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?
Tom Anderson and Eliza Egret talk to Sahar Vardi from Imbala collective, who have set up a grassroots organising space in the heart of West Jerusalem.
Omar Barghouti asks whether Donald Trump, in his recent break with America’s long-standing support for the two-state solution, has unwittingly revived the debate about the plausibility, indeed the necessity, of a single, democratic state in historic Palestine?
Creative protest can change the way people engage with Israeli apartheid, says Dan Glass, who organised a Dabke-dance action to mark the first anniversary of the latest attack on Gaza
Playwright Brian Rotman reflects on the background to his new play tracing the origins of the state of Israel
Daniel Whittall speaks to Vijay Prashad about the book he has recently edited, Letters to Palestine, and the wider dynamics of the Palestinian struggle
Ewa Jasiewicz, activist with London Palestine Action, explains how you can join the growing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel's massacre and occupation