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Demonstrations - Have you? Would you?

(105 Posts)
Amagran Thu 17-Oct-19 09:07:48

Hello Everyone, with the upcoming People's Vote march on Saturday, I was wondering what causes have moved you to demonstrate in the past and what causes might move you to demonstrate in the future.

I have the greatest respect for anyone who is willing to stand up and do something for a cause they believe in: Leavers, Remainers, Climate change protesters, anti-frackers, etc. etc.

I confess, though, that I am a demonstration 'virgin'! I am joining the march on Saturday, going down to London on a march coach, but on my own. I would be very grateful for any advice and tips from more experienced demonstrators.

Whitewavemark2 Thu 17-Oct-19 09:22:49

amagram may the force be with you?

I’ve been on various protest marches all to do with peace.

All of them enjoyable, meeting like minded folk. All peaceful and civilised.

I can’t go on Saturday because of mum, but you can represent me ????

Amagran Thu 17-Oct-19 09:34:16

Thank you, Whitewavemark2, I will. smile

BradfordLass72 Thu 17-Oct-19 10:04:59

My very first march was with CND - and that takes me back some humpty-seven years. grin

I've since been on numerous marches and protests, none of which did much good I fear.

Perhaps the cause which made me most angry was in 2002 when the local Council (spurred on by govt) decided to use crop-dusting aeroplanes to spread insecticide over everything and everybody (including primary schools and kindergartens), to kill Painted Apple Moth.

At the time, I lived in a rural area and there were little traps hung in trees to attract these moths with pheremones.

The Council and Dept. of Conservation found not one single moth before the date of the first spray but decide to do it anyway.

Some people became so ill they needed hospitalisation.
To this day, they still suffer the effects.

Some needed to be evacuated from the area completely and put into hotels in other cities until all the insecticide diminished.
It killed millions of good insects and still, not one moth was ever found.

I went on a march with Kurdish people, protesting at what Saddam Hussein was doing in Iraq but this month, when another march against Turkey is taking place, I'm just not up to the 2 km hike they've planned.

I'll be with them in spirit.

Amagran Thu 17-Oct-19 10:50:54

I feel humbled, BradfordLass72.

I have always (maybe less so now) been a very shy person and my mother, who had very strong opinions, did not in any way encourage me to think for myself. I know it sounds pathetic, but when your opinions are constantly slapped down as a child, it becomes very difficult to have the confidence to express yourself as an adult and then go against the flow and stand up for what you believe in. It probably didn't help that I won a place at a Direct Grant school where I felt socially out of my depth. How I would like to go back to that little me and shake myself by the shoulders and tell myself to be myself and hold my head up high!

When my children were small, there was just one mother in our very conservative village who went regularly to protest at Greenham Common. I have always felt ashamed of not joining her when I had the chance.

The Painted Apple Moth incident is truly appalling.

BBbevan Thu 17-Oct-19 11:02:10

I went on the CND marches in the 60s. Walking from Aldermaston to London. I was a student ,so it was serious but good fun despite the rain .Have been on a few local ones since, for local hospital etc.

paddyann Thu 17-Oct-19 11:19:24

Anti American involvement in Vietnam ,CND,local Hospital watch marches and vigils,loads of Independence marches.As someone said upthread,you meet people who have the same mindset as you.Only one there are ever arrests at nowadays are the CND ones outside the nuclear base.The Independence marches are always cheerful.noisy with folk singing and chanting and we have a meeting in a park with bands and things for the children ...

suzied Thu 17-Oct-19 13:43:28

I'll be on the Brexit march on Saturday. I went on the last one as well. If you want to hear the speeches and don't want/ can't to do the march go straight to Parliament square or do the short march from Trafalgar Square. Take sandwiches. Go with a friend or make friends with someone nearby to keep your place if you need to pop out to the loo.

paintingthetownred Thu 17-Oct-19 13:50:11

Jolly well done. I had been very active in the past in my twenties in this respect. And thirties.

Somehow came to a standstill after I had my daughter. However a few weeks back she wanted to join in the Climate School Strike at a major demo in a local city. So, I had no choice to go, really with her, her friend and a family.

I'm so glad I did. It took me back in my head and also forward as I tried to understand how younger people feel.

There were lots of parents and grown up friends on the school strike. Also grandmas and grandads. All out there in the background supporting the school kids, and also having their say on placards.

My advice is mainly practical and please forgive me if it is blindingly obvious.
Mega comfortable shoes, may be a long walk.
Water bottle obviously.
Placards on the backs of cardboard boxes now are au fait, recycling.

Listen carefully to instructions from coach organisers as to when you are supposed to be back on the bus. (we had to leave someone behind once in London as they were just too late and we needed to get everyone home).

