Sunday, 29 March 2009

Marching band

A few messages for the G-20.

We used to do this a lot when I was young. It's all achingly familiar, as very little any longer is familiar. As I pause to let much of the march pass me and photograph the proudly brandished slogans, a wave of emotion... just for a moment I feel as if a nightmare is over and I'm being allowed to go home. Has this any meaning? Surely the huge marches against war in Iraq were the apotheosis, and the ultimate failure, of peaceful street protest in this country? But, oh well, I'm still glad some of us care enough to come out and say so.


















10 comments:

Rosie said...

every little helps...remember women's rights 40 years ago? those changes didnt happen overnight.

Tall Girl said...

Thanks for showing us... doesn't look like the violent protest the police and media seemed to want to whip it up into...

Beth said...

I'm glad you were there. Have seen some photos, but wanted to see and hear what it was like in a personal way. Yes, we used to do it...I'm glad people still care enough to try.

leslee said...

Yes, things can change - as Rosie said. Although I'm not overly thrilled with many recent policies of our current president (thankful at least that the last one is gone, and terribly sorry for the horrible mess left behind), I'm still indelibly heartened by his election because 40 years ago a black president of the U.S. was utterly unthinkable. Anyway, thank you for the photos. You never know how these small things can contribute to change. It takes time and we have short lives, but there are time periods when things seem to crack open and transformation happens.

marja-leena said...

Wonderful to see you back, Jean, and with this quite moving photo essay! Some people are still trying to make the world a better place, thankfully.

Dick said...

Thanks for this, Jean. The blood stirs to see the banners. I wish I'd had the resolve - and the domestic selfishness, maybe - to go up to town to join them. I've not attended any such event since the million-fold march against the Iraq war and being part of that reminded me of just how powerful and necessary the presence of people in the streets is. Nothing's changed. If we did it once, we should be doing it still.

Sky said...

wow - thanks so much for sharing these photos. the banners made me wish i were there, too. these images are quite different than the scenes being shown in many of the news reports. reminded me of marching for women's rights and demonstrations against the vietnam war before those became so violent against the students. i miss those parts of my younger life when i was more energetic, boldly brave and determined, and actively passionate.

Natalie said...

Jean, thanks for posting these. The multiplicity of good causes is overwhelming and it's great that they've all come out onto the streets again but sometimes I feel as if there should be a single focus, one goal at a time. My last protest march was against the Iraq war and that was an extraordinarily moving event, even if we didn't succeed in our aim. I'm a bit more cynical and also a bit more optimistic now - maybe the 'climate' really is right/ripe for change.

Brenda said...

It's your photographs I love. There is something universally optimistic about a peace march/protest march, the 'little guy' out in force, showing the powers that be that there is energy, determination, that we're sick & tired of war, poverty, injustice, discrimination. There's power here, true power, and we know it. Every time we march we know that sense of power. Inscrutable though it may be, it's incredible.

The sea of people with their banners, I study these in your photographs. The care and attention spent on designing and printing. Advertising put finally to good use. Not to make money but to make a life people want to live.

As far as G-20s go, this one was fairly peaceful. But the spirit of the protest, this opportunity to be heard since the eyes of the world are on Britain, this you have captured in your photographs.

And I love the marching bands, too.

Beautiful, rousing work, Jean. Thank you.

tamarika said...

I come by here after the fact and am so moved by these pictures. How wonderful that you were there! Inspiring to see such activism. I watched it all from here - but these pictures tell quite a different tale. I did it a lot too, when I was young. Now, I do it in my heart and through my lectures and books. Still - not as inspiring. Thank you for this.