Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Saturday's #EndAusterityNow March in Pictures

My thoughts on and reasons for attending the protest against the current government ideology can be read in my previous post, but as I spent much of my time taking snaps of the assembled masses (until my battery died), I thought I'd share some here.

As I exited Bank tube station, it was immediately clear I was in the right place.
The Socialist Party were clearly well-prepared to get their message out.
I wasn't quite expecting the carnival atmosphere. Or a giant balloon hand. I idly wondered if the NUT operators planned to attempt a few gestures at the Houses of Parliament.
Judging by their level of preparedness, the Fire Brigades Union must have done this sort of thing before. I bet they've got a hammock in there.
That's unfortunate. I really need to learn to take more than one shot.
As people gathered, the streets filled with colour and noise...
... well, some streets. In my historical re-enactment days I learned the hard way not to mess with charging horses. Evidently most people didn't need such a painful lesson.
The Essex Feminist Collective and Southend's UNISON representing.
Co-ordination and inspiration came in the form of a series of speeches from organisers and key individuals like Green Party leader Natalie Bennett and activist Dr Jacky Davies.
As I explored the growing throng, I was slightly concerned to see a group who felt the need to hide their identities, but they were a tiny minority.
A mobile rock band with their drummer on a rickshaw entertained the crowds.
Quite possibly the march's youngest protester?
One of the more colourful banners. I suspect a Blue Peter badge was involved. ;)
The butterfly supporting immigration made me smile. There was something poetic about it being nestled among the more militant signage.
As I ducked down a side street, a squad of police with riot gear rushed the other way. I hoped nothing untoward was occurring.
My detour to get to the head of the march before it started made me stumble across this sinister lot. I moved on quickly.
... the police were aware of the group and were quietly monitoring their activity.
In stark contrast, just around the corner at St. Paul's Cathedral, the Salvation Army played a dainty tune as some kind of St John Ambulance presentation took place.
I got to the head of the protest as it set out and the diversity of the protesters soon became clear as they marched toward me up Ludgate Hill.
Bankers masturbate while Vesus saves. Or something.
I was disappointed by the lack of close harmony singing from the Welsh contingent.
Caravans Against Austerity? Um, okay.
The Norfolk contingent. This lady was giving me a smile and a friendly wave, not trying to hide from the camera as it appears.
Apathy Schmapathy!
I admire his candour, but I'm not sure that's a sound economic policy.
Go on little fella!
Still not singing, but at least they brought their dragons.
What the hell ARE you doing, Dave?
No, I don't know what 'unanquishable' means either. I think they missed out a 'V'. Maybe it's a subtle reference to V for Vendetta.
'Over 200 dead women in 18 months [due to] domestic violence.'
Here comes the scene-stealing FBU battle bus, with 'unity in strength' emblazoned on the side.
Rumour has it that David Dickenson was so enraged by government policy that he spontaneously combusted half-way along the route.
This street performer treated us to a very funny satirical number about Ian Duncan Smith's welfare policies.
Approaching Parliament Square, the positive vibe continues (and passing tourists look bemused).
As we pass the war memorial in Whitehall, it strikes me that it is a shame that it is necessary for the police to take these measures to protect a monument to those who fought and died for our right to peaceful demonstration.
Approaching Parliament Square, we are greeted with a big screen for those who can't get close enough to see the stage.
I chuckled. Her boyfriend can shower, but I think a more 'industrial solution' would be necessary for the other problem.
The first few thousand already in place, eagerly awaiting for the speakers to appear on the stage.

As the likes of Jeremy Corbyn, Len McCluskey, Charlotte Church and Russell Brand spoke earnestly about the state of society and what could be done, people continued to flood in. Half way through the speeches it was announced that the final protesters had just departed the starting point.


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