protestors fill trafalgar square
the start of the march along whitehall
passing through parliament square
long crowds in victoria
the current parliament square protest
without wishing to cause offence, i feel like demanding equal rights with burmese protestors (in this country obviously)! this is what freedom could look like, and contrasts sharply with the hounding of peaceful anti-war protestors in parliament square documented at length on indymedia. it clearly showed how repression or tolerance is controlled in london on the basis of political whim, and drives a huge hole through the 'security concerns' supposedly behind the SOCPA law governing protest near parliament.
the marchers mainly comprised burmese exiles, some monks, and students, although there was quite a cross-section of people there as well. the small but noisy samba band, 'rhythms of resistance', were welcomed by the burmese and about half way along the route, they were asked to come to the front to help lead the procession.
the only sour brush with officialdom occurred as the protest arrived at battersea park. there, some over-enthusiastic parks 'police' demanded that all the banners were left at the park gates so as not to transgress bye-laws. they also banned any mainstream media from filming in the park. the peaceful crowd complied and gathered round the pagoda to offer prayers for the people of burma.
i don't know whether this was the first facebook-organised protest, but it was probably the biggest, and shows yet another powerful way in which people can self-organise and work together.
there is a constant presence in parliament square for now, and there are daily protests at lunchtime at the burmese embassy.
next week, parliament resumes on monday, and the 'stop the war coalition' is planning a march to parliament square (although at present it seems there may be a ban on this), there will also be a burmese protest that day, and 'justice not vengeance' are also holding a commemoration of the start of the afghanistan invasion.