This account by Dave A of an anti-vaccine passport protest in London was originally published on The Stirrer blog – https://thestirrer.net/
As ever with these protests, they’re comprised of a wide range of currents coming together on one day, in one place to march on the streets. The range of people attending stretch across the political spectrum and in the case of the many ordinary people turning up, sit outside of it. In this post – Dealing with the new (ab)normal – a situation report – August 6, 2021 – I take a look at the various currents who turn up on these protests and argue that taken as a whole, they do not constitute what we would understand as a cohesive movement.
Out on the streets on Saturday 18.12, there were anti-vaxxers marching alongside the double and in some cases, the triple jabbed. There were army veterans marching alongside ravers from the 80s and 90s. There were white working class people marching alongside black and Asian working class people. Unfortunately there were a few alt-right people skulking about as the protest was assembling in Parliament Square. There were a lot of young people out expressing their anger at having almost two years of their life restricted and shut down – the years when memories are made and years they won’t get back. I hope the images above go some way to capturing the diversity of the people turning up on these protests.
As for the numbers, given that there was a tube strike that had knocked out over half the network, they were still in the tens of thousands. How many tens I wouldn’t want to hazard a guess as counting protesters is not my strong point. The point is they got out on the streets to make their points.
Will the protest make any positive impact? Given that the only media coverage I’ve seen (so far) focused on the brief scuffle at the start or on the ravings of Piers Corbyn, the answer to that is most likely no. But most people attending knew that anyway. The point of turning up is to feel the strength of being out in numbers and then to take that back to our communities where the real struggle against the dystopia that’s threatening us all has to take place.
At some point, there has to be anarchist input into these struggles. As I went along with the specific aim of producing a photo essay, I didn’t get a paper produced. It was a case of doing one or the other. The aim of doing a photo essay was to try to portray the diversity of people turning up on these protests in the hope that it may persuade some anarchists that these are events worth intervening in. On the basis that there needs to be an anarchist perspective on these protests, should these continue into 2022, I would seriously consider getting a paper written, laid out and printed for distribution.