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?
#233: Democracy on the Wing ● Thelma Walker on regional autonomy ● An interview with Clive Lewis ● The World Transformed ● Gender, sexuality and witchcraft ● The globalisation of ‘Asian horror’ ● A tribute to Dawn Foster ● Latest book reviews ● And much more!
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Famous voices can shape public opinion on Palestine, argues Raoul Walawalker, but walking back solidarity statements does more harm than good
The question of Palestine has become a black political litmus test, argues Annie Olaloku-Teriba, defining the very nature of black identity and politics
Shahd Abusalama recounts her father Ismail's experience in the Israeli prison system and calls for drastic reforms
There are one million children living in Gaza, trapped and under fire. By Omar Aziz
From the Land Day protests in 1976 to the Great Return March of today, the Palestinian struggle against colonial dispossession continues despite incredible odds, writes Ryvka Barnard
Students across the country are marking the UN International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, writes Huda Ammori.
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