On The March…

This post was written by Jacob on March 28, 2009
Posted Under: Capitalism,Economy,Environment,Human Rights,London,Protest,Revolution,Socialism,Trade Unions,Uncategorized
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The RMT marching. They are currently balloting for strike action on pay cuts

Todays march, entitled “Put People First”, fighting for social justice in the wake of the crisis was fantastic. An extremely diverse crowd of 70,000 people turned out to march in central London. Socialist organisations were out in force, as were environmentalist groups, and lots and lots of trade unionists. It is a rare thing to see such a range of people coming together on a demonstration, with groups that often look down upon each other (socialists and anarchists, unionists and hippies) working together. The atmosphere was a positive one, and whilst there are doubts over whether actions like these can, or will, ever make a difference to conferences such as the G20 that’s happening in London over the next week, the fact that this sort of solidarity was achieved is not only a testament to the hardships of the economic crisis but of the willingness of groups to integrate and organise together against global capitalism

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Protestors from a broad range of backgrounds

In many ways this march was different from usual. For one thing, there was an excellent brass band, making a pleasant and more melodic change from that incessant drumming that you always seem to get. Meanwhile, there seemed to be far fewer megaphones than any demo I have experienced. The result, unsurprisingly enough, was that we were all talking to each other. In many cases, slogans seem often to detract from the ability of people to say anything useful, to express themselves in their own terms rather than to have language handed to them uncritically. When marching with a certain bunch of anarchists they were shouting out “slogan slogan slogan, chant chant chant.” Their critique (that was put together because they had nothing to say) had a certain resonance about it.

The speeches too were well worth listening to (and not just because Tony Robinson has an amazing voice.) Susan George was particularly excellent, and we hope to see this as the beginning of a productive week of protest in the city, being the first one of its kind since 2000.

As an aside, If there was one thing – characteristic of practically every demo it was this man. I’m sure some of you must have seen him before. Always wears this sandwich board. Anybody know what he’s about?

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Reader Comments

Charlie

Just saw the photo gallery on the Grauniad- whatever the retrospective effect of protests on realpolitik (depressing), I long for real-life forums like this- Japan has sweet f.a.

#1 
Written By Charlie on March 30th, 2009 @ 7:22 am

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