Womens March On London (Trafalgar Square) - January 21, 2017.
I spent most of my time watching. Watching groups of young women take selfies, passive aggressive in their jaunty pumping of their home made signs. Watching iPhone journalists jostle and elbow bemused tourists, chanters and protesters out of the way for the best shot to upload quickly to social networks. Beanie wearing weekend warriors and their darlings eating buckwheat pita breads slathered in more than likely, organic hummus (from plastic containers)
I saw one man with, I assume his two young daughters, grab some discarded signs off the ground and immediately start snapping selfies while grinning onlookers fired off shots at them from their various devices and cameras.
It all felt a bit narcissistic, a bit garish - pretty much like Trumps Cheeto tan and toupe combover…
As I stood in the frigid cold, with Nelsons phallic column standing erect, piercing the pure Winter blue sky, and the Fourth Plinth giving the exaggerated thumbs up, I could not help but be aware of the ironic situation I found myself in.
Here I am, at a Womans March - taking place in the centre of centuries of stone misogyny, echoes of colonialism still bouncing off the bricks at Whitehall and Big Ben.
But the mermaids, ominous in their stony silence, sirens more powerful in their myth than the reality of the numerous dicks in their blues and twos surrounding the square reminded me their story from the Jamaican perspective. Folklore has it that the fabled mermaid or ‘Riva Mumma’ lure unsuspecting men to their deaths below the water, never to be seen again.
I am not a political or social analyst and neither am I a clairvoyant - so I cannot predict the future through statistics or mystic visions. But I can still have a perspective albeit one that may appear a bit cynical.
What I took away from this experience is how people can become united and mobilised for a single cause - even if only for one afternoon and that action is better than inaction. That I have a voice and I can choose to be silent, complain about the futility of it all from the comfort of an armchair and a laptop or be part of a solution to an extraordinarily complex world problem that we all, not least me, should be motivated to do something about. It was heartening to see the number of families that were out with their children and getting them involved. They may not quite understand but experience will teach them. And maybe, they will grow up to be wiser, kinder, more hopeful and less cynical than so many of us currently are. The future is here and time continues its relentless march - so lace up your boots - we all have much further to go than we ever imagined…