Portents were good. Getting off the Metro at Monument I heard two grans, with grandchildren, discussing where the march started and what sort of music there would be. In Grainger Street, even fifteen minutes before the scheduled assembly time, there was already a procession of people moving towards the Centre for Life with rolled up banners & flags. I laid out the red t-shirts and put one on; they were printed with "Known Troublemaker", "Tax Caviar not Pasties" or " T-Shirt Slogan on Strike". The pasties one got the most grins and thumbs up, but 'Known Troublemaker' was the one everybody wanted to wear; total strangers were buying them & we sold out.
The march was bigger than last year with a brass band, TU banners, campaigning groups and lefties of all descriptions; I rapidly aquired free copies of Resistance, Catalyst, Socialist Standard, The Progressive Claxion, the programme for Marxism 2012 and Aurora. At the back of the march was the red t-shirt bloc which was large, noisy and which carried out a Boycott Workfare picket of McDonalds in Northumberland Street.
All of which is a bit boring and not what you want to know about; what you quite rightly want to know about is THE FIGHT.
This happened at the Rally at Exhibition Park. It was caused by the appearance of a Labour MP on the speakers' platform. He was heckled and the stage was invaded by a comrade who was removed; there was some finger jabbing and younger comrades were told that they were nothing but an anarchist hate mob and that they should form their own party & get themselves elected. There was some scuffling and the whole thing only calmed down when an eco-warrior managed to restrain a tankie in a head lock. We have it on video as it happens, but won't be putting it on the net cos it's too much faff to blank out the faces.
Some people left after this, assuming that the best of the entertainment was over. Wrong, in my opinion, because a little while later a trade union speaker took the stage and within a couple of minutes he had everyone cheering and punching the air. He did this by slagging the Labour Party, announcing class war and pledging solidarity not only to other workers but to communities and everyone else fighting back. Even better was that this was followed by animated discussions between members of this guy's union and the anarchist hate mob. Not arguments, but ways of communicating and plans for highly effective direct action. It's not appropriate to say more of course, but it will be good.
Anyway, we then went off to the pub; (contented sigh). Second best day of the year. So far.