Saturday, March 28, 2009

Tens of thousands of protesters greet the G20

Award for best placard of the day (above). I'll do a proper report later, promise.

In the meantime take a look at the BBC coverage which says that the police estimated 35,000.

1 comment:

Strategist said...

Ha, ha! That is brilliant.
And a great tonic for those like me who thought it all just a tad underwhelming.

Two perceptive reports at Lenin's Tomb and Liam macUaid and

I posted this at Lenin's Tomb in response to a poster called Slow Motion's comment that the mood of the mob was dutiful rather than angry. Sorry it's long, but I guess it's my take on the day. Meanwhile what I would add to that below is that the Climate Campers looked confident and well-organised, and ready for their event of Wednesday, which deserves widespread support.

"Yep, the march was clearly dominated by trade unionists but, with the exceptions already noted, the mood was dutiful rather than angry. Given the TU bureaucracy's support the 50,000 or so can't be presented as a rip-roaring success... I don't share the satisfaction of some but a beginning it certainly was"

I totally agree with Slow Motion. The union that stood out for me was RMT, they have confidence in their militancy and are a real blue collar union. But even they didn't have that many rank & file marching behind their brass band.

Dutiful it did feel, and perhaps the recession remains a phoney war for many in the public sector until the savage cuts get made after the General Election. I didn't get the sense that too many of the people who've lost their jobs recently were there - although I hear the Dundee sit-in people were there, which is great and it would be extremely valuable to hear how they felt about the day.

This demo has to be followed up - absolutely this is a time to prepare for the real battle ahead.

There needs to be a simple short term demand to unite around - claw back the bonuses paid in the period 2006-2008, say.

Sounds corny, but we perhaps also need a pledge card for marchers "If the Government cuts xxx, announces yyy, I will be back on the streets within 7 days to demand that it is reversed" or something like that.

As a weedy parliamentary democrat I feel particularly depressed, the whole day felt like a foretaste of what the coming years of Tory government are going to be like. Demos etc with the government, police and media laying into the demonstrators on the basis that the Tories have won a clear Commons majority and democratic mandate at the General Election, when in fact they will only have scored 41, 42% of the popular vote.

Which moves the battle into the industrial arena, and there I think everything depends on the blue collar unions eg the fully united Unite starting to get cleverer and more militant.