Monday, 9 July 2018

Stories from a demonstration ....... the waiting

Now, there is a lot of waiting about during a demonstration.

It’s the bit you usually forget, in favour of the noise, the good humour, the big crowds and that sense that you are doing something with a purpose.

And yes, even the most serious of demonstrations have their lighter moments.

Sometimes it will be a witty slogan shouted out by someone which is picked up and ripples back through the long line of protesters.

Or the loud chant which doesn’t get a response leaving everyone to burst out laughing.

Then there is the banter between paper sellers all trying to offload their group’s newspaper onto the crowd, but often ending up buying each other’s.

All of which long ago led to the theory that rather than increase their revenue, all the groups did was redistribute their wealth between them.

Of course some marches and demonstrations can be confrontational, and turn ugly and unpleasant, with a lot of nasty name calling, some arrests and people getting hurt.

But amongst all of that, there is that simple fact that you stand about a lot.

It can take ages for a march to set off and then there are the stops at road junctions which can seem to go on forever.

So here for all those who have suffered are two pictures of the waiting side of demos.  I can’t be sure when they were taken, but it will be between 1984 and about ’85.

We are in Manchester and the clue to the march is there in the last picture, where far away at the back of the line there is placard with the slogan "Victory to the Miners".

I have no memory of the march or from where we set off or our final destination.

But someone will, and I hope will add a comment or even share a picture.

Location; Manchester

Pictures; a demonstration, circa 1983-86, from the collection of Andrew Simpson

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