A 5am start for a 6 hour bus journey to London; we haul on our banners and take our seats. Talk on the bus is how many people we think will turn up. 10,000 seemed an average. 11am and we’re not even there yet, how many miles to go? 50. Shit.
We finally arrive at 1pm. 2 hours later than expected, we run through the streets of London waving our Cornish flags, trying to catch up with the crowd. Somehow we ended up at the start of the march as we head back on ourselves chanting with the massive 50,000 others we bump into.
The speeches begin. Members of NUS and UCU take stage, encouraging us to scream and chant.
“WHAT DO WE WANT? Free education. WHEN DO WE WANT IT? Now.”
The girl next to me is sick. I can smell the sambuka oozing off her. Typical student.
The crowd is buzzing with energy. We’re cheering and shouting, making our point, making sure the government can hear us from wherever they’re hiding. It’s exciting. We’re all here because of something we believe in. We are united.
I sit and enthusiastically note every important word the speakers are saying, dropping my phone as I tweet every photo I take. Is this what Journalism is about? If so, I’m in.
The speeches end and we all head off in separate ways, ready to make noise somewhere else. (For most, it wasn’t to the Millibank house!)
We get to where our bus is supposed to be. It isn’t there. Turns out it’s at the other end of London. We walk through the streets as they are emptying. Placards thrown into every bush. Insults of MP’s scrawled everywhere.
I pass Big Ben. I cross the London Bridge. I walk through Westminster Abbey. Thrilled to bits! I’ve never really been to London. It’s been an amazing day. Especially as I walk down the River Thames as the sun starts to set.
We find our bus and get on. I have a two-hour nap. Apparently, we’ve only moved a few meters. Finally getting out of London, we head home. We reach Falmