Wandering around London

Nod and I met up with Simon and Ed:

Simon and Ed

at Baker Street, and it was such a pleasant day that we decided to wander around London for a while. We headed over to Trafalgar Square, where we found this:

Anti-war demonstration at Trafalgar Square

Anti-war Demonstration 3

which was, quite frankly, bizarre. I don’t know whether they’d been marching around London before, but they were circling the square for all the time we were watching. A large stage by Nelson’s Column held various speakers, who were somewhat vociferous regarding their subjects, which varied tremendously. If you look at the larger version of the above photo you’ll be able to see many different placards and banners. ‘No Nukes’ was my favourite. I’d also like to ban spiders, if it’s at all possible. There were also people from the ‘Respect’ party (really various Socialist Workers Partys under a general name) and, strangely the RMT. I even heard somebody on stage say, to a large roar from the crowd, that the railways should be deprivatized. Quite what that has to do with war I don’t know.

Speaking of which, what war? There’s a war on? The main thrust of this march was to bring the troops home. Remember, this is the same Stop the War collation who said:

The StWC reaffirms its call for an end to the occupation, the return of all British troops in Iraq to this country and recognises once more the legitimacy of the struggle of Iraqis, by whatever means they find necessary, to secure such ends.

Like blowing people up, for example. Nice. Anyway, the whole thing was pretty silly. It annoys me that they don’t actually discuss any real issues at these things. People run around holding signs saying ‘Bush: World’s #1 Terrorist’, and ‘Stop the war in Iran’ (who’s talking about invading Iran? stop making up this crap) and the police have to do this:

Police around Trafalgar Square

They were blocking every exit, and Whitehall had at least ten vans full of officers. We even saw mounted police down one side street. Just think of all the good they could be doing around the rest of the city instead of babysitting these people. The only good thing was that traffic was blocked off for a good radius, so we could walk freely down Whitehall and around the square without worry.

Nod, Ed, Simon and I hung around making sarcastic comments for a while, then walked down Whitehall. Downing Street had extra protection at the gates, and armed officers. We walked past the houses of parliament, across the bridge and then down to the always impressive London Eye:

London Eye

I always forget quite how cool it actually is 🙂 Past the Eye were various street entertainers who danced, juggled or stood very still. I liked the man who, holding a long didgeridoo-like tube, had a sign saying ‘SEE THE AMAZONIAN MONKEY! LOOK IN TUBE’. So I did. As I looked in he started jabbering like a monkey with his mouth to the other end of the tube, and inside I did indeed see a monkey. There was a mirror which flipped the lower half of his face vertically, and he’d stuck two grey eyes onto his beard. It was exquisitely ridiculous, but rather amusing and I felt he deserved some money for sheer cheek 🙂 These guys also made me laugh:

Street Entertainers

After sitting in a coffee shop for a while we headed to Leicester Square and saw Hostage, for