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More photos of the London Covid demo last Saturday

Last Saturday a mate of mine dropped by to see me, having just been at the Covid demo
mentioned here
earlier. My mate brought photos with him. You can see most of those he gave me here and here.

But look at these, and you’ll get the picture:

I have very mixed feelings about demos. When they work is when people generally are surprised by the demo, either because they didn’t know about the issue in question until now, or because they had no idea people felt so strongly about it, or because they didn’t think enough people had the guts to complain about it in public. None of this applied to this demo. There’s been a Lockdown, which many consider to have been pointless, a cure worse than the disease, and even if it did once serve a purpose it should end now. And, here are some of those grumblers, gathering in a crowd in London, with signs. I can see why some genuinely don’t think this is big news. Although, despite gloomy prophecies of a news black-out, it was small news.

Another problem is that demos are awfully liable to put out mixed messages. It only needs a few off-message demonstrators to get in on the act, and the whole thing can be sabotaged. In this case, I recall some of the news coverage I caught saying that this was a demonstration against vaccines. Vaccines have been mostly very popular, are much touted now as one of the government’s few definite successes, and are in many anti-Lockdowner opinions a big reason why Lockdown should now stop, rather than part of it. There are no anti-vaccine signs to be seen in any of my mate’s photos, but a news team only needs one such to be bending the whole reporting of the event completely out of shape.

Where demos, even of the most un-newsworthy sort, do have an impact is that those who attend them get to know each other and exchange ideas. I remember watching some Remain demos, long after Brexit had won the referendum, and even I think, after the voters had voted “Get Brexit Done” at the last general election, and thinking that this couldn’t change the decision, and I was right. These Remainers, only then, I now realise, were realising what they were about to lose. Until they finally lost, they thought they’d win. But these too-much-too-late demonstrators would, as I realised at the time, at least be influencing each other, forming networks and spreading ideas, and this might have consequences down the line. Perhaps one consequence will be a slight strengthening of any campaign in the future for Britain to rejoin the EU. I can’t see such a campaign succeeding, but if it gets its fangs into any major political party, it will surely damage that party, in the eyes of all those who voted Leave, and many more besides. “Move on.” “Get over it.” You can just hear the young besuited types trying to stop such talk, because they will surely know how it will damage the new arrangements that they are now busily contriving.

In the case of this London demo last Saturday, there is surely at least the possibility that libertarian ideas may spread amongst the demonstrators, from all those who already think this way, to all those who didn’t, but may now be starting to. I, of course, want to believe this. I also wonder what other consequence this demo, and all the others like it up and down the country, may have.

17 comments to More photos of the London Covid demo last Saturday

  • bobby b

    The most effective demonstrations are those that are in alignment with what the Powers That Be already want to do but don’t yet dare.

    I’ve watched quite a few demos here in Minnesota this year which involved fires and people hitting other people with sticks. The main effect of these demos was the Minneapolis City Council and the Minnesota governor finally feeling free to do things such as shrink the police force and hand money to facists.

    Perhaps demos on the right are simply too nice. (But, what are Libertarians going to demonstrate FOR? “We demand less power!”?)

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Demonstrations are like voting: only works for the left.

  • Demonstrations are much misunderstood; particularly ones like this (& this was a huge demonstration).

    They are not going to change state policy directly because that just isn’t how things work, they are mostly about deisolating activists, they are about demonstrating to the demonstrators that they are not crazy (even if some of them are as is the case in any group of disparate people). Demonstrations are a building process. Demonstrations in this case are particularly effective at highlighting assorted lies about this particular disease. After all, get hundreds of thousands unmasked unvaccinated people shouting for a few hours face to face, there is going to be an observable spike in deaths each time, right? Right? 🤣

    Some demonstrations against the lockdown got hammered by the police earlier on… why? Because they were small enough to get hammered by the police to try and discourage other demonstrations. In this demonstration, the police were so vastly outnumbered, by a march that refused to even tell the police where it was going to march (by design), there was never any chance it could be stopped with truncheons. And the demonstration’s organisation was connected yet dispersed, utterly protean: a couple organisers were arrested before the march to try and derail it, and expecting that, others on various platforms seamlessly took over.

    What THAT demonstrates to the marchers is that resistance is not futile, they are not alone. In fact, they are legion. It was an anti-lockdown march but it was also an anti-media march, giving lie to the idea that utterly dominating the media dominates public opinion (as if Brexit had not already proven the falsity of that in the internet age). How many times do crap opinion polls have to get it wrong for demonstrable things (such as election & referendum outcomes) for you to stop believing them when things are less demonstrable?

    If you don’t ‘get it’ then who cares; you are most likely not the target audience. But these marches are not a pointless hissy fit like some marches, these particular marches are literal in-your-face defiance of instructions by the state intending to protect you from “the inevitable consequences of a terrible disease spreading amongst crowds”. These marches are an absolute refusal to obey & a demonstration that the state relies on your willing even if grudging compliance, because there is a tipping point beyond which they do not have enough people with truncheons to force your compliance. That is what demonstrations like this are for & it is working just fine.

