Saturday, 14 July 2018
Carnival of resistance
'I hate Trump even more than I hate crowds,' as one of hundreds of ingenious placards and banners read, so there I was among peaceful thousands for the fourth time in a month, following the People's Vote March and the Latvian song and dance celebrations. Never, surely, has there been a funnier or, weirdly, more joyous demo. It was indeed, as many banners declared, a 'carnival of resistance,' and I laughed and smiled my way from Langham Place to Trafalgar Square. This was a reminder, too, of all the vital causes the Horror Clown has been besieging, resulting in a rainbow coalition of protesters.
Worried that I might be a bit late - 2pm was the start, and I had to tidy up Glinka notes for the Proms, just past the mid-day deadline, before cycling off. I came at it all from Wigmore Street, and first joined what I was told was the back of the procession in Chandos Street, complete with Handmaids (later I saw a witty banner, 'The Handmaid's Tale is not an instruction manual').
The first three people I encountered were all sporting - albeit not wearing, in high temperatures - the 'Trump stinks' face masks I'd seen the sublime Janey Godley and friends display online, so I asked them to don the masks for a photo-op, in which they were happy to oblige.
Here, too, were an American father with his infant
and a group with the first of many dogs I saw.
This one is cutely adorned with 'Dump Trump,' and didn't seem to mind too much.
But behind us another procession was moving towards Langham Place, so we quickly joined that and found it to consist mostly of pro-Palestinian Muslims, including headscarved women
and this genial gentleman.
Behind them came orange people, in solidarity with Guantanamo inmates.
Let's feature some of the ingenious slogans and pics now. One of my favourites came from this lady
who had an equally ingenious inscription on the reverse.
This one was more earnest.
and later on, the reverse of a 'F*** Trump' spread had serious messages, too.
soon joined forces with Trumpelstiltskin and 'Muggy May' (not sure I got that one)
though it was only at the end that I spied a couple of the drag-queen group sashaying away.
Americans warned to stay away by their loathsome administration were not taking any notice
and this one represented overseas voters who need to help make a difference in the mid-terms.
Humbler hand-made efforts still got their point across amusingly.
I assume this one is on the right side of humorous.
Found myself hailed by a familiar voice - that of good friend Christine, closely followed by husband Duncan, who was promming later in the day (he's a season ticket holder).
We were touched by an Indonesian gentleman who wanted to photograph my 'No man is an island, no country by itself' t-shirt, earnestly saying that we are all human beings who must join together.
The priestly community was out in force. Not sure what the lying threesome was proclaiming - couldn't read the message,
Of this genial group, the best banner - 'My boss told me to come' - isn't quite visible.
It took much longer than I expected to reach Oxford Circus, after which things moved more rapidly down Lower Regent Street. Here I caught the ingenuity of the best 'models'.
I had a nice chat with the ever-beaming lady on the left about the humour factor of it all. More mixed responses from the huge numbers of police when I remarked to the effect that it didn't look like trouble, did it? A smiling black policewoman said 'absolutely not'; a grimmer plod replied 'not yet'. Not at all, as it turned out.
The chap just visible on the left below had a job to do, and he was getting on with it, though smiling all the while. Note ' Christian? Like Martin Luther King?'
More good signs. 'Nightmare on Any Street' was Amnesty's contribution.
EU flags still part of the picture (I now have a sticker with not only 'Bollocks to Brexit' but also 'Bollocks to Trump').
And so I took a slight detour at Piccadilly Circus, to rejoin the march at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, where the handmaids were in full spate
And on to Trafalgar Square, where I filled in a pro-EU postcard to my MP (not that Andy Slaughter needs any prompting) and the good banners kept on coming.
Poor Madge. But did she have to smile? And did Mrs Mayhem have to take the Horror Clown's hand again? Well, their charade was going on while we were part of the Real Thing. Here's a glimpse of the alternative - the Blump flew in the morning, though not very high - courtesy of Ileana Antinori, a LinkedIn connection.