TLC and I went into that London yesterday for art, theatre and general silliness to celebrate her birthday. I was aware, of course, that today was the date for the huge anti-cut march organised by the TUC, but I hadn’t figured that we’d see it.
It went down Piccadilly, and right past our hotel, of course. And that was a good thing, because we got the chance to see what was going on, and for a little while at least, join in and document.
The sheer scale of the undertaking was mindboggling. The march started from Victoria Embankment, and went all the way to a huge rally at Hyde Park. We were with it for a half hour or so, following it from Trafalgar Square to Half Moon Street. We passed thousands of people. Kids, adults, students, grandparents, mums, dads, nurses, teachers, public servants of every kind, all united under banners of every type, colour and material, and one message. The cuts that start to kick in next week are wrong.
I refuse to be objective about the issues at hand. I agree wholeheartedly with everyone on the march. It was amazing to see Piccadilly filled with people from end to end. I was cheered and moved by the good humour and determination of the protestors. I’d say quiet determination, except it wasn’t.
The vuvuzelas, hated noisemakers of the World Cup, has been retasked, and along with the drums, whistles and cheers means that the March has it’s own musicality, it’s own drive. It’s a drone that you can lose yourself in, a beat that matches your pulse. I hadn’t realised before, but marches are fun.
I really hope that the peaceful, joyous racket made today resonates through Parliament. The Government climbdown over the sale of the forests shows that if enough people make their opinion known, we can reverse poorly thought out and rushed policies. We should be proud and supportive of everyone out on the streets today. I’m glad I was there.
TLC’s posted some of her rather excellent photos of the march as a Flickr set. Check ’em out here!