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Bush march: Why it took you 2 hours to move along Malet St

slow march | 22.11.2003 22:25 | Bush 2003 | London

The SWP (who dominate the Stop the War Coalition) dictated the slow pace of the march. The march of hundreds of thousands of people was also forced through a narrow section consisting of one pavement and a narrow section of road, and thereafter forced onto one side of the road all the way.

According to a steward who was posted to the front of the march, the STWC gave orders to stewards to prevent the frustrated marchers behind from overtaking the celebrities posted at the front. The organisers set a snail's pace for the march, apparently on account of one celebrity's disability.

It is not clear whether the celebrity concerned realised that the pace set at the front was partly responsible for creating a situation in which people waited several hours to set off on the march, and subsequently took another 2 hours to move down Malet Street.

The other reason for the less than shuffling pace and squashed conditions was that, below Malet Street, people were forced into a narrow section which consisted of a pavement and a narrow strip of road. Traffic was waved on by police in the remaining wide section of road, the better to enforce the railings hemming them in. And the rest of the march was confined to one side of the road, rather than the whole road, which several hundred thousand people need in order to march in a comfortable manner.

It would be be considered cruelty to herd hundreds of thousands of animals in such confined spaces, and to force them to walk at an unbearably slow pace. Yet it was imposed on protesters last Thursday.

It would be a good idea if another organisation took up the coordination of these marches - eg. Arrow?

slow march