top of page
  • _

The big march: Just like the old days...

Updated: Jan 1

Me dad came down from Yorkshire for the big anti-cuts march through London so I decided to go and keep him out of trouble. Having been kettled at Oxford Circus back in 2001 I can spot the signs; first glimpse of exits being sealed and we’d be off.

As a kid dad took me on many marches – CND, END, anti-apartheid– but in recent years I’ve tended to stay away. The last major march I went on was the 2003 antiwar march, and then I felt deeply uncomfortable about some of the placards being held aloft by people for whom I had little time (an unease I later explored in Out of Office).

Yesterday, however, was like being back in the 1980s; an overwhelmingly positive experience that made me feel a part of something again, a reminder that in these days of privatisation and fragmentation there are plenty of people who feel the same, that there are alternatives to the “free” market, and cuts, and slashing public services.

Of course the media made much of a few broken windows later on but generally the atmosphere was friendly; demonstrators and police were getting on pretty well and most people were far more interested in what was being said on the park than chucking ammonia bombs at the plod.

The feeling of being on a march again was so familiar that at one point I almost shouted “Maggie! Maggie! Maggie!” Though I’m guessing that if I did so, the response from fellow marchers would be a bemused silence rather than“Out! Out! Out!”...

1 view0 comments


bottom of page