Anti war protests and actions
GLASGOW ANTI WAR PROTEST- 15th February 2003
(report from 'danny la rouge', u75, Glasgow)
My partner, two daughters and I arrived at Glasgow Green maybe 10.30, along with my mate Pete and his bagpipes, crossing the footbridge from Ballater Street. I texted my arrival to a few mates, including Inflatable Jesus.
I set off to the People's Palace to try to find IJ, but he must have got there earlier and joined the demo further up the queue. But some other members of the Sma' Vennel massive were at the Obelisk, and we went over to track them down.
My eldest daughter had made her own banner, it read "Stop this War. Why do you want it anyway? Don't you know you might get killd?" We milled about and found some of our friends by a Marxism.org stall.
While we tried to track down some other friends, my partner got out the face paints and decorated a few of our party.
When we joined the queue waiting to move off, an anarchist girl gave my eldest daughter a small banner with a section of Picasso's Guernica on one side and No War But The Class War on the other.
She immediately abandoned her own banner to her little sister, proud to be holding a 'real' banner.
We finally got moving and the atmosphere was amazing! Some cops near us had told some stewards that the estimates were around 90 000 (so why did your bosses divide that by 3 when they spoke to the BBC, boys?).
The streets were totally full, and pubs and shops and flats had messages of support in the windows. Random cheers went up for reasons we couldn't see, but we joined in anyway, and people behind us followed us.
Fuck knows what was happening, but everyone was really happy about whatever it was! There was a drumming group behind us, and Pete was playing his bagpipes next to us. I knew my mate Margo was somewhere with her band Samba Ya Bamba, but I think they were way ahead.
Samba bands, drummers, whistle players, pipers, stilt walkers, a giant anarchist dove, some banner waving Quakers, people of many shades of opinion, some with totally unconnected banners.
A huge guy with a banner bearing the text of Burns' poem A Man's a Man For A That, a girl had one that read Make Tea Not War. One said "Bomb Iraq? Blair, you must be on crack!" Another just said "Whatever".
The Saltmarket, Glasgow Cross, and the High Street were lined with folks waving and cheering, and when we finally passed St George Square onto St Vincent Street another huge cheer went up as we saw the whole street ahead full of people right up the hill to Blythswood.
When we got to the top of the hill, the whole of St Vincent Street all the way back was full of people, and friends still in Glasgow Green were texting asking where we'd got to. Meanwhile the front of the march had been at the SECC for hours.
The SECC car parks were jam packed, and people had already started filtering away, but still the area was covered with people. We passed the Rotunda, but even though there was nowhere to go, people kept swarming in behind us.
We couldn't see the speakers, or hear them. But suddenly a huge noise went up. It was 2pm. This must be the Jerico Rumpus. We all joined in, whistling, drumming, shouting, playing bagpipes. It was huge.
We tried to see IJ's banner, but there was just no way we were going anywhere, so we slipped down a tarpaulin covered banking into a less populous area, where a striking fire crew were, and some stalls, a guy set fire to a Union Jack. The people cheering all had SNP badges.
We texted lost friends, but then decided to head off. We wound back to Sarti's in Wellington Street, and had some coffee; other marchers had had the same idea, but it wasn't as crowed as places we'd passed. Nobody blinked at our face paint. Then we set off home.
» Stop the War Glasgow report 2
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