion on, such as the quietly talked about Global Currency issue.  Once again I ask "Did you vote to go to war with Libya?".  The political parties are just 3 masks on the same face or the same suit different face.  You can decide which analogy you wish to identify with.

It was interesting today to see the police being used to shield such valuable corporations as McDonald's (on the mall) Top Shop, Tesco and the use of the City Police (not the MET) to do so.  More actors in high-vis is what we need.  A Trojan horse constructed and paraded by Nelson's Column provided a great back drop to the march as it veered left towards Hyde Park before being burned in Oxford street!

My issues for the day were the segregation of the people into their separate groups.  RMT, FBU, Women Against Violence, Teachers Union, an endless list of people all protesting and engaging on their own agendas.  Too many 'ra ra ra' chants about Tories with no substance to their claims as if it would be different with Labour at the helm and the descent into violence at the end of the day by a minority of 500 people.  This included the ritual attacks on Phillip Green owned Top Shop but Benetton was given a reprieve, presumably because they do not know he owns them also? Lloyds TSB etc.Lose your temper and you have lost the plot.
If the banners had been put down and the people marched as one unit, under one banner, this would have been an amazing show of solidarity and a stronger message.  Maybe we are moving in the right direction.

So the question remains "what would we do if we were able to over throw the Government"  there are ideas out there, mainstream media such as the BBC and Sky News will not give these ideas the airtime they deserve.  There is a better way and the answers are out there if people wish to take the time to learn about it using this wonderful gift of access to information that is the Internet.

Pictures taken by Nicola Keane and Jamie Newell


  1. Politicians are all in it together - now the people should all be in it together, ONE VOICE !!

  2. I have been a victim of this stereotype! The media portray the students as violent so of course the 'sheep' believe and repeat this stereotype! But really how many of these people have attended the demonstrations to see who it is that causes the trouble?
    The only reason that students are the only ones 'acting out' is because we having nothing to lose! We are already in thousands of pounds worth of debt, we can't lose our jobs because there aren't any for us and we have the ability and 'time' to protest these issues!