Peter Marshall | 22.03.2010 15:21
Outside the Hollybush
Waiting for the march
Sam Roddick talking in the rain outside the pub
and the rain gets harder
Waiting for the crossing
On the way to West Hampstead
Sam Roddick, noted for her campaigning on issues related to human rights, feminism, pornography and for taking Fair Trade into hitherto unexplored areas through Coco De Mer, her Covent Garden 'erotic emporium', spoke briefly about her appreciation and support for Tamsin Omond and her current campaign to become an MP. Roddick admitted to being a "voting virgin" who like so many others felt it made little difference which party was in power, but at the coming election would "lose her cherry" in support of Omond, who is standing as a candidate in Hampstead and Kilburn.
In the rain and wind it was hard to keep the candles alight as the marchers made their way down the hill from Hampstead, and there were frequent stops to relight. The weather meant there were rather fewer people on the streets than normal, but it was still an opportunity to hand out leaflets about 'The Commons' and Tamsin's campaign, and most people seemed to take an interest.
The election is not Omond's first attempt to enter Parliament - and the 'Plane Stupid' rooftop protest against the expansion of aviation there which first brought her to public notice also got her banned from going within a kilometre of Parliament. She defied this ban leading the 'Climate Rush' of 500 women to its doors on the 100th anniversary of the Suffragette Rush, calling for 'Deeds Not Words' about climate change, and since then has organised and taken part in other environmental actions by the climate rushers, often wearing their distinctive suffragette style clothing and sashes.
'The Commons' is an attempt to get into Parliament in a more conventional manner by standing as a candidate in the 2010 General election for the newly created constituency of Hampstead and Kilburn. The campaign hopes to reach people who are fed up with politicians and appeal to ordinary people, many of whom, like Roddick have never bothered with voting because they felt it made no difference.
They have a radically people-centred approach, believing in people and in democracy rather than politics, in a truly joined up approach to problems involving cooperation, coordination, openness and sustainability and in people working together, thinking together, trusting each other and pooling their enthusiasm. It is very much the kind of positive thinking and working together that organised the Climate Rush and other events by the rushers.
A different set of pictures are on Demotix:
and I will post a larger selection shortly on My London Diary