I marched several times in my younger days almost always in anti racist demos. I taught at a school with many Asian immigrants back in the 70's. We had several young children roughed up on their way to school and almost the entire staff joined a march leading through the town to a large
park where we had speakers laid on.
Walking in obvious pain was an old lady. She leant on my arm and explained why she was there. She had been in Auswitch she said. She had seen racists in action. These people had to be stopped before what happened to the Jews happened to anyone else. Her determination to finish the march and to stand and be counted filled my eyes with tears and my heart with admiration.
After that I went on several other marches..the local ones through towns were never a problem but the one through Manchester could have been. The organizers knew that some would join in order to start the violence. They had tried it before and had to be stopped. We walked sometimes singing, some times in silence but every so often rioters started to try to engage us. When that happened we just completely surrounded and isolated them though some of us got hurt in the process.
In any one crowd there are going to be people for whom conflict is a way of life. It's up to the rest of us to try to stop it when we can.
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