Socialist Worker

Angry protesters turn their back on Thatcher’s funeral

by Judith Orr
Issue No. 2349

Demonstrators look away as Thatcher

(Pic : Guy Smallman)


Military bands marched down the road in advance of Margaret Thatcher’s funeral cortege in their full ceremonial regalia with pith helmets and some swathed in tiger skin.

Thatcher’s funeral was political. There was no way David Cameron could pretend otherwise.

The police code name for the event was Operation True Blue and it was a state funeral in everything but name costing the public up to £10 million.

Up to 300 demonstrators were in no mood for mourning at Ludgate Circus by the end of Fleet Street. Under pressure the police had allowed the protest and many demonstrators wore red to show they weren’t there to mourn.

“She sent gay rights back by two decades,” Susan Hansen told Socialist Worker, “So I’m here for Section 28.” This was the notorious law that banned councils from “promoting homosexuality”. Susan turned around and showed the back of her coat with a large number 28 sewn on.

Some of those invited to the funeral had to abandon their cabs and walk through the crowd in big hats and tail suits.

But Sue Thompson-Born and Hilary Barry came along together to be part of the protest. “We are here because we remember the 1970s, the 1980s and the 1990s, in fact we remember now. We are living with the legacy of Thatcherism.” said Sue. “Why should we respect the dead when she didn’t respect the living.”

Hilary said she had come because “We owe it all to those people whose lives were made miserable by Thatcher.”

The Hillsborough Justice Campaign, which has fought for the 96 who died in the football stadium disaster, brought their banner.

Socialist Worker placards declared “We remember the miners, Falklands, poll tax, and Bobby Sands”. Others carried homemade placards denouncing Tory Scum.

When the cortege approached hundreds of protestors turned their backs together and holding their placards aloft booed and jeered.

One held up a pint of milk to symbolise the free milk Thatcher stole from seven year olds in 1971.

Inside St Pauls a few Tory celebrities friends including Terry Wogan and Shirley Bassey joined a mass of assorted right wingers and warmongers—including former US vice president Dick Cheney and ex secretary of state Henry Kissinger.

But at the numerous parties in pit villages and pubs across the country and among the protestors in London people cheered.

They were glad to witness the end of a hated Tory politician who had inflicted so much damage on so many ordinary working class people in her years in office.

 

 


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Wed 17 Apr 2013, 15:47 BST
Issue No. 2349
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