Sunday, March 21, 2004

No a la guerra

Piled out to the manifestación yesterday with Lurid A. It was pretty big; the Beeb say 200,000 but I'm betting it was more. Great atmosphere, as usual: floats, lavish home-made banners, samba music, kiddies in face-paint. It's really cute to see a whole family marching together, parents, grandparents, kids, all chanting in unison.
My fave costume? The seven-foot tall blue alien with the "PAZ UNIVERSALE" placard.

It was a festive atmosphere, but there was an edge of sorrow there too. Many people had added black ribbons to their anti-war banners; one man carried a placard that simply showed the black memorial ribbon with MADRID written below it and BAGDAD above. There was a great deal of anger, too, much of it directed to the recently-ousted Aznar.

I'm impressed by the peaceful nature of Spanish protests, as well as the high turn-outs. The police prescence was microscopic, not like back home. (Honestly, I've been on marches where the protesters were outnumbered two to one by the old Bill.)

Later we met a couple of friends for a meal in Barceloneta and then walked along the beach. There were a few protesters camped out in sleeping bags and tents, votive candles burning next to a placard remembering the dead of Madrid.

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