Today is bright and sunny but the morning doesn’t have the intense, crisp coldness of 15th February 2003.
How would I know?
That’s the day our family discovered its inner peace activist and headed for Glasgow Green to protest against the war in Iraq, which then looked inevitable.
Bob and I wore yellow “not in my name’ t-shirts. Anna was 3 and in her buggy. She acquired a plastic dove from somewhere and enthusiastically waved it. She tells me now that my explanation of the war was “rubbish.” Like I was going to traumatise a three year old with the harsh reality of war.
We arrived on Glasgow Green at the back of ten and joined an enormous serpentine line of unlikely protesters. On the train we’d met people like us, not your usual marchers, who felt so strongly about the course of action Blair was hell bent on taking.
We waited. And waited. A few games of Tig with Anna kept hypothermia at bay – just. It was quite a moment when we finally started to move, over two hours later.
We may not have succeeded in our aim, but we made our point. I was so glad that our party had done the right thing. It was quite brave to disagree with beware as it could and was, wrongly, portrayed as not supporting the troops. I just hope that if such an issue arises again, our instincts would be just as right.
We never made it all the way to the SECC. Anna had had enough by the time we got about three quarters of the way there so we headed home to thaw out. That was the first of many marches & protests we’ve been on since.
At the end of 2009, as the Iraq Enquiry was set up, I took part in a BBC website feature in which I recalled the march. You can see it here. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8374992.stm