Rebecca Manson Jones, 27 January 2013

Quick version:

I don't do demos

I did this one

I might not have without the context of D&D (make of that what you will)

It was great: friendly, moving, massive and we hope effective

The surprise: Millwall FC moved their match so as not to clash (MFC one of the factors

behind me not doing demos)

If you want to help save Lewisham AE and all the others which are at risk, if you

believe that local hospitals and maternity wards matter, you can still sign the petiition.

The final decision is not due to be signed off until 4th February, and just remember

that in opposition David Cameron said he would go to the wall over keeping local

hospitals open (bad summary - check out the actual quote do)

I learned that mass groups don't have to be scary or intimidating, that it's ok to leave

when you've had enough, that there's a big boggy field in Catford, that a smiling police

presence makes the world a better place.

the long version:

When I was a kid I grew up in a location where there were no marches, where people

who marched were not like us.

The only crowds I saw as a teenager were the football “fans” tearing up the town. I

went on one march as a newbie to London opposing the Thatcherite arts and

education cuts. I got separated from my friends, I was dragged into a group of scary

militant types (I think that's what they were) I did not feel I was contributing but I hadn't

yet discovered the law of two feet and so rather than leaving with a confident

demeanour, I legged it at the earliest opportunity, and in many senses I've never been


However, one thing that puzzles me as I hit my middle ages is the political apathy I

see around me amongst people who know better, think better and do nothing, who

assume that going to demos is for extremists and loonies. That there's nothing we can

do anyway. No-one cares. They're too busy.

I have been a person like that. Shy or lazy or lost in some way. And we have the

luxury of being like that in Uk and that's amazing. But I keep thinking that I should find

out what it's like to be someone who does stand up and does shout out. And does that

in a crowd to government when our democracy seems to be broken. And then owns it

and writes about the experience. (I'm finding this hard to write and normally I'd hit

delete now). But I'm going to let it stand.

I have good intentions but usually I don't show up. so in the context of D&D I decided

to show up. Nothing bad happened. I can do this again.

And that's why I've written the report


nothing bad happened, open space, Save Lewisham AE, Open Space, democracy,

Open space, Millwall FC, demos, David Cameron, DandD8