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Put People first march report

March 28th, 2009 · post by Edd · 3 Comments

Put People First demo outside the House of Commons

Other than the weather everything about today was fairly predictable. It was a simple “A to B” march from outside Temple tube station through to Hyde Park. Frankly, there’s little newsworthy to report, other than the fact it happened. Still, there was some fun to be had and it was also a lot larger than I had expected.

Photos from the day are here:

Depending on who you talked to on the march the estimates ranged from 20,000 up to 60,000. The internet now seems to be suggesting 100,000 plus, but that looks a little too optimistic. But, still, considering the changeable weather and the fact that the point of the march was slightly abstract it was a good turnout. The turnout for the militant workers bloc was also gratifyingly large – by the end of it there were at least 800 people (if not 1,000) massed around a huge, ‘Against redundancies, against repossessions’ banner, and hundreds of ‘Solidarity; not a word but a weapon’ and ‘Capitalism is the crisis’. Watching the red and blacks flags stream up Whitehall was a beautiful sight to behold; and it’s certainly the largest militant bloc I’ve seen massed in London in the recent past.

The cops, especially considering the media hype in the run-up to the event, were relatively laid back, though the Forward Intelligence Team were fairly active around the militant workers bloc. The cops also surrounded the militant workers bloc for the march until it got to Hyde Park. But all the same once at Hyde Park the police appeared to simply melt away. The only truly strange behaviour from the police was at about 3pm when a line of police split the march in half, at the top of Piccadilly, for no clear reason at all.

Beyond it being a simple “A to B” march it was clear it was an opportunity for a lot of people to come out of the ‘woodwork’. Faces I hadn’t seen for nearly half a decade were wandering with banners and placards. If they all come out on April 1st and 2nd something very interesting could happen in the City.

A twitter stream by Last Hours from the day is here (complete with lots of typos!):

→ 3 CommentsThis entry belongs to the following categories: Articles · resistance

3 responses so far

  • Lucy posted:
    Mar 29, 2009 at 2:19 pm. Comment #1

    So true!
    Amazing turnout, but in what way was the militant workers/ direct action bloc either militant or active? I was right in there with them and heard about 3 chants all shouted fairly unenthusiastically… bring on wednesday and lets hope things get a little more out of hand!

  • Militant socialist worker posted:
    Mar 29, 2009 at 2:25 pm. Comment #2

    “The turnout for the militant workers bloc . . . massed around ‘capitalism isn’t working’ banners”

    I didn’t think you anarcho types considered us Trots ‘militants’. Cheers though. See ya on Wednesday.


  • Edd posted:
    Mar 29, 2009 at 2:59 pm. Comment #3

    Re: militant socialist worker – doh! My fault for writing that article in too much of a hurry and using photos too much to jog my memory. Thanks for pointing it out! I guess I’ll have to change the article – though it was an impressive banner…