Sunday, January 11, 2009

In Pictures Gaza Demonstration, Edinburgh: 10 January 2009

People of all ages arrived to protest. © Stephen Glenn 2009
Many different banners were ready to be carried by willing hands People of all ages arrived to protest. © Stephen Glenn 2009 People arrived from all over Scotland on Saturday to take part in a demonstration to the US Consulate on Royal Crescent before returning down Princes Street for a rally at the Ross Bandstand in Princes Street Gardens. My good friend and fellow Lib Dem blogger Caron has written up a very good account of the events so I will be merely adding the pictures.

East Market Street before the masses. © Stephen Glenn 2009

The Assembly point of East Market Street is just behind Waverley Station, but the number of attendees was so great that the street wall filled before the off.

Eyes front. © Stephen Glenn 2009
Looking towards the rear. © Stephen Glenn 2009

Big Brother is watching you. © Stephen Glenn 2009

Sadly as part of our ever increasing surveillance society the crowd was being watched, photographed and videoed at ever point by the police force. At every junction and many points along the way you knew that you'd been snapped again even though the march in Edinburgh did pass off peacefully.

Towards Waterloo Place. © Stephen Glenn 2009 Waverley Bridge. © Stephen Glenn 2009

As the march moved off it stretched from Waterloo Place the whole way back to the end of Waverley Bridge. The police estimate was of 5,000 protesters. The organisers said 10,000. Judging on my experience of football crowds and Caron's husband's experience of these things we'd say 7-8k is definitely about right.

There are shoes being thrown here, honest. © Stephen Glenn 2009

Outside the US consulate the March ground to an almost absolute standstill as many people took their opportunity to throw shoes at images of George W. Bush. By the time those of us in the middle of the column of marchers arrived at the Consulate we were being persuaded to just carry on walking back towards the City Centre or else we may well still all have been there waiting to throw a shoe. Some of the kids came up with their own chant:

George Bush who are you?
I want to throw my shoe at you.

Caron outside the galleries. © Stephen Glenn 2009

Caron had a meeting in Clifton Terrace yesterday but as soon as that was over she contacted us as we were up at the Consulate. When she finally got into the the Princes Street I missed her call but called her back only about 5 metres away from her almost at the top of Waverley Steps. So she joined the rest of us as we headed along Princes Street.

Malc last night asked me what was the point of us marching in Edinburgh. Well the number of different reports from around the world including Israel. Where a 'commendable' crowd were juxtaposed with thrown shoes outside a Georgian Mansion which house the American consulate shows just why this march was important. It also shows why the exemplary behaviour of the crowd in the cold wind and later the rain as well made this protest in Edinburgh's capital worthwhile.

The crowd gather at the Ross Bandstand. © Stephen Glenn 2009 The crowd of different races, ages, political allegiances, social background, Muslims, Jews, Christians, those of other faiths and none all marched on to the Ross Bandstand. To hear speeches from trade unionists, Muslim leaders, MSPs, John Barrett MP as well as two phone calls direct from Gaza itself one from a doctor who dealt with the injured and dead, a third of the dead being children. The other Gaza call was from a community leader who said that three schools had been bombed in Gaza.

Speaker from Jews for Just Peace. © Stephen Glenn 2009
The platform as the speakers assemble. © Stephen Glenn 2009John Barrett MP and others waiting to speak. © Stephen Glenn 2009

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