Today the Stop the War Coalition (StWC) called for a demonstration against the occupation in Iraq following up from yesterday's huge Make Poverty History march. Sunday was going to be the day where the left, the so-called G8 Alternatives was going to demonstrate that there is more than charity behind the protests against the G8 summit.
The demo was going to start at 6pm at the Mound, and after 30 minutes waiting the march took off towards Carlton Hill. There were only a few thousands of us, which compared with the human sea of yesterday was a big disappointment.
The march ended up in a beautiful stop with a whole range of activists and celebrities reading out the names of UK soldiers and Iraqi civilians killed in Iraq. Amongst those who spoke were Rose Gentle (mother of a British soldier killed in Iraq), Billy Bragg (a singer), Haidi Giuliani (mother of Carlo Giuliani killed in the anti-G8 protests in Genoa). The politics in the rally chaired by the convenor of the StWC where nowhere to be seen. This was the tone of the day, i.e. criticism of the speeches of the day before from Bob Geldof and Bono and the Live 8 acts. Unfortunately, there was no alternative, no programme, nothing more than hopes for a nice future.