Yes, I know London police estimated the protest turnout at 100,000 (presumably accounting for “protest halo effect,” namely that if there are 10,000 protesters, and 10,000 people that show up to gawk, the event gets reported as having 20,000 protesters…but I don’t know for sure.) And yes, I know that protest organizers are swelling that estimate by 50%.
But really now. Trafalgar square was as empty as you see it there hours ago. What, it got a little rainy? A little late? And all the dedicated, screaming, Mumia-lovin’ antiglobalists packed it in for a late dinner and a bit of wine?
Where’s the fire? Where’s the dedication? The verve? Where the heck are the protesters?
Seriously, did the London police round 'em up and show them the door, or what?
All the good ones are down in Miami pretending to be oppressed by free trade.
The fact that they weren’t going to be able to get within eye or earshot of Bush probably depressed the turn-out. Security made sure that Shrub would not have to look at any unpleasant signs or see any of those nasty hippies calling him a war criminal. If the little prick is going to bring half an army to insulate himself from dissenting views then what’s the fucking point of showing up?
If 100,000 people are going to voice their opinions en masse, why should it matter whether their target can see them? It’s not like he’s suddenly going to change his mind because people that aren’t even citizens of his own country are calling him names.
I think what they realized was that the whole point of the protest was wasted and decided not to waste their time and effort.
To paraphrase Ghandi, it may very well be that any action you take in pursuit of justice and right will prove useless. That in no way relieves you of the responsibility for action.
I’m not really buying this explanation, if only because protesters, especially of the Free-Mumia persuasion, have never been terribly acquiescent to even the most blatant political realities.
The explosion in Istanbul kinda took the icing off the protesters’ cake, didn’t it? I guess that was the terrorists’ idea of a protest. There weren’t 100,000 of them, either.
Airman! That was outright magnanimous and decidedly even-handed. Coming back from the dark side?!
Thing is, his security people are perfectly aware that Bush’d get lynched if he ever dared show his face in public. The extent of the popular opposition isn’t lost on some of Bush’s advisors.
You know, for such a supposedly big cause that’s an awfully low turnout, even using the inflated number of 100,000. Didn’t that fox-hunting ban draw 400k? And that’s fox hunting.
I participated in the Countryside March (what you refer to as the foxhunting protest) as well as yesterday’s march and the difference is that the Countryside March - as well as the massive peace march in February - took place on saturdays, and people travelled to London from all over the place to protest. This was a weekday protest, and many who would like to participate simply can’t. That includes me, I had to run over to Trafalgar Square after work and missed the main events.
One thing that I particularly liked at the peace march was the number of people wearing badges from the Countryside March. These are people who are in no way natural protesters, but have suddenly acquired a taste for it, since it’s their only means of political expression, what with living in a one-party state and all that.
Trust me, protesting is alive and well, it’s been a good year for seriously large protests here in London.
Why, exactly? THeir day jobs with evil, oppressive capitalist running dog employers more important? You’ll have to pardon me if I’m still not impressed with the level of commitment.
You can’t blame people for not missing work, they’re not all dirty layabout hippies.
It looks pretty packed to me:
100,000 (or so) is a lot of people.
It would have been ironic if “peace” protesters engaged in violence, eh?
I think for all the hand-wringing that went on in the U.S. about what a PR-nightmare this trip would be for Bush, Bush came out of it looking OK. He delivered an unapologetic (and to me, persuasive) speech, and was magnanimous toward the protesters, using them as a celebration of democracy.
When I contrast Bush’s speech and the protests (oooh, they brought down a paper mache statue of Bush - how cute!!!), it made me like Bush that much more. Thanks, protesters!!
That said, I admit he was lucky that the bombings in Turkey (and the Michael Jackson arrest) took the protests off the front page.
hehe just wandering in to express my amusement re. a poster named Zorro and the foxes.
And yes, the fact of its being a weekday demonstration IS significant.
Well, I think he’s on his way back to America now.
UK, breathe in…breathe out…breathe in…
He made it and didn’t throw up on his host like dear old Dad and didn’t trip over his tongue and didn’t blink when a reporter asked him to his face why he was hated and got to shake his head sadly when more bombings proved his point as he sees it and didn’t leave any brains spattered on any pavements.
Success, I guess. I regret to report that, while the statue coming down was indeed shown (and mimes and pretzel-holders, Those Wacky Silly Protestors!) the trip was shoved off the TV news last night to third place, behind the Turkey bombings and Jacko Jacko Jacko.
Although at the Dun Cow he was served something called “mushy peas”. I guess the protestors were able to confront him with their feelings at least once.
My office is on the route of the march, and people were passing by solidly for two and a half hours; at which point, I left to go home. It was only as I headed for home that the numbers passing by seemed to thin out a bit.
We were trying to work out how many people were on the march by timing people walking by, and I wouldn’t be at all suprised to find the turnout was over 100,000.
However, on a practical note, judging by the banners a lot of the marchers came from outside London. Since the march was running late, a lot of them probably had to leave as soon as they reached Whitehall.
Were you just looking for an opportunity to paraphrase Ghandi (isn’t everyone?) or are you really that idealistic?