Anti-Trump protest

I wanted to share some photos on here.  On Friday 13th July 2018, I attended the anti-Trump protest in London.  As well as this sharing of my photos on my website, I felt compelled to write about it and I am not entirely sure why.

As per usual, I cycled from my home to Wellingborough Train Station.  Arriving a whole 15 minutes before my train, which is uncommon for me, I sat down and took a leisurely scroll through Twitter and Facebook.  Suddenly my phone froze and turned off.  Maybe once or twice in the past it has done this, but I have just pressed the power button and it has either re-lit up, or fully then re-started and come back to life.  This time, the word “Google” appeared and then it went black.  And once more “Google” appeared, and black and this loop continued over and over.  My train pulled in.  Once settled, I tried plugging it in and pressing the power button.  Nothing.  The word “Google” didn’t even grace my screen.  I suddenly remembered the sound down and power-on combination, which, when pressed in the correct order, and held for long enough, should enter into the phone’s recovery mode.  “Wonderful,” I thought, and then it dawned on me after ten seconds I was still staring at my reflection. 

I wouldn’t categorise myself as “needing” my phone.  I know people around my age, some older and many, many younger people who seem surgically connected to their devices.  With pleasure, I can place it in my bag and, as long as a random stranger is also feeling convivial, strike up a random conversation.  Equally, I can happily disconnect from the world and ponder.  And I can allow my imagination to run wild about the mysterious lives of my fellow passengers.  However, I am of that generation that is able to reap the benefits of technology.  On my phone, I have, or I did have, an array of apps which could fill my eyes, or my ears with content.  I had BBC iPlayer, iPlayer radio, podcast apps, Netflix and many more. I really enjoy train travel but I quite would have liked to have watched Queer Eye on Netflix whilst occasionally peering out of the window. 

Most pressing was the fact I needed to make an phone call, or text to my friend, Tom.  The importance laid on the fact it involved arranging the day ahead.  In the evening of Thursday, there was a probability I’d go down to London but I wasn’t 100% sure.  I awoke on Friday and felt like joining the crowds.  The loss of my phone, minutes before boarding meant that I could not make this arrangement.  I could have, and I would have, asked a fellow passenger if I could borrow their phone, but I had no idea what his phone number was.  After arriving in St. Pancras, I cycled towards the Thames and crossed Waterloo Bridge.  It did take having to ask to borrow Google Maps, but I had navigated to only 5 minutes away and I was then pointed in the right direction.  I knocked on the door and found out I missed him by only 10 minutes.

Slightly deflated, I got the tube up to Oxford Circus and stood near to BBC Broadcasting House.  Here, I admitted to myself that I would be alone that day – but it didn’t matter.  The atmosphere on the march was intense and the mood was great.  I took many photos and a few videos. 

In the words of Trump, the crowds were bigly, or big league.  Enormous.  Huge!  It seemed to just keep going.  Eventually though, it did come to an end and I walked down, sometimes on the pavement, towards Trafalgar Square.  This gave me the chance to take in a further glace at many of the placards and displays I had seen past me, but also owing to my pavement dodging skills, also the ability to see some new ones.  The human, especially in times of protest, is incredibly resourceful.  The slogans chanted, the placards waved and the creations made were fantastic.  I think Trump got the message.

Soon after arriving in Trafalgar Square, I was greeted by the Trump-baby.  For days and days beforehand, page upon page of newspaper and pixel upon pixel of newspapers’ web sites and social media feeds had been dominated by this.  Many people have been outraged at this apparently giant balloon flying high above London.  I didn’t see it at Parliament Square but going by its size as it was walked a few foot over the crowd, I don’t think it was that over-bearing.  It was funny.  And a form of protest. 

It was at this moment, I saw John Sweeney of Panorama fame.  It was really quite a quaint sight seeing him filming, probably, a Panorama programme or some kind of Trump protest special.  I shall keep my eyes peeled.

I didn’t stay for too long and decided to walk, yes, walk to St. Pancras.  Usually, I would cycle.  Walking though gave me time to appreciate some unseen sights and take some different routes.  Owing to the ease and the unknown one-way systems, I often cycle back using artery roads.  Walking, with the ability to often check my hand-held map, which I coincidentally packed, allowed me to absorb the atmosphere around Covert Garden and near the British Museum.  I admit that here I cheated and got the bus.  Despite relaxing and nearly nodding off, I realised that I would have arrived at St. Pancras far quicker had I continued by foot.  The number of cars delaying the journey, especially nearing Euston Station was ridiculous.  Why do people choose to drive their cars in central London on a Friday night?

My train back to Wellingborough was one of East Midland’s old trains.  One which I, despite enjoying its quaint British Rail feel, sometimes moan about because it lacks charging points.  However, without a phone to worry about, I fully enjoyed the ride home.  Towards the end, despite breaking a few Health and Safety rules, after checking no bridge was approaching, I lowered the window and stuck my head out.  I felt the fresh evening breeze.  It was a lovely.  And it was a lovely day.

Samuel x

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