London, G. B.
My Story for 15 February 2003
My story is of the best day of my life. 2 and Quarter Million People on the streets of London (if you ask me, I can supply convincing evidence that it was that number) and more than 40 Million, actually on the streets, around the world saying “No to War”.
I organised (I do not know how I did it and with NO money) 6 full coaches to London from West Penwith, Cornwall (Penzance and Falmouth) that day: there were many others that went by train and car from Cornwall. I had been a Peace and Freedom Campaigner for 60 years and never seen anything like it. The only people on the streets of Central London that day were demonstrators, no shoppers, and there was no one to shout to, to “Join the March”. The only spectators that I saw were on a Balcony of the Ritz Club drinking champagne and I did shout to them “Join the March” and they cheered and raised their glasses in some sort of support.
I can tell so many stories of that day; a just before midnight start, and coming into London after expecting us to be stopped even at Reading and I had given a sheet to everyone on the coaches of what to do in any emergency or how to get into London from where we would be stopped, by the authorities or the traffic. But no, the streets were cleared and almost deserted as if it was a early Sunday morning, not 11.30 on a Saturday. The coaches were directed straight to one of the bridges and a short walk over to the embankment and we were now, surprisingly, there on time and so had to wait for 4 ½ hours to start. Then of how so many people who had never marched before, some mothers with babies who had to, not threatened by talk of terrorists and government with missiles around Heathrow “come there for there children” (Oh! how cruelly the Government and Establishment disillusioned them by pretending to ignore them!); how they wondered why there were so few banners saying where everyone came from and I explaining that was because there were so many people the banners were spread out; of how demonstrators ignored the route and streamed through the Mayfair side streets Regent Street was at a standstill; of how as we entered the park at about 5.30 there were many already streaming homewards and coming through the trees to see a small gap, before the crowd nearly filling the park and that filling up as well as we went forward; of our coach not quite being in the place we were told and losing people including children on the other side of the park in the freezing temperature of that evening and eventually getting the coach away about midnight and oh so many more stories.
And one more, how a few days later having made a placard for someone who could not get there that day, saying ‘EVERONE ELSE IS IN LONDON’ she found 60 other people who couldn’t make it!
It was, as I told the coaches it might be, the greatest day of my life as I saw what real democracy was and could be. The people having there say despite the politicians, demagogues, and rulers of the world. The beginning of freeing ourselves with the true peaceful revolution. As you say “They are few! We are Many!”
Life, love, peace and freedom
Peter M Le Mare
PS. Your sum to prove I am human 1+1 but I want to write or is it infinity. Or 42. I am a robot.