take back parliament demo

Just a brief note, there's not a huge amount to write about todays Take Back Parliament demo in Manchester. It was relatively small, I didn't count but I'd be surprised if there were fifty people in total. That's really quite a poor showing for what is an important issue (perhaps less so than the Israel-Palestine issue, but important nonetheless), although perhaps unsurprising given the general lack of coverage in the mainstream media.

At first it looked like the Take Back Parliament protestors might be outnumbered by an anti-Gaddafi protest also happening outside the town hall. Then a little later as though we might be outnumbered by a wedding party, who also had a preponderance of purple accessories. But eventually there were enough people to constitute a rally, and after a brief address, and photographs in front of the statue of Gladstone, we set off along Cross Street.

The march was quite short, Cross Street, then up Market Street to Piccadilly Gardens, but obviously took some time. Being a smallish group meant trying to keep together and make a lot of noise (although I'm not really one for chanting myself). Then there was a restatement of why we were there, before the rally dispersed. It's actually the first time in a long while I've been on a demo, and it was pretty polite, and frankly almost invisible.

I don't really understand the apathy people have toward this issue. Our first past the post system is grossly unjust, and the AV system our sort-0f-government want to have a vote on isn't much better. And remember, we just had an election where hundreds of people were disfranchised by being locked out of polling stations, and where students were treated differently at some polling stations than other residents. I'm astonished this isn't more of a scandal.

There is another rally in Manchester on Saturday next week. As far as I remember it begins outside Manchester Cathedral and proceeds along Deansgate, but I'll post details later.


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