A handful of hi-viz jacketed symbols of authority, consisting of a mixture of police officers, PCSOs and private inSwindon security guards, kept a watchful eye on proceedings from a distance. They were not needed in the end as the event passed off entirely peacefully.
An assortment of politicians and activists from across the political spectrum addressed the assembly, and were filmed by yours truly in order to show to the people of Gaza (when they have electricity anyway) and the warmongers in the Israeli government that the world is watching them.
Cllr Derique Montaut (Lab, Central): http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=88W5xMHlVNg
Cllr Michael Dickinson (Cons, Freshbrook & Grange Park): http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=rZ_-squmEJM
Anne Snelgrove MP (Lab, Swindon South): http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=SuHoifDHdUw
Jenni Miles (Swindon Green Party): http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=wmyv8U5dD4A
Pete Smith (National Union of Teachers): http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=YVDbHhdo1-g
Cllr Junab Ali (Lab, Central): http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=60wZue1sidA
Andy Newman (Swindon GMB): http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=6fHQnXezAdY
Martin Wicks (Swindon TUC): http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=N2oup9SZh_E
Cllr Bob Wright (Lab, Central): http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=SIE20JkG1XY
And the 10-minute edited highlights version, for sharing with friends who don’t want to watch all the speeches in full: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=37o7V0Ao4z0
After around forty minutes of speeches and two minutes of silence for the dead on both sides, the assembly dispersed as peacefully as it had arrived.
What’s coming up?
Stop the War Coalition have called a national demonstration in London for Saturday 24th January, assembling at BBC Broadcasting House for a march to Trafalgar square. Swindon peace activists are investigating transport options for this event. If you would like to join a coach (estimated cost £12 waged or £6 unwaged), or if there is no coach but you would like to travel with other protestors on the train (estimated cost £25 if a little ingenuity is used when buying the ticket) then please write to office [at] swindonstopwar dot org dot uk.
On Tuesday 27th January there will be a fundraising gig at the Beehive pub in Prospect Place, Swindon (behind the old Regents Circus college and up the hill a bit), to raise money for Medical Aid for Palestine. This event starts at 8pm and will feature Dub the Earth, The Sweet Plums, Natasha Griffiths and Stuart Rowe.