I'm not sure why people hadn't decided to block it, but perhaps with all the rabid right wing nonsense about "the public" being "inconvenienced" the marchers didn't want to antagonize anyone. I should say at this point that I reckon that part of the point of a strike is exactly to inconvenience people. Ideally the bosses and ruling class. The public are the ones being "inconvenienced", that is screwed by the rich. And the rich tend to start paying attention when you start costing them money.
Anyway, I chatted to friends and moved towards the samba band inexorably. The timing of the marches meeting up by the plain was apparently impeccable, thought I didn't see it myself. By the time we crossed Magadalen bridge I reckon that there were maybe 3,000 or so people. Not a bad turnout for out little city.
I was struck by how many unfamiliar faces there were around me. Not the usual bunch of East Oxford activist ne'er-do-wells and assorted lefties that one usually sees at these events at all. The unions had clearly done a great job of organizing lots of their workers to come along. Incidentally props to the pickets that I walked past on the way to work on Rectory Rd! Made my day and helped me convince myself to bunk off work to come to the march.
More music was provided by the Horns of Plenty (I think they're called that), and after a couple of brief faffs at either end of Cornmarket the crowd bimbled into Broad Street for a rally round a big lorry with a soundsystem on it. There were some speeches from various unionists including a guy from Palestine. They all said what we all know -- that its the bankers who have fucked us over, not the teachers or the nurses. So the bankers should really pay for their mistakes, rather than the teachers or the nurses.
Well I'm not one for speeches so I headed off around three thirty there were still a respectable number of folk listening to speeches when I left.