Most if not all protestors are polite, but re traffic/unexpected happenings you need your wits about you.

Good to bring snacks. Vegan, vegetarian if possible.

And finally, enjoy yourself!

all best

paintingthetownred Thu 17-Oct-19 13:52:53

also on the subject of marches doing good or not debate.
I've campaigned for decades on various things. As far as understanding goes for me, the main point of a march is yes, to be seen in public and the media etc.

But even more importantly it is a case of being there to support and be supported by everyone else. When the march ends and all go home, that is where the campaigning carries on.

As the years go by, generation after generation it is something we will all hope to do, to uphold truly democractic rights and peace. Keep marching

paintingthetownred Thu 17-Oct-19 13:55:08

Although it has to be said, I really hope we stay in the EU. I lived in Germany for a decade.

Oopsminty Thu 17-Oct-19 13:56:04

I have never marched.

But I wish you good luck and enjoy your first march!

petra Thu 17-Oct-19 13:58:05

The March you are going on, should, to all intents and purposes be peaceful.
If you decide to go on a march where temperatures might run a bit high I would advise that you position yourself on the outside line of the march.
I've been on marches where things have turned nasty and been stuck in the middle of the trouble with no way out and been hurt.

Whitewavemark2 Thu 17-Oct-19 14:35:37

Blimey petra what marches were they?

I think you will find that the remain/peoples vote marches are models of middle class respectability.

suzied Thu 17-Oct-19 14:50:22

They are fairly family friendly affairs with lots of parents and children and older people. The only anger/ nastiness I saw was from a few brexit supporter thug types who were angling for a punch up. The police surrounded them and moved them on.

Amagran Thu 17-Oct-19 15:46:00

It's lovely to read all your experiences and thank you so much for your very sound advice, suzied, paintingthetownred and petra. Thank you Oopsminty for your good wishes

Fiachna50 Thu 17-Oct-19 15:50:26

I was more active in my younger days. Only one march as I tended to wield the pen more. I have attended protest meetings and have also been on strike. Unfortunately, I am not in a position to go into much detail.

Nortsat46 Thu 17-Oct-19 17:10:03

Amagran, I am sure you will find the atmosphere on the coach lively and fun. Listen carefully to the disembarking and rejoining arrangements.

Make sure you know what to do if you are arrested. It's highly unlikely but make sure you know what to say and how to access a solicitor.

My experience at Greenham, on Poll Tax marches, Rock against Racism, justice campaigns (Birmingham 6, Guildford 4), pro choice etc over many decades is that people who share your views on an issue are invariably friendly and will help you, if you need it.

Join in the chanting and singing, blow a whistle, wear a cardboard sandwich board (easier than carrying a placard for miles) and have some fun.
Go to it, sister ✊

varian Thu 17-Oct-19 19:40:53

You will find yourself surrounded by kindred spirits, lovely friendly peaceful people of all types, all ages, from all over the UK who want the best possible future for our country, our children and grandchildren who are proud to be British and European.

You will feel proud to be in that large number Amagran and we fellow Rsmainers will all be proud of you and thankful to you for being tbere.

paddyann Thu 17-Oct-19 19:50:39

no such thing as British Varian ..its not a country ..stop trying to tar us all with the same brush..There may well be English ,Welsh Irish and Scots at the march ...but no British !

varian Thu 17-Oct-19 19:58:12

We are all, if we are born here, or naturalized UK citizens, Britjsh.

Many, like me, are also Scottish, others may be Welsh, English or Irish but we are all British and Europeans, priveledged to be citizens of the United Kingdom and the European Union.

paintingthetownred Fri 18-Oct-19 00:02:00

yes and totally. and no one has missed the fact that repressive regimes have been deleted from this thread. So much for 'gransnet' to have been better for that.
don't think so

Amagran Fri 18-Oct-19 00:32:26

Thank you so much Nortsat46 and varian for your advice, encouragement and good wishes.

This is indeed a cause I feel very strongly about and whichever way it goes, it will be something my grandchildren will be affected by. When they are old enough to understand fully, I want them to know that I was one of the thousands (millions?) who marched for their future and for the sake of their country.

And yes, I fully intend to enjoy the experience of being with like-minded people and being part of something important!

LadyJus Fri 18-Oct-19 10:43:17

Wear comfortable shoes and gloves and use a rucksack, not a handbag!

AllTheLs Fri 18-Oct-19 10:50:51

I've been on several demonstrations protesting against the slaughter of Hen Harriers and other birds of prey. All of them peaceful - although what would have happened if any of the murdering land-owners & their gamekeepers turned up, I have no idea.

I've also been on protests against library closures. One actually did some good!