Anyway... the demonstration was impressive, massive, and an upturn in the anti-war movement. It was anti-imperialist, left-wing and very militant. Importantly, and anyone who actually spent the day talking to other people on the march would realise, there was an overwhelming number of first-timer-demonstration-goers on the march. The mixture was brilliant, a few Orthodox Jews walked all the way from Stamford Hill to be on the demonstration, but as they were on a Sabbath, couldn't speak when introduced to the crowd, who gave them the biggest cheer. It has also brought a great number of activists back into action, but also brought new people in as well, one student I know went around Streatham sticking up leaflets to lamp-posts, train stations and bus stops on her bike.
The estimate is 100,000, I think it may have been bigger than that, but it's nice to see that someone decided to make a reasonable estimate this time, this is all bearing in mind that the march was still coming into Parliament Square 3 hours after it arrived. Here's a picture:
The BBC reported the usual police estimate of 20,000, though it's pleasant to see some news outlets (ie. CNN) are reporting a lower figure than the police estimate, joined also by the Fraggle Rock gang down at Harry's Place, who despite the fact that the website they have sourced says 20,000, they have edited their blog to say 15,000 instead.
But hey there's some who will always dislike what they see, Voltaires described it as "politically just degenerate" and our old friend (I wonder if he still reads this place after I told him to fuck off) General Broder said it was... "dreadful, dreadful, dreadful."
It feels like I'm trying to goad a few people into replying and making this website into a forum for intra-left bickering again, but honestly, when people decide to fight back against the biggest, most violent and reactionary imperialist regime in the area, I'll support them. Oh I am sorry they're so anti-gay/anti-women/anti-working-class/anti-tradeunion. I don't put any conditions on supporting them, but I am critical of them, it's that unconditional, but critical support thang (so misunderstood) ... so is Lindsey German, look:
I don't agree with the politics of the Iranian regime, or the Syrian regime or Hamas or Hezbollah - but when I see what's happening, and who they're up against, I know whose side I'm on. People say to me 'well, there are two sides to this'. Yes, there are. On one side, there is a country being invaded and bombed, and its people are being killed. On the other side is the country doing the invading and bombing and killing.
Voila, and more:
Bush’s neo-conservative presidency pursues its own unilateralism, trying to impose by military means and intimidation its economic and strategic values on the rest of the world.
Only two movements in the area resist Israel and the US.
Sadly for people of the left, like myself, they are not from “our school”, but we should respect their steadfastness and will to resist occupation and colonisation. These are Hamas and Hizbollah.
From Ilan Pappe. There is a lot to be happy about people being cynical about Hizbullah and Hamas, after all, they are not from "our school" - they are reactionary and authoritarian... however, in the rush to distance themselves from organisations that are fighting oppression, they accept a lot of the propaganda about them. For a start they are not a sectarian organisation and have done much to unite Muslims with Christians in Lebanon in fighting Israel, 87% of the population of Lebanon supports them and they have borrowed a lot of the old social-democratic policies from the old communist parties.
Things are messy. Also, read this.