Westminster bells overwhelm our chants and slogans.
Anyway the commentators aren’t here to listen to us.
On temporary platforms constructed out of scaffolding,
They’re holding forth under listless Union Jacks.
They’re putting the network spin on events as they unfold,
While the flaky plane-trees leaning over everything
Will be here longer than any demonstration, even one that invites
Fluffy microphones and big no-nonsense cameras
Hoisted on shoulders to take a good look at its placards.
Interviews generate ribbons of vehemence soon for the cutting-room floor.
But here we are, the veterans of legendary marches,
The passionate old birds who have given up on appearance,
The leprechaun whose protest is peculiar to himself,
The young ones pitching whole-heartedly into the responses:
We’re here. We’re making our presence felt.
Some of us have brought our own megaphones
And seem dedicated to bursting the eardrums of the constables
In yellow over-jackets who keep trying to herd us back onto the
Pavement while remaining professionally aloof. To them
We’re simply a gathering their duty is to control; but actually
We are a groundswell, raising our banners, proud of our t-shirts;
Epithets grandly proclaimed on pieces of cardboard floating
Above our rucksacks, bringing our dogs to bark out our messages.
Masked in a leader’s likeness, we are waving bloody hands.