March 23rd, 2003


Grumpy middle-aged person on a Saturday walk

Yes, well, I marched.

I met up with Shutters and we joined the march somewhere just under Waterloo Bridge and I was glad to be with someone as cynical as I am. Because I want to get one thing straight - I am opposed to this war, but I am already sick and tired of many of the people I find myself sharing that side of the question with.

People who start talking about 'massacres' when there have not been any yet - and hey! when they happen, I will be quick to condemn them, but can we at least wait until there have been some.

People who think it is all about oil - when the thing that is really worrying is that it is not. For at least some of the people at the heart of the US government, it is about training the American people in the joys of universal imperium, with cheap oil as a carrot but not really the point of the game.

People who swan round the streets of London dressed up as fedayeen. I mean, I am not unsympathetic to the struggle of the Palestinian people against the Israeli government and armed forces, but going on a demonstration dressed up as a guerilla soldier is pretty much a wank.

People with whistles are bad enough, but people with aerosol honkers should be made to put their toys away - this all gets especially irritating when you are in an enclosed space, like under Hungerford Bridge, and everyone suddenly thinks it would be really neat to try out the echo. I like my hearing; I want to keep it.

On the other hand, there were a lot of people I was proud to be marching with.

Some drummers had got an interesting rhythm going and a couple of black women and their white male friend were jogging around and had worked out an interesting sample-chant of 'Some of the people, some of the time/All of the people all of the time' and variations thereon.

There was the man with a missile on his head and a placard that said 'just another nutter/with a daisycutter.' And the guy with the surrealist fish placard.

There were the usual radical pensioners, people who have been marching since CND and possibly before.

And of course there were Kate and Robert and Heather and Megan and the Squee Twins' friends as well.