On Friday I went for a walk through central London with a couple of hundred thousand of my closest friends.
The march was due to start at 2pm from Portland Place. I was a little late. I went straight to Oxford Circus. I came out of the tube station and just stood and watched the people walking down Regent Street. It was amazing, and seemed endless. Then I saw these two with great signs:
A Clash quote and a bad pun? Count me in.
I walked down the pavement alongside the march for a bit, taking more photos.
Before long we got to Trafalgar Square.
There were many speakers and a few musicians. Len McCluskey told us that the police had estimated the crowd was over 250,000, which was surprising, since they tend to underestimate. Anyway, if so, it was the biggest since the Iraq war demo. More amusingly, we were a bigger crowd than at Trump’s inauguration.
That said, I looked around and it didn’t feel that crowded. I’ve seen the O2 full, and I would guess that there were a similar 20,000 in the square.
But it turned out when I left that there were many, many people in the streets around the square. I guess they didn’t want to push forward because the square looked full. I’m quite glad about that.
The atmosphere was fantastic all day. The police presence was pleasingly low (or at least low-key), despite the stories of leave being cancelled and people drafted in from all over the country.
Did it do any good? Probably not, in the sense that it won’t have any direct effect on Trump. But it made a lot of people feel good, and it showed the world that we care.