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  • Tale of two marches, part 2

    by Sunny
    19th March, 2006 at 11:14 pm    

    About 20,000 people braved the cold yesterday in London for the anti-war march. Although I’d like the forces to try and maintain stability in Iraq until the Iraqis can properly take over, it is nice to see so many people are still willing to express their opposition to war in general and show their anger over the WMD lies.

    Resident photographer Strangely Psychedelic / Kesara has the pictures.

    Unfortunately it again had a smattering of nutters, some invited by the Stop the War coalition themselves. A “highlight” apparently was a spokesperson for Iraqi militant Moqtada al-Sadr. Isn’t that just goddamn cosy?

    I agree with Yusuf Smith on:

    Do the organisers take the reputation of the movement they lead seriously, or is it a point of kudos to them that the movement’s enemies are able to dismiss it entirely as a bizarre coalition of Marxist lunatics and religious fundamentlists?

    Of course, there is a reason why people march behind these idiots: because the marches have already been organised, and to organise another moron-free march would result in two weaker demos, one of which would likely be ignored by the media, which would give the (accurate) impression of disunity.

    Meanwhile, on the upcoming Freedom March, which I have expressed reservations about, Judy said this today:

    My unease at the “March for Free Expression” comes in part from the agendas of some of the individuals and groups behind it.

    One of the originators is a Peter Risdon. He describes himself as a “libertarian”, but his blog comes across as hard line English right wing nationalist, with a blanket anti-Muslim stance. He quotes extensively from Al-Ghurabaa, the most extreme Islamist group operating publicly in the UK, as if they were typical of Muslim opinion.

    He also quotes very extensively from what he acknowledges are the emphatically racist views of the young Winston Churchill of the 1890s on the subject of Islam, and the supposed mentality and potential of Arabs and Africans.

    This just confirms the validity of my own stance. Do read the piece by Judy too.

                  Post to

    Filed in: Civil liberties,Religion

    14 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs

    1. Rohin — on 20th March, 2006 at 12:25 am  

      I was at the San Francisco Stop The War march briefly, whilst on my way to watch V for Vendetta (please, PLEASE don’t watch it. Utter, utter, unmitigated shite.)

      The march was fairly lacklustre. My camera was out of juice so I filmed a bit instead, which I’m glad I did as it seem to have been hijacked by Filipino protestors (not entirely sure what they wanted) and Pakistanis demanding India stop its “occupation of Kashmir”. And sure enough, Palestinian flags were out in force. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a protest WITHOUT Palestinian flags.

      Still, seemed to be an overwhelming dislike of Bush in the city (that’s not a pun, although it would be an exceedingly good one).

    2. Sunny — on 20th March, 2006 at 12:43 am  

      “that’s not a pun, although it would be an exceedingly good one”


    3. StrangelyPsychedelique/Kesara — on 20th March, 2006 at 7:58 am

      ^That photo Im having…err..trouble deciphering :|

    4. Lover, not figher — on 20th March, 2006 at 8:23 am  

      Grow up Sunny, come to the March.

    5. j0nz — on 20th March, 2006 at 9:55 am  

      Continuing with Rohins jovial theme, Bush haters (not Democrats!!) should be killed in the worst way possible, according to Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani who is *the* religious authority for Shiite Muslims, apparently.

      I don’t speak Persian so I’m taking somebody elses word for it. I’m sure what it really says is that Allah loves all creatures equally…

      Question, Sunny, et al, if one takes a hardline stance against Islamic ideas & practices, does that make one anti-muslim?

      It seems anyone who is opposed to Islam as a belief system is discounted as ‘anti-muslim’, or even lamer, as ‘racist’.

    6. David T — on 20th March, 2006 at 2:43 pm  

      Given the look of the chap carrying that sign, it might make more sense inside his head than outside it:

    7. Sunny — on 20th March, 2006 at 2:53 pm  

      if one takes a hardline stance against Islamic ideas & practices, does that make one anti-muslim?

      If a particular practice goes against your ideals, I don’t see a problem with it. But you should try and remember j0nz, not all Muslims act or think the same. That should be common sense but then I don’t know much about your state of mind.

      These anit-Israel nutters always come out of the woodworks at these things.

    8. Reformist Muslim — on 20th March, 2006 at 8:11 pm  

      Wow, Rohin I could not disagree with you more about V for Vendetta. I thought it was a stunningly good film! In fact I was going to write a positive review for it.

      Would be interested in hearing your critique.

    9. Rohin — on 20th March, 2006 at 8:20 pm  

      RM, I wrote some thoughts here:

    10. raz — on 20th March, 2006 at 8:35 pm  

      Alan Moore comics always seem to turn into crap films. At least League Of Extrordinary Gentlemen had the Asian Captain Nemo kicking some butt.

    11. Lover, not figher — on 21st March, 2006 at 8:51 am

      March with fanatical Muslims opposing free speech and support the obligation to worship Allah. Soon you could enjoy the Muttawa and gosh your life would be great!

      Come the March Sunny, we need you there.

    12. Reformist Muslim — on 21st March, 2006 at 6:46 pm  

      Rohin I can understand why you didn’t enjoy the film. However let me post a couple of responses.

      Firstly I’m not sure why the feel for London is so important. Most of the film takes place indoors and London is more of a backdrop than an integral part of the film (even parliament is a backdrop).

      Same with Natalie Portman’s accent. I suppose if you’re enjoying the film it doesn’t really bother you.

      The references to Abu Ghraib, Avian flu and the rest aren’t overly sophisticated but their not meant to be. The film is meant to entertain and to provoke the audience into asking difficult questions and I thought it succeeded on both counts.

    13. Stephen — on 21st March, 2006 at 8:52 pm  

      Im dissapointed Sunny that you wont come to the March for Free Expression. I’m going to be there and you would be welcome.

    14. Refresh — on 22nd March, 2006 at 1:21 am  

      Sunny, don’t go. It is deliberately divisive. Have seen some of the stuff on the website promoting the event - see specifically the t-shirts and other promo items you can buy, it has every potential to be what the far right wish it to be.

      On the other hand we could do with someone going and reporting back to what it was like. Nuance and all.

      Dread to think that freedom of expression marches might spring up everywhere esp. come the local elections. The leaflets are already getting out in targetted areas.

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