qatsi (qatsi) wrote,


Some time ago we decided we should go on the Unite for Europe March, and though there was some momentary doubt and confusion about whether it was going ahead after Wednesday's terrorist incident, we felt it was the right thing to carry on. GWR ran their train from Reading to Paddington rather slowly, and we were a bit late getting to the Lib Dems' meeting point at Marble Arch, and subsequently we didn't meet up with strange_complex immediately. As the number of people there became clear, this felt rather reminiscent of a Pride event sometime in the 1990s where friends had agreed to meet "by the Ministry of Sound tent" - a hopeless task despite an apparently clear location. Fortunately, after a series of texts and strange_complex's unique placard, we managed to meet up.

As we waited for the march to start, out of nowhere we suddenly had Tim Farron passing just in front of us, presumably heading to the front of the Lib Dems' section. We waited. And waited. Someone said the start of the march was delayed. In the end it took us an hour and a half to move from Bus Stop A on Park Lane, to Bus Stop B. But once we were off, things proceeded in a fairly orderly fashion. The crowd had strong feelings but was good-natured. Amidst the more obviously political placards, and lots of bad "EU" puns, I particularly liked some of the more individual ones, such as I AM QUITE CROSS and TUT. Eventually, though it did take some time, we spotted a DOWN WITH THIS SORT OF THING. With a more serious message, there was a banner in a traditional Trade Union style, with a tribute to Jo Cox.

The march became more spread out as it proceeded, and by the time we got to Parliament Square we'd missed the early speeches, including one by Tim Farron. But we did get to hear several good speakers: Peter Tatchell, Alastair Campbell, David Lammy, and Nick Clegg. Other speakers were more mixed, some not speaking close enough to the microphone to be clear. Sitting down on the Tube, I began to realise how much unusual effort is involved in standing still or crawling along for long periods of time, and on top of losing an hour overnight I do still feel rather worn out, although I'm glad I made the effort to attend.
Tags: europe, london, politics

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