March 26th has to be more than a mere demonstration. One million people valiantly took to the streets on February 15, 2003- and two million deaths later, the ghoul of the Iraq War is still with us. This time Westminster’s target is closer to home; it is our livelihoods, our services, and our society. We face a world of rising unemployment, of a generation of young people thrown on the scrapheap unless they can afford better, of services driven by private greed and not public need. Thatcher tore up the fabric of society three decades ago and there are so many who still haven’t recovered- we cannot allow these attacks to happen again, with even more severity.
I am marching on the 26th against a government with no mandate to govern; in power only because of a small legion of treacherous canaries led by a man who sold his voters down the river for a slice of power. It is a government forcing through changes that did not secure a majority vote, and most voted against, even within our flawed parliamentary system. But we are all marching for an alternative, for a society run for mutual prosperity and not the profit of an elite at the expense of others. We are marching for freedom, equality, peace, and justice. And if we are to win, we need a bigger movement than ever- March 26th is the beginning, and it must be a beginning to remember. A revolution does not knock off at five’o’clock and go home.
It was in Trafalgar Square that a peoples’ revolt bought down the regressive Tory poll tax. It was in the shadow of Nelson when mounted police beat three socialists to death in 1887. It in that shame shadow that virtually every march on Parliament passes, and stops almost unconsciously to take a breath before that final slow walk down Whitehall. To occupy Trafalgar Square is to take public ownership of a space that symbolises both Britain’s imperialist legacy and its unsung history of popular uprising. It is where we will take the torch handed to us by the students last November, and allow the flame of indignation to grow and blossom into a movement too great, too dynamic, and too relentless for the powers-that-be to ignore.