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Demonstrations - Have you? Would you?

(106 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.

GrannyBettie Fri 18-Oct-19 10:55:35

I will be joining you on the March OP. I did go in June (first ever march) and enjoyed it very much. We did not walk from Marble Arch but picked up the march in Piccadilly ( not as young as some) and got to Parliament Square and heard the speakers. It was a good day, if a little tiring. Echo people's comments about water, good shoes etc and possibly a walking stick if only to lean on after being stood stock still for a couple of hours. There were some Brexiteers around Trafalgar Square shouting at us but, on the whole, it was very friendly. Look out for me smile. Hope the weather is good.

NotSpaghetti Fri 18-Oct-19 11:03:01

I'd say don't pass up the opportunity to use a loo!
I have marched with children and it's not easy if they want the loo suddenly! On the Iraq war march there were toilets closed all over the place when we needed them. Even some cafes.
And yes. Water and comfy shoes. Obviously

NotSpaghetti Fri 18-Oct-19 11:11:06

Whilst I've marched and attended numerous rallies since, can I just send love and deepest thanks to those of you who protested at Greenham. It was THE protest that I felt closest to and it still moves me now when I remember the dread of that time... I did some work on one of the Boise Peace Quilts in the 80s and wept when I realised there was a Greenham one.

It was a hard time for me, with tiny children, a new baby. Going to Greenham (though older/stronger friends of mine went) was just beyond me. I will always be grateful to those of you who bore witness there on my behalf.

Craftycat Fri 18-Oct-19 11:18:10

1968 Anti Vietnam War at US Embassy in London. Told my Dad I was going to Brighton for the day as he had forbidden me to go on case it got violent. Got there early & nothing happening so gave up & went to Biba & bought a lovely dress!
I suspect my heart wasn't really in it & I'd probably gone off the idea. The attraction was probably rebelling.or I was very shallow. Or both.

GabriellaG54 Fri 18-Oct-19 11:20:12

No. Never have, never would. Not worth my time. I'd sooner write a letter, sign a petition or send an email.

Oopsminty Fri 18-Oct-19 11:23:56

Biba. I loved that shop. Still got my black vest t shirt

absthame Fri 18-Oct-19 11:27:25

Aldermarston 1960 was my first demo. After that concentrated on movement for colonial freedom and anti-aparthied and support for abortion reform. Continued off and on for various causes that I sympathise with.

Unfortunately cannot make it tomorrow so enjoy it.

NotSpaghetti Fri 18-Oct-19 11:30:59

Yes GabriellaG54 we can all do that, and really should do! We can write even if we can't walk the distance! I confess I don't often get much more than a standard reply though these days, even when I try to enter into a dialogue, unfortunately.

sarahellenwhitney Fri 18-Oct-19 11:32:53

Exactly including N Ireland and the British colonies.

Oopsminty Fri 18-Oct-19 11:47:17

What time is this march?

What time is the vote?

If... and it's a big if... the deal is passed might there be some animosity?

Amagran Fri 18-Oct-19 12:14:57

smile No animosity from us Remainers, Oopsminty, we're a peaceful lot! As, I feel sure, are most Brexiters. smile

Amagran Fri 18-Oct-19 12:18:09

See you tomorrow, GrannyBettie! smile

WharfedaleGran Fri 18-Oct-19 12:30:25

I've never been on a March, mainly for similar reasons to you, anagram, so I empathise deeply. However there have been a few recently, mostly brexit and climate related, that I wish I could have participated in. Since I came back recently to live in the uk (from France, in part because of brexit ?) , every one I've considered joining has been on a weekend when I've had to be at work, including this one. There are quite a few in our nearest city (Leeds) so I'll get my chance. Especially now that you've inspired me to overcome my fear of crowds and fear of going alone! I hope you'll report back on your experience - and that you have a great time!

WharfedaleGran Fri 18-Oct-19 12:32:27

Ps I do sign petitions, write emails, etc!

Oopsminty Fri 18-Oct-19 12:34:51

No animosity from us Remainers, Oopsminty, we're a peaceful lot! As, I feel sure, are most Brexiters.

I'm sure you're right.

Mind you I doubt any of us would have thought the commuters would turn so wild with the XR chaps on the train.

Totally different causes of course.

I just wondered if word got out that the Deal had been passed, thereby causing no People's Vote, if people might be peeved.

Amagran Fri 18-Oct-19 12:36:53

Thank you for your lovely post WharfedaleGran. I will indeed report back! smile

notanan2 Fri 18-Oct-19 12:37:03

Ive been on marches before.

I think once you get into it you end up in a bit of an echo chamber where youre all convincing each other that you are not just representing yourself, but also all of society and future generations.

Of course this is wrong. Your children/grandchildren/neighbours etc may not share your views at all!

Its quite a buzz. Being surrounded by passionate like minded people. Its quite addictive once youve been on one! But its a subsection and its not the real world.

Anthea1948 Fri 18-Oct-19 12:38:29

Good for you, Amagran. Like you, I have the utmost respect for those who stand up for what they believe in.
It's many years since I went on a protest march, but from what friends tell me it's important to remember the obvious things - comfortable clothes and shoes, a bottle or two of water and maybe food if you're planning on spending a lot of time there. And a thick skin - so that any verbal abuse will wash off you. And probably some good arguments for why you feel the way you do so that you can show you've researched the subject if you're challenged.

notanan2 Fri 18-Oct-19 12:39:14

Theres a thrill element too. Even peaceful protests can turn at any moment. Quite exhilarating either way!

SummerJ Fri 18-Oct-19 12:41:41

If social media is correct this peaceful march will be huge and you will be in good company. If the last one is anything to go by there may well be a lot of standing and not so much walking!!! OH and I will be there...

Amagran Fri 18-Oct-19 12:42:10

Oh I will certainly be peeved, Oopsminty, if there is no People's Vote. I might grind my teeth down to my gums, but I will try very hard not to hit anyone - not even BJ if I should be so unfortunate as to meet him! grin

notanan2 Fri 18-Oct-19 12:46:42

From a practical point of view: stay hydrated but prepare for being stuck unable to go to the toilet so no flasks of caffine if that stimulates your bladder more than other drinks.

They can be colder than you expect. Standing still is much colder than moving, and theres a lot of standing about. Dress for colder weather than it seems.

Download twitter if you dont usually use it. If there is any kettling or "hot spots" to avoid you'll hear it there first

Saggi Fri 18-Oct-19 13:12:01

There’s me thinking we have had this vote already ...three years ago...No need for a people’s vote march....we are the people and we’ve voted already. It’s called democracy..

GillT57 Fri 18-Oct-19 13:19:42

The march is also democracy saggi. I am going, my first ever, I feel so strongly about this that I feel I have to do something.

NotSpaghetti Fri 18-Oct-19 13:31:52

You are right Saggi it’s not a good name. But democracy is sort-of iterative... if it wasn’t it would probably be a dictatorship. It’s not to disenfranchise people, it to check we are doing the right thing.