04 May, 2009
Criminals into Freeloaders (contd)
Reasonably well-behaved. (At least it was until I left the area at about 13:15 — I cannot speak for later. There may well have been look-outs reporting back, "Right, he's gone; let's get stuck in", but I doubt it somehow.) A thin, relaxed, but watchful police perimeter, with non-participant civilians wandering freely into and out of the edges of the central island.
The first speaker wished the audience "Salaam Aleikum", which struck me as a touch indiscreet bordering on provocative. Then they got down to the "Anybody here from Zimeroonia, etc?" morale-raising sequence. Judging by the crowd response and some of the banners there was a fairly significant South American presence. The Albanians, on the other hand, were absent or were keeping well shtum. Presumably the substantive speeches, if any, were given after I left.
People were handing out Union flags along with the leaflets, which struck me as a bit impertinent, to be honest. And there was even, Gordelpus, a feeble rendering of "God Save the Queen". Sorry, guys, I'm not convinced.
I will be interested to see the Press and TV reports later today, but on the showing so far, this "manifestation" is hardly up there with the Poll Tax Riots or the G20. There have been naughty suggestions from the Right that the Old Bill should have waited until the Undocumented were duly gathered, kettled the buggers and then identified and deported the illegals. In the event not an efficient use of resources, I feel.
The climate has definitely changed.