Today, (well, yesterday now) I went on the Bush Not Welcome Here demo.
This was a protest against the war criminal George Bush coming to Britain and being treated like royalty instead of being thrown in jail.
We were meant to march to Downing Street but this basic right of protest was removed by Gordon Brown’s government:
Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary, Chris Huhne wrote to Jacqui Smith on 13 June calling on her to overturn the ban on the march against George Bush this Sunday.
Calling the ban ‘the final straw’ after Wednesday’s vote on 42-day detention, he wrote:
“Just because the votes of these protesters cannot be bought, it does not mean that their voices should not be heard by those in 10 Downing Street.
“In this country we have a long tradition of peaceful protest and I would be shocked if British civil liberties were curtailed at the request of a foreign government.”
(Source: Stop The War)
So, we gathered and shouted and blew our little whistles and, despite the disproportionate police presence, I think we made our point.
As usual for Stop The War demos, despite the anger at the actions of Bush, Blair and now the crony-incumbent, Brown, the mood was tremendously positive. I heard so many different languages being spoken as I walked through the crowd, trying to get snaps of faces, to make the gathering less impersonal.
The old and the young, able and disabled, our common cause cuts across all our differences. And, at its heart, it’s both a selfish and a noble cause: we don’t want war because we don’t want to kill and we don’t want to die. It’s as simple as that.
It felt wonderful to realise that we were part of a global movement for peace, that millions of people have marched against Bush’s warmongering around the world and that we’re ready to march and protest again.
Halfway through the demo, I saw this:
Yep, a couple of protestors who were doing nothing more dangerous than standing with a banner outside Parliament were stopped and searched by the police under Section 44 of the prevention of terrorism act.
When I asked one of the coppers what was going on, he was rather touchy and curt. Funny, since I pay his wages. You’d think he’d have a bit more respect for a citizen he’s paid to protect and employed by.
Eventually, they let the two lads go but not before wasting huge amounts of both their time and their own. Time that could have been spent perhaps solving crimes instead of strangling democracy? But no, they chose instead to rob these peaceful protestors of their freedom of speech, of their liberty. Outside Parliament. On the anniversary of the Magna Carta being signed.
The police, eh? No sense of irony… or history, apparently.
But why blame them when, as others have said previously, they were only following orders. Orders issued by Brown’s renegade regime, a glassy-eyed junta of war criminals who barter their draconian laws onto the statute books, flouting democracy and laughing at the process of Parliament.
Is it any surprise that government as cynical and corrupt, as craven and capricious as our current one should welcome the mass-murderer George W. Bush with open arms?