To London to join with March for England and those members of the Casuals and EDL who could get time off work to counter the annual Al Quds march through Ramadan. This has been widely advertised on London’s buses, much to our disgust.
The march started to form up behind the BBC building in Portland place. We could hear a rather hyper-active young man with a northern accent trying to fire up the gathering crowd.
Give me a T, give me an A what have you got - takfir…..!!!!
Jews from Neturei Karta arrived and at 4 pm the march moved off. These are a selection of photographs of the banners and the type of person who attended. Hijabed stewards handed out exactly the same flyers that I was given back in 2009 – Zainab is still wailing outside her olive grove.
There is a line in the Fiddler on the Roof song Matchmaker 'You bring the Bridegroom, slender and pale'. Not that slender and not that pale, please!
Marching past the BBC (above) and All Souls Church (below)
Being a dozy bint is not confined to the young women.
The march made its way slowly down Regent Street; we moved quickly to Grosvenor Square to see it form up outside the embassy.
There was a large police presence. There was a pen to the side of the embassy for March for England but they were told they were not compelled to stay in it but safety could not be guaranteed within the garden if any of the Al Quds marchers recognised them.
We believe that the robust challenge to this march in previous years (when it was held on a Saturday or Sunday) is the reason the organisers decided to change to a Friday (albeit that the third Friday of Ramadan was the day originally decreed by the Ayatollah Khomeni) when it would be difficult for working men and women to get time off.
The march formed up and speeches began with the assistance of a large screen for those at the back. It began with a recitation from the Koran and continued with a speech from Rabbi Jacob or Yaqub who was wearing a PLO scarf.
The hyper-active young man above aspires to be Freddie Mercury I fear.
Zionism has got to go – say eh oh, say eh oh.
It was less stadium rock and more Teletubbies.
The next speaker was Sister Saracena who declaimed one of her ‘poems’.
“They shoot my neighbours of the hell of it . . .
They say I am a terrorist because I wave my flag
I will wave my flag till all they can see
Is red, white, green and black, “
Some of the men of March for England made a formal complaint about the presence of the green and yellow Hezbullah flags with their picture of the AK47 rifle and promotion of violence. They asked the police to have them removed as this promotion of terrorism is offensive. I don’t know what the police said to the Al Quds organisers but the complaint did reach them. The gathering was told from the platform to ‘keep the flag up, enjoy it, it’s a beautiful flag, we love it, mwah, mwah, mwah (kissing noises and gesture)’
The next speech was from one of the Mullahs (or so I took him to be from his turban)
He said ‘Israel must be wiped off the map. Iran will not wipe Israel off the map. No country will wipe Israel off the map. Israel will wipe itself off the map.”
People were starting to drift away from the rally. Sneaky cigarettes and drinks from bottles of water were being taken behind posts. Mothers had been supervising their children playing by the fountain for some time. The usual suspects Yvonne Ridley and Lauren Booth were due to speak but I had not spotted them in the march past. Groups of youths were suddenly much in evidence and I decided we could live without hearing Ridley yet again. It seemed like a good time to leave.
Photographs by E Weatherwax, S Sto Helit and MfE
August 2012 London