This was probably the biggest march I have attended so far. The atmosphere kind of reminded me of the negotiation-period gatherings in Athens that were basically massive parties on squares. Of course a demonstration about women’s rights could only be politically colourless- though it would be safe to assume that everyone there found common ground in their mutual lack of appreciation for the 45th president of the United States.
There was almost zero police presence, and the only cops I saw were not in riot gear. There were a lot of parents with kids on their shoulders and babies strapped on their backs and everyone looked as relaxed as I felt. I think the Notting Hill Carnival might have been a more dangerous experience than this 100.00 people march in a city like London.
The banners and slogans ranged from lighthearted jokes and plays on Trump’s statements, such as ‘This pussy grabs back’ or ‘this pussy has claws’, ‘grab the patriarchy by the balls’ and so on to quotes from comandante Ramona. I can safely say this is the first time I have seen the word ‘pussy’ appearing on so many banners. The environmental hazard of Trump’s upcoming presidential term was also an obvious matter of concern on the placards.
The crowd was so dense that at certain points groups of people would diverge from the main body of the demonstration and take side streets to get closer to the rally point, which was Trafalgar square. That again for a protester in Athens would be unthinkable, considering every other side street is blocked by riot police. I followed different groups around and was mostly concerned with finding objects to climb for the entire duration of the protest. considering how chaotic it all seemed, I really wanted a chance to be able to appreciate the volume of the protesting crowd. I don’t think I ever came close to, considering how flat London is.
At the rally point, there were a few artists doing their thing, from singing Woodie Guthrie to painting stuff on the ground with chalks. The most inspired moment I witnessed though was this lady next to me that suddenly decided to start doing Xena’s warcry to… show her appreciation towards the speakers, I guess? If anyone ever happens to be giving the beat with a loudspeaker at a future march, could you please try that out and see if it catches on?