Saturday, 30 October 2010
Today I joined the demonstration organised in London by the United Family and Friends. We kept to the ritual followed by the previous annual demonstrations. They take place on the last Saturday in October. We gather at Trafalgar Square with banners and walk slowly down to Downing Street. I still have the banner that belonged to Pauline Campbell commemorating the death of her daughter Sarah who died in Styal prison, January 2003. Since Pauline's own death in 2008, I have taken the banner to London joining others grieving for the men and women and children who have died in custody. Today's demonstration was very moving. Families took it in turn to tell their story as they stood outside the gates of Downing St. A letter that was to be handed in to the Prime Mionister was read out. The police refused to open the gate and accept the letter. A copy was posted on the gate and another will be delivered by post. All this took place with a policeman with his machine gun at the ready on the other side of the gate. The protestors voiced their disapproval. So much for demoocracy and our right to peaceful protest.