  • there is surely at least the possibility that libertarian ideas may spread amongst the demonstrators

    This was the most anti-statist march I’ve ever seen in Britain, all by people who’ve never even heard the term ‘anti-statist’. I was really surprised how many anti-NHS sentiments were on display given ‘everyone knows that everyone loves and supports the NHS’.

  • Stonyground

    There was a brilliantly funny picture of a Funeral Director’s shop front with a “Thank You NHS” poster in the window. For some reason I couldn’t get the image to copy so that I could share it.

  • Stonyground

    I just came across this article which seems to confirm what most of us already suspected.


  • Jon Eds

    I don’t agree with some of the crazier stuff about lizard overlords or it all being a conspiracy to reduce the world’s population, but these people are on our side and you ‘don’t hit right/whatever direction it is’. They also bring energy to our side.

    Movements need breadth and mostly everybody has a role to play. We have people on the ground and some friends in media, plenty of academics. In the UK what we are sadly missing is a fire breathing politician. All respect due to Steve Baker, but we need hard hitting emotional rhetoric and Faragist insults; not mealy mouthed words about how we need balanced evidence or whatever. Nobody is listening to you.

  • bobby b

    “But these marches are not a pointless hissy fit like some marches, these particular marches are literal in-your-face defiance of instructions by the state intending to protect you from “the inevitable consequences of a terrible disease spreading amongst crowds”.”

    Once again, the effectiveness of a demo is bolstered by the presence, not just of pointless yelling, but of active civil disobedience.
    – Riots with fires: effective.
    – Placarding peacefully with a permit: bleh.
    – Risking arrest by gathering in direct violation of the complained-of state exercise of power: effective.

    The Right needs more of this. In the USA, we need more January 6th demos. That seems to get attention.

  • Good analysis by Perry de Havilland (London) (June 30, 2021 at 6:47 am). Ten men acting together can make a hundred thousand tremble apart – or don masks apart – but there is an important sense in which the ten still need a very high proportion of the hundred thousand to cooperate (especially in a state that retains many liberal – old sense – features): they cannot lock everyone up.

    Brian’s OP discussion of the anti-vax issue is also sensible. We must remember the ratios are not ten to one hundred thousand in our favour. Some people are astonishingly unbothered by masks.

    bobby b’s situation in the US differs from ours in the UK. We have at least the government we voted for, with all its faults. Both moving opinion polls and raising the net costs of illiberal laws can affect things. In the US, a federal government that used the pandemic excuse a lot to steal votes may see existential threat in abandoning it, so the analysis of what can work and how is different.

  • APL

    Niall Kilmartin: “We have at least the government we voted for, with all its faults.”

    That is but small recompense for the fact that, it doing NOTHING that I expected it to do and everything that I would have expected Labour to attempt to do.

    I have to say though, I never imagined that the Labour Party would ever nationalize the entire economy ( I mean the entire economy ). But that’s exactly what Boris Johnson’s administration, advised by the Communists on SAGE, have done.

  • Paul Marks

    It has been a long time since “a couple of weeks to flatten the curve” back in March 2020.

    The lockdowns in the Western world have not “saved lives” – they have wreaked societies, and EARLY TREATMENT for Covid 19 (which really could have saved lives) was systematically smeared.

    The policies of the World Economic Forum, World Health Organisation (that puppet of the People’s Republic of China CCP dictatorship), and the rest of the Corporate State international establishment will lead to nothing but harm, they will lead to destruction and despair.

  • […] I managed to do a posting that I had merely hoped to do for Samizdata, about the Covid demo in London the weekend before […]

  • APL

    Toby Young: “I really don’t get why it was “misogynistic” of Madeley to ask Susan Michie whether her hard left politics have affected her position on mask mandates,”

    The first time in eighteen months that Susan Michie has been asked if her Communist ideology informs the ‘scientific’ advice she gives to government.

    Also note, Toby Young describes her Communist sympathies as ‘hard’ left, rather than ‘extreme’. Which is the sort of characterisation someone on the right might recieve.

  • APL

    ” the reasons are the Delta variant, is certainly the most transmissible, the most dangerous we have seen so far. In fact with the original virus if one infected person could spread it to two or three people, this variant the delta variant, one infected person can infect eight people …” Soumya Swaminathan ( WHO Chief Scientist )

    Now they are just making this gibberish up as they go along.

  • APL

    This is a fascinating and illuminating discussion.

  • APL

    Now, it turns out the inflenza vaccine is useless too, but at least it doesn’t kill you at the same rate as the anti COVID mRNA vaccine. So there is that.

  • APL

    I looked at the VAERS database about a week ago, and again this evening, mortality in proximity to the mRNA ‘vaccination’ has increased by 2000 in one week.

    Total reported as of second of July, 9048.