Saturday, November 04, 2006

First case of honest coppers and protesters!

In what must be a first both march organisers and police come to almost exactly the same figure in estimating the numbers of a demo - honest coppers and politicos? What the hell is going on?

Just come back from the climate change demo. The police claim 22,500 attended, march organisers 25,000 and who am I to dispute this? I have to say I was rather disconcerted at the end to be greeted by the likes of Miranda Richardson and Razorlight all compared by C4's gaff prone Simon Amstell - bizarre.

Had a very enjoyable day - missed all the top political speakers at the beginning through flagrant chatting to friends (including fellow bloggers
Matthew Sellwood and Peter Sanderson) and spent a large part of the march puzzling over why anyone would bring a thirty foot high giant rabbit to a climate demo. The rabbit of fossil fuels? I mean - what?
(update: see note below)

One of the good aspects of the day was the way that there were lots of different groups organising their own feeder protests and actions - maintaining their own profile and ability to raise specific concerns within the wider movement - whilst simultaneously being part of that wider action. Autonomy and unity - cool.
Also the demo was very lively with lots of different musical styles (I actually find samba quite bearable when interspersed with jazz and rap) and a multivarious array of homemade placards.

I suppose I'm slightly disappointed by the turnout. Yes, I know it's actually rather good, but, I can't help feeling that after a week of bombardment in the mainstream press and the success of Al Gore's film we should be seeing a lot more people out on the streets. I think the left and the green groups have taken it seriously - so don't want to cast aspersions in that direction - but remain uneasy at the level of response.

It's not that I feel particularly pesimistic, I'm very happy with the turn out from Cambridge (I estimate around 100) and am dead pleased that I can pay for the coach (whew!) but with the scale of the problem and, I thought, a rising level of concern among the general public I think I assumed there would be at least 40,000 or so. Hmmm.

Update note:
another-green-world has the answer "activists... had built a giant arctic hare as an 'arbitery symbol'." I'm not sure I'm any the wiser - but that's the reason.


morbo said...

Fucking hilarious, people from my college built that rabbit, they wanted to out to the people with a giant world inside a greenhouse and just ended up being confusing

morbo said...

Should read "out do"