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London, UK

London, UK

I’d done my share of protesting in the 60s and 70s and felt that younger people should be doing it in the 0ties. But  this was one march I could not ignore.

Travelled from home in Bristol and sstayed with BBC news producer daughter in Bethnal Green. She refused to join me on what seemed to me to be flimsy grounds re her job description impartiality — but hey — we all have our blind spots.

Set off from Blackfriers Bridge and it was immediately obvious that it would not be a march — more like a shuffle. I was awestruck by the sheer volume of human bodies moving like sloths on opiates through the streets of London.

I was equally amazed by the fact that in this vast crowd, I kept encountering people I knew. Half way along the Embankment I was frozen to my bones dying for a pee. As if conjured up by intense need — lo and behold — a portakabin loo before my very eyes. There was a long queue, but it was worth the wait.. Not only a loo, it was also a heated haven with a hot water basin and hand towels.

This explained why no-one who used it was in a hurry to vacate. In the West End I stopped for a pizza and as the crowd moved past the restaurant windows, three familiar faces peered in — friends from Bristol also in need of a pit stop.

By the time I got to Hyde Park it was dark and the speeches were over. Mooched around for a while, pausing at a Buddhist tent and bumping into more acquaintances. Then it was time to bale out onto the tube and back to Bethnal Bethnal Green.