This A-B walk lacked, sparkle and a sense of occasion. I suspect this was due to the House of Commons vote against military action earlier in the week .
The likelihood of some military action is still evident though with Obama trying to get a vote in Congress. John Kerry is doing the legwork now claiming that Obama could carry out action regardless of the vote but that the reasons for a strike are compelling.
The media continues its push for war. They love the ratings it brings in and they seem to want it at all costs. The BBC and Sky keep presenting evidence of Assad atrocities without any critical analysis.
The march last Saturday was a non-event. The speeches at the end were like toned down victory speeches. They praised the UK MPs as if liberal democracy itself has just been transformed.
I saw Peter Tatchell at the march holding a banner supporting Syria’s democrats and urging people not tofall into the trap of inadvertently supporting Assad. This is a more nuanced position than the organisers wanted and is noteworthy on that basis. Shame he wasn’t on the platform giving a speech. It did feel odd to march alongside people carrying Syrian flags who were clearly supporters of the Assad regime. The anti-war movement attracts people with agendas beyond peace between nations or ‘no war but class war’.
- Last week at the demo outside Downing Street I was part of a group of protesters that blocked Whitehall during rush hour. It’s just possible that scenes like that may have influenced the MPs somewhat in their judgement. On Saturday there was no direct action and I didn’t hear a call for any despite the fact it gets results.
- With the next week likely to see world leaders do nothing to secure peace in Syria and instead ratchet things up for conflict we are now faced with a challenge. We can’t assume the UK will keep its nose out of any action. Those against war are going to have to demonstrate more, make some noise and take action to be heard.