Get Red Pepper's email newsletter. Enter your email address to receive our latest articles, updates and news.
Though Auntie couldn’t be there herself (she has a sicknote – what’s your excuse?), she was regularly updated by text messages from comrades eyeballing the crowds. With estimates varying between 40,000 and 200,000, it’s fair to say that the truth might lie somewhere in the middle, but that’s still a huge disparity with the ‘official’ police count.
Auntie can’t quite believe it’s just down to the rozzers being, well, a bit rubbish at counting (although they do run out of fingers after reaching ten). Rather, their formula seems to depend on whether it’s constable Dave’s granny protesting against asylum seekers, in which case each two square feet of road space counts for one granny (plus one for the pot), or some smelly black-bloc hoodie, who is deemed to take up half of Parliament Square single handed. Not forgetting to subtract 200 protesters for every eyeball of George Galloway or Lindsey German (triple subtraction bonus if caught snogging).
On the other hand, recently a climate camp activist claimed the police no longer underestimate the numbers on protests but over-egg the figures to justify their budgets. This got Auntie thinking about a new win-win recession-busting strategy.
The police should deploy teams of crowd counters at demos across the UK. This would make a dent in the unemployment figures for all those city bankers (and teach them how to do basic arithmetic). And protesting would become a Keynesian civic duty – the key to economic revival. Who could possibly object to such a job-creation scheme?
Corbyn just won a prize for peace activism - so why is the Labour Party still committed to renewing trident? Lily Sheehan investigates.
Connor Devine writes that whilst Brexit might be a car crash, we can't just side with an institution responsible for enforcing austerity.
Michael Coates reviews a new film revealing the shocking state of housing inequality in the UK.
The vicious media campaign against trans people is part bigotry, part strategy, writes Roz Kaveney
Jon Trickett MP reports on 'Dickensian' levels of poverty and hardship felt across the UK.
Natasha King busts some myths around the No Borders debate
He was once a radical icon, but now he's a mouthpiece for racism and nationalism. Time to get off stage, writes Michael Calderbank
Consensus seems to have shifted, but austerity is far from over. The chancellor has committed us to yet more years of misery while the rich get richer, writes Richard Seymour.
Frustrated at the idea of another royal wedding? You're not alone. Joana Ramiro argues we should stop idealising a fundamentally undemocratic institution.
Liberal elites are using Russian interference to minimise their own political failures, writes Matt Turner
Meet the frontline activists facing down the global mining industry
Activists are defending land, life and water from the global mining industry. Tatiana Garavito, Sebastian Ordoñez and Hannibal Rhoades investigate.
Transition or succession? Zimbabwe’s future looks uncertain
The fall of Mugabe doesn't necessarily spell freedom for the people of Zimbabwe, writes Farai Maguwu
Don’t let Corbyn’s opponents sneak onto the Labour NEC
Labour’s powerful governing body is being targeted by forces that still want to strangle Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, writes Alex Nunns
Labour Party laws are being used to quash dissent
Richard Kuper writes that Labour's authorities are more concerned with suppressing pro-Palestine activism than with actually tackling antisemitism
Catalan independence is not just ‘nationalism’ – it’s a rebellion against nationalism
Ignasi Bernat and David Whyte argue that Catalonia's independence movement is driven by solidarity – and resistance to far-right Spanish nationalists
Tabloids do not represent the working class
The tabloid press claims to be an authentic voice of the working class - but it's run by and for the elites, writes Matt Thompson
As London City Airport turns 30, let’s imagine a world without it
London City Airport has faced resistance for its entire lifetime, writes Ali Tamlit – and some day soon we will win
The first world war sowed the seeds of the Russian revolution
An excerpt from 'October', China Mieville's book revisiting the story of the Russian Revolution
Academies run ‘on the basis of fear’
Wakefield City Academies Trust (WCAT) was described in a damning report as an organisation run 'on the basis of fear'. Jon Trickett MP examines an education system in crisis.
‘There is no turning back to a time when there wasn’t migration to Britain’
David Renton reviews the Migration Museum's latest exhibition
#MeToo is necessary – but I’m sick of having to prove my humanity
Women are expected to reveal personal trauma to be taken seriously, writes Eleanor Penny