Tuesday, 10 July 2018

The end of the demonstration ........

Now the cynic will quip, that at the end of a march or demonstration there is just unfilled hopes and sore feet.

The end of the demonstration
It might be a clever take on what sometimes happens, but I tend to think that more often than not, something is achieved.

It may be that the issue has been highlighted and more people are aware of the problem which in turn may lead to action on behalf of the authorities and a change in the law or a change in attitudes.

And part of that impact will be in the numbers who attend, and speeches which accompany the end of the demonstration.

Listening in Crown Square
I have done my fair share of listening to speeches and I can testify that they run the full range from the uplifting and inspiring, to the dreary, the mundane and the downright boring.

Some like those of Dr King’s “I have a dream" or Abraham Lincoln’s "Gettysburg Address" will roll with poetry, power and resonance, while others will drone on with clichés and empty slogans.

And when all of that is done there will be the things people leave behind which will be a mix of the placards carried along the way, and the discarded and unread newspapers sold by groups wanting to advertise their own version of what the future could be like.

George Morton
This one was in Manchester sometime in the 1980s.

It began at All Saints on what was then a piece of wast ground beside the old Chorlton on Medlock Town Hall and made it way via St Peter's Square to Crown Square.

Judging by some at least of the placards it was an anti racist demonstration and amongst those speaking at the end was George Morton who was the MP for Moss Side.

I have no recollection of the event but as I took the pictures I must have been there.

Those pictures have sat in our cellar as negatives for all most four decades, and are now slowly being reclaimed with the use of a scanner.

Speaking in Crown Square
They are a mixed bunch,  from demonstrations to carnivals, to street events and are a record of how we were in the 1970s and 80s.

Location; Manchester, sometime in the 1980s

Pictures; discarded placards and speeches, 1980s from the collection of Andrew Simpson

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