Hackney Stops The War
Anyone visiting Stoke Newington this week would assume from the proliferation of posters advertising Saturday's Stop the War demo that N16 is a hotbed of leftwing politics.
The scale of the actual demo suggests it is, in fact, merely a hotbed of a couple of Trots with wallpaper paste and a brush and too much time on their hands. (Hint to SWP: flyposting is illegal and there is CCTV all over Stokey High Street, your ASBO could be in the post).
As you can imagine I was delighted to find my Saturday afternoon shopping trip to Shaheen's Cash & Carry interrupted by the massed ranks of the proletariat (and Angus - don't worry I've not put it on your whip's file) marching northwards up the A10.
For the papersellers I encountered - I was the one with ginger hair who told you I wouldn't be buying your journal because I was a Zionist.
All 57 varieties of the Stokey radical fringe were represented there amongst the er... 120 ish protesters, from Neturei Karta http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neturei_Karta, who provide the 2 blokes that look like rabbis but carry "We Await the Total Annulment of Zionism" placards at every anti-Israel rally everywhere, through the SWP ("Why stop the war when our mates in Hezbollah are winning") to the hammer and sickle flags (how retro) of the Marxist Leninist Kommunist Party of Turkey ("Stop the War, Start Killing the Kulaks/Trots/democrats/middle classes).
Turnout was down by one as Dave Osler of Lordship Road http://davespartblog.blogspot.com/ is on a very timely holiday to Cuba ...
I was particularly gratified that some of the posters even had ideas for new wars even I hadn't thought of (pre-emptive stopping?) e.g. Syria, Iran. Where was North Korea, they must be feeling left out?
Anyway, after passing me, they turned right (surely some mistake) and held a mass (mini?) rally at that centre of the world zionist/capitalist/US imperialist power, Stoke Newington Common (well it is near my flat so maybe that counts). The usual stopping place of Hackney demos right opposite our flat outside the gates of Abney Park Cemetary seems to have been abandoned after Respect's 17 person rally during the election, which Linda & I cruelly disrupted by waving Vote Labour posters from our windows and shouting "we love Jules Pipe", then taking photos of Dean Ryan when he stuck 2 fingers up at us and shouted "come down here and say that" - childish, but fun...
Anyway, it must have gone well, because as well as increasing paper sales to each other, it stopped the war ... within hours the UN ceasefire was being signed up to by the Israeli and Lebanese cabinets... well done guys. Now please could you remove your flyposting.
P.S. to Mr Hamdy the newsagent, I am now boycotting your shop as its front window is full of STW posters ... this adds to my 8 year boycott of Yum Yum's Thai Restaurant after they advertised in Liberal Democrat Focus in March 1998.