This is the Bridgewater Hall where the biggest Jobs Fair in Gubment for 10 years ,was being held as we marched. Not a single MP joined the March - John McDonald MP sent his best wishes, The Beast of Bolsover , Dennis Skinner MP was caught scurrying past and didn't take kindly to a request to join in. His pension calls louder than Freedom.
Respect MP and enjoying late fatherhood George Galloway as ever sent his apologies for not appearing.
The march of some 20,000 was very sensitively shepherded by the GMP who made sure on-one got away - and there were no problems, no-one arrested and everybody was polite and very, very helpful.
The head of the march strode boldly and with determination in the Manchester rain.
The children were happy, noisy and ... well kids.
Moazzem Begg spoke forcefully and with passion - here he was interviewed by Al Jazeerah - the media presence was low. Speaking to one BBC crew they explained everyone was off at Glastonbury - they weren't they they explained because you "had to have some influence for that ticket".
Several parents of Military Families Against the War (MFAW) spoke - this was founding member (with Reg Keys) Rose Gentle mother of Gordon Gentle, a 19 year old from Pollok who was killed while serving in Iraq. She contested the East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow seat in the 2005 General Election against Armed Forces minister Adam Ingram.
Marches have become the principal expression of impotent rage against a corrupt political process. Where is the unreconstructed left - the march lost some focus as many had an agenda other than the Iraq War...NHS workers, Government workers worried about jobs, Remploy workers (There's a fucking scandal), globalists, every splinter group of revolutionary / Leninist / Marxist / Spartists / Comunists.
Paradoxically there were few groups (the odd individuals) expressing their solidarity with Palestine , moderate, modest Muslims.
Some drummers drumming lay on the road and stopped the march which Plod dealt with very softly, re-directed everyone and coralled the happy marchers who seemed to represent nothing more than ..er...well...drumming and being a fucking nuisance to Plod. probably the only people who trudged home in the rain feeling satisfied.
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