this too
Sunday, March 20, 2005
  On the peace march

It was the first time I’d taken photos at a demonstration. It made me notice more. Who was there. How they looked. What was odd. What was beautiful. Took my mind away from the physical experience of a vast crowd, which I don’t much like – so many people crushed together makes me panic a bit.

I saw Tony Benn, wondering about vaguely on his own before the march, screwing up his eyes, as we all were, against the strong sun, followed him to the front of the column and hung around taking pictures while he talked to the BBC and Al Jazeera. A strange thing to do. Immediately involving. I craned and pushed with the other photographers, surprised at myself. Then I thought, I’m a quiet person who stares. I saw him before all the media people. I might be quite good at this.

As we walked in the hot sun, I spent a long time stalking a woman with a multicoloured silk peace flag, hoping it would unfurl in a breeze. Thinking, here, between interesting buildings; not here, not enough light… it kept me there when all I needed to be was one more body on the street to be counted.

Hotter and hotter, London gets hot so quickly. Then, not long after we reached Trafalgar Square, the wind got up and it felt like March again. As if we’d been somewhere else.

Good for you for being there, despite the crowds. I understand as i get a bit of panic too in crowds. Your photos are fabulous. Would have been there if my health had allowed. Most often i can't believe our government still supports America.
I loved seeing your pictures of the march, Jean - and yes, think you might be quite good at this!
Wonderful pics, I especially like the so spontaneous one of dear Tony Benn. Indeed you could (should?) do more of this.
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Freelance copy-editor and translator. Keen on language, literature, photography, art, music, buddhist meditation and the countryside.

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