Sunday, 21 June 2015

Against Austerity March Stream of People's Consciousness

‘My good friends, things cannot go on well in England, nor ever will until everything shall be in common’

It was a carnival, street theatre with a serious message,
And a commitment to action that won’t wither with the winter:
A quarter of a million people rallying and marching
(But like all good revolutions, waiting for everyone to arrive),
Lefty Women, the Suburbs, Guardianistas, Trades Unionists,
Civil Servants, Veterans for Peace, Labour Party branches,
Marxists, Leninists, Marxist-Leninists, Trotskyists, Medics,
‘Let Dolphins Govern’,
Socialists, Peace Activists, Anarchists, Communists,
Bemused and confused tourists,
The Green Party, Hunt Saboteurs, Class War, Hare Krishna,
Free Palestine, Samba Bands, Whistles, Megaphones,
Tolpuddle Martyrs, nineteenth century trade union banners,
Katie with a self-referential placard:
 “Katie says WTF is going on?”
A constant chant:
‘They say cutbacks, We say fight-backs’,
A young woman with a megaphone on the kerbside:
‘Sign up now and support Jeremy Corbyn’ – and we did;
Other placards calling for a 24hour general strike,
Or ‘Organise, Strike, Resist’, right up to ‘Resist, Rebel, Revolt’;
Solidarity between friends, families, strangers,
Reclaiming the streets of Threadneedle,
Wandering over the sunken River Fleet,
Reclaiming Whitehall and Westminster,
Marching past the statue of the Duke of Wellington,
Recalling that more troops were used against the Luddites,
In the north of England in 1812,
 Than against the French,
In the Peninsular War of the same year –
This was politics as spectacle and joyous fun,
A dance of resistance reclaiming the streets,
Reclaiming history, reclaiming the present,
Reclaiming the future,
Reminding the country,
That only 25% of the electorate voted Tory:
This is an elective dictatorship -
But when you march past a long line of police,
All bolt upright with all hands clasped in front of genitals,
Glimpsing a statement from John Ball,
From the Peasants’ Revolt, from 1381,
Just as we march over the hidden, medieval River Fleet:
‘My good friends, things cannot go on well in England, nor ever will until everything shall be in common’ -
Then you know your true heritage:
The People's Assembly,
Passport to Pimlico.

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