Unite demonstration against BNP fascism in Bristol. It was a happy, sunlit demonstration with good traditional British policing (i.e. no kettling, agent provocateurs or violence, though there was one arrest, of which more later). There was a motor cavalcade from North Bristol, then we gathered in Castle Park before marching to the centre. There was a band on a lorry putting out great music (Bob Marley is great for demonstrations).
The Green Party had a good presence, and I was amazed at the positive response I got from the shoppers on the pavement as we handed out leaflets.
"Good day, Madam or sir, will you be voting in next month's electione?"
If "No", I say, "That's a pity, people have died to get the vite. Would that be because you are fed up with politics and politicians?"
Answer to this is always "Yes", so, "Well the Green Party shares that view. We have been battling against crap/useless (depending on the person) politicians for 30 years. This leaflet explains why we persevere. Voting only takes a minute, and you can express your disgust with politics more effectively by voting Green".
If "Yes" (they will be voting) I hand them a leaflet saying "This may help you to arrive at a good decision".
Some said "Yes, but not for the Green Party", to which the answer is "Fine, have a good day".
An amazing number said "Yes, I vote green/have voted green/will consider voting green".
Ricky Knight spoke well at the rally in the Centre, and then the band (Third Degree Burns) played dancable music, and I got to have a little jive with the hens from a hen party.
The arrest, which I photographed, seemed to happen like this, according to the buddy of the arrestee. They were handing out stop bombing Gaza leaflets on the edge of the march, and the police asked to see a leaflet. My informant offered them, but the arrestee said "No", grabbed the leaflets and ran off, resulting in his arrest. An eyewitness said the arrestee was shouting racist slogans and attacked a car, which his buddy totally denies, which shows how dodgy eyewitness accounts can be.