The Forgotten 2003

Well, another year has rolled by.

2004

2004? Surely that can’t be the year? Where are the moon colonies and orgasmatrons?

I was going to write a lengthy review of what 2003 meant to me. But there’s no point. This is the most important event of my 2003:

(Please click here for a full gallery and credits.)

I haven’t seen any adequate appraisal of the 2003 British anti-war movement. I suspect it’s all a bit too close. When people show glowing, candified footage of anti-Vietnam war protesters now, it’s only because it’s so long ago: at the time, those people were villified by the media establishment.

But in the future, kids in schools won’t have to see the same grainy, old footage when being taught about great political movements. They’ll be shown footage of February 15th, 2003, the biggest ever demonstration in British history. Average people, 1.5 million of us, caring enough to get off our arses and tell Blair and Bush what we thought of their war plans.

We said innocent Iraqis would be slaughtered – we were right. We said it would result in a long, drawn out guerilla war – we were right. We said there would be no weapons of mass destruction found – we were right. Blair, Bush and all the lapdog media were entirely wrong on those counts.

I first started going on political protests in the mid-80s (click here for evidence) and in the 90s, I thought my marching days were over. I went on fewer and fewer demos because the strength seemed to ebb from the popular movements. I got dis-heartened and overly cynical, something that happens to anyone who stays in the Labour Party for very long.

But the events of 2003 proved me absolutely, completely wrong. I marched on all of the anti-war demos, shoulder to shoulder with people who cared about the lives of total strangers, who didn’t want murder committed in their name for the sole purpose of strengthening the American Empire.

And it wasn’t, as the media repeatedly tried to claim, a majority of typical lefty rabble. There were people on those marches from all shades of the political spectrum. Probably the only thing we all had in common was trying to steer Britain away from becoming the US government’s stooge. If parliament actually was a democratic representation of the British public’s wishes, we would have achieved this.

How long will I keep marching and shouting? As long as my legs can carry me and as long as there are mass murderers sitting, smiling, in No. 10.