Okay, so I’ve been out of the march for over 24 hours and really should have posted – however I needed sleeeeeeeeeeeeep.
The march was brilliant despite having to queue for over 2 hours before we started marching. There was a good variety of people present, each nicely fitting into the stereotypes in an entertaining manner. There was the Mothers’ Union woman who kept trying to organise her husband and kept referring to him as ‘Dahhhhhling’. There were the students looking student-like, hippies looking hippy-like and all sorts of other people in between. The diversity was amazing.
I spent most of the day near the contempl8ion zone which was where the faith based organisations had their information. This meant that I chose not to see any of the events happening on the main stage but I did hear Texas. I had the opportunity to meet up with the bloggers mentioned below as well as Ship people and SCMers. It was really nice to put names to faces even though Tractor Girl did have blue face paint all over her face.
The march round the city was fantastic but it did take a very long time. While the march itself took less than an hour queuing was something of a problem. There were so many people that there was a wait of over 2 hours to go through the barriers. It really was hot, and the one flaw in planning that I spotted was not having water points. If we had left the queue, it would have taken hours to get through again and a litre of water can only last so long. There were many placards available and a group of us discussed which organisations we’d have problems carrying banners for. The opinions of the masses seemed to be that they were grateful that The Mirror had spent so much money on them but the average activist would rather be seen dead than actually have ‘The Mirror’ emblazoned on the placard. The result of this was that there were a huge number of people carrying shorter placards and pieces of paper saying ‘The Mirror’ were carefully left lying behind them. I wonder what the impact would have been if it had been a ‘quality’ daily rather than a tabloid.
I think many of the particpants will be wearing extra white bands for a while as there will be tide marks from the sun. We ended up really quite pink by the end of the day.
Somewhere in the region of 225000 people went to Edinburgh and made the event feel like a real festival. I was honoured to be part of it.
Since yesterday I have had a chance to look at some of the local media output folllowing yesterdays event. It’s been really positive and there have been some really nice images. It has only been today that I have found out how many people were there as we were told significantly less during the march. I would definitely think that the estimate published in the media is closer to the mark.
Edinburgh is still trying to deal with the other protests that are happening. People were stopping the war today having made history (which we genuinely did) yesterday. There is anarchy tomorrow and climate change on Wednesday. It will be interesting to see how it all pans out but I’m off on Tuesday.
I hope that by then I will ache slightly less and have caught up on some sleep as I started to do for most of this evening. I’m sure I will recover eventually – maybe in time for the next one. 😉
What I hope will come out of this event, and Live 8, is peoples increased involvement in the campaign. Just because we made history yesterday doesn’t mean that we don’t need to do the same tomorrow, next week, next month, and for many more months and years to come.