The February 15th March was incredible – the power of people, all united as one. The police and news tried to tell us we were only 100,000, maybe 150,000 tops. But we knew they were lying, as we could feel the extent of our unity, flowing along both north and south embankments, around Whitehall, Trafalgar Square, Strand and beyond…the front of the march were already at Hyde Park, the rear were still north of Holborn / Greys Inn. And we filled ALL the streets in between! This was not 100,000, but more like 1.5million, or more!
Surely they, the powers that be, the decision makers, could not ignore us? With all these diverse voices, from the ‘usual suspects’ who were veteran marchers, to the many who overcame their marching fears and joined for this desperately important cause…how could they ignore us?!!
And they did. SHAME on them, then and forever. Thereafter were more marches, but the energy had gone. And that next year we sat sobbing in the cinemas, racked with pain, as we watched Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 911 film.
Sadly that march was a peak for a while…marches and demos after that dwindled rapidly in size, until the demo on Parliament Square the day they made spontaneous freedom of speech illegal…there was only about 50 people, most in tears. People had lost the belief in the power of collective voice. If it couldn’t work on Feb 15th, with so many of us, and such an immensely powerful voice, then what hope was there? The mid naughties really slumped – you could feel a low, the low after the building energies over the 90s that led to Feb 15th 2003.
I’m so so glad that people power has returned like never before, and that technologies are enabling different ways of expressing our collective voice. The governments will continue to suppress communications and reportage, but we must keep believing in what happened on that incredible day, Feb 15th 2003, and the power that we have in our unity for peace and love.
I’m so happy you are making this film, it has brought huge emotions and tears to my eyes, as those memories are so close to my heart and soul, and that day needs to be remembered and celebrated collectively, the story needs to be told. Thank you Amir Amirani and crew for doing this, all power to you and this wonderful project!