Kevin and I joined the WDM contingent of the March for the Alternative yesterday in London. Whilst I have some reservations about the TUC; refusing to let Caroline Lucas speak at the rally and their refusal to work with feeder marches from groups like UK Uncut, for example, I felt it was important to join the mass of solidarity of people around the UK against the governments’ cuts agenda and neo-liberal policies.
It was a massive rally, over 600,000 at least. Of course the media reported a smaller figure, like 250,000, but given we heard police say something like 600,000, and the police under-estimate rally figures all the time, I trust the higher figure more.
Of course, like all big rallies, it took 3 hours just to march from where we started at Embankment up to Trafalgar square – that’s about a mile and a bit.
At Trafalgar Square, Kevin and I left the WDM contingent with the plan of joining UK Uncut up at Oxford Circus. We stopped for a quick bite in our traditional rally eatery, St Martins in the Fields cafe in the crypt. Fortified by apple crumble and custard and tea, we headed up to Oxford Circus.
It was a good day. It was great to be a part of the WDM contingent. WDM has been joining the fight with people in the global south for years to fight the neo-liberal policies that are now being brought to the UK. It felt good to be a small part of bringing these global-local issues together on the march.
P.S. For an insiders view of what actually went on with the UK Uncut actions, including in Fortnum & Mason, visit the UK Uncut blog.