Troops Out / Right To Protest

Click here for a gallery of snaps from the demo!

Well, despite Gordon Brown trying his best to remove our freedom of speech, the government backed down and the demo took place today. Legally!

The vibe on the march was, as always, very friendly, positive and peaceful. And I’m not saying that lightly: I’ve been on some proper scary demos. This wasn’t one of them.

So it seemed entirely stupid that we had such a massive police presence to contend with. The police deployment was outrageously out of proportion. Look at them:

What a waste of time and resources. They could have managed us with about half that force. Yes, there were a few sit-down protests but they were by small groups who’d been enraged by the way the police were acting, trying to split the march into small chunks.

And why weren’t we allowed on the grass bit in the middle of Parliament Square? We’ve protested on it before! But today it was fenced-off.

Inevitably, tempers got frayed and the fence was rushed:

Which brings me nicely to my final point: today was strange in that it became a meta-protest: a protest about protesting. That is, of course, hugely important.

BUT

The reason I wanted to march was to help save lives, my own rights are a secondary concern after that. Every day, the foreign occupying forces in Iraq kill more civilians, retroactively labelling them “insurgents” to cover up the murders. Every day brings fresh horrors. Horrors that Britain helps perpetuate by taking part in Bush’s oil-grab invasion.

That’s why I marched.

We need to keep protesting, keep the pressure up. Not only so every single British soldier is removed from Iraq but so we make it clear that Britain will not get pulled into an attack on Iran.

We know Bush wants that attack. We know he needs it, to continue the neo-Nazi machinations of PNAC.

The civilian casualties in Iraq now lie between 655,000 to 1.2 million. All those innocent people dead, killed on the altar of the Project for the New American Century.

We cannot let that happen again in Iran.

That’s why we have to keep marching, keep shouting, keep singing.

We have to Stop The War.