Millie and I marched in solidarity with Syrian refugees on Saturday (Amber had a friend’s birthday party which, sadly, trumps political consciousness-raising).
Having been disgusted by the government’s response to the refugees fleeing war in Syria I felt we couldn’t just ignore it. Sure, we’ve donated to the charities and signed the online petitions, but there’s nothing quite as empowering as joining tens of thousands of other people on the streets.
“What’s the point?” you may ask, “How is this helping the thousands of refugees?”
I tried to explain it to Millie: we’re showing sympathy, showing we care, that there are a LOT of us who want to help somehow, and that just because the British government are happy to let them drown and suffer doesn’t mean the British people are.
She seemed happy with that.
It was a long walk and a lot of waiting around for a ten-year-old, but Millie surprised me with her patience. Not a single complaint the whole time we were waiting or walking. I was very proud of her.
We arrived at Marble Arch at midday, when the march was supposed to start. Due to the large turnout we didn’t really get moving until about 1.30 – which gave us a chance to eat our packed lunches sat on Park Lane (“Why is there nothing but hotels and car shops here?” asked Millie).
There was a nice atmosphere on the march, probably helped by the announcement that morning of Jeremy Corbyn’s victory in the Labour leadership contest. A bit of chanting, some drumming, the occasional soundsystem – all the usuals; and a proper mix of people – young, old, middle-aged, families, ravers, Socialist Workers, etc.
It reminded me a lot of the Stop The War March back in 2003, only a bit smaller – still large, but nowhere near a million.
We didn’t hang around at the end for the speeches. Millie was tired and my bad hip was aching, so we carried straight on to the station and went home.
I was so proud of Millie that I let her choose any sweets she wanted from the newsagent. She chose a big bag of Twirl pieces and gobbled them all up in ten minutes! (the girl’s got an appetite on her at the moment – there’s a growth spurt a-comin’, mark my words!)
And on the way home we drew some funny pictures of other using my phone (see below – Daddy Pig and Scots Millie).