Yesterday, with my son in my heart, I went along to the Mother's March starting in Trafalgar Square.
I'd heard about it, read about it in the local press and figured I'd go. An international event, mothers are marching all over the world!!!!
Banners flying, music playing, whistles blowing, did I feel odd being there on my own? I don't know, I didn't think about it, I was just part of it.
We started to walk, singing along to a band; drums bass, and a woman I later learned was called Red Jen, leading the singing and getting us going, for we all had sheets with the words on:
Invest in caring not killing
Why must we fight for our living
How is it you can't see?
How women globally
Are pushed to slavery
I was walking along, singing along, when a young woman with flaming hair tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I'd mind helping her group hold their banner. Ooh! Ok! What does it say?!
A protest against the planning permission for a children's detention centre near Gatwick Airport. http://london.noborders.org.uk/
Well, it's called a "pre-departure accommodation centre" but we all know it's hardly going to be VIP. I was told locals are very scared people are going to go down and protest against these plans. Not fearfully protesting the detention of asylum seekers, no, protesting the protesters protesting the detention of innocent people... You get all sorts, you really do....
It was so nice to join in the march like that. I didn't expect it. My own mamma friends weren't walking and I hadn't been too sad about that because I didn't have my boy with me. I didn't want to miss him. I chatted away to the girl who's studying politics. Currently doing a module in Middle Eastern politics! I didn't ask her her thoughts on Libya. Silly really. She also volunteers for a charity. (Don't start me on the Tory Big Society...)
I told her I was a full time mother. Why is that never enough? Banners flying with "Every mother is a working mother" and yet I still feel I have to qualify it with something else. I told her I wrote and volunteered, sometimes.
In the event, it was good my son wasn't with me as it meant when the march reached SOAS (School of Oriental & African Studies), I could settle down and listen to all the testimonials. There were so many heartwrenching stories and I wondered if there was a Tory MP anywhere in the crowd. Minister for Home Affairs would be good, and she's a woman! Minister for Work and Pensions? Support the women?!
Nah. no minister of any colour there, though a Red one did send a message of support.
Only saying, I'm politically impartial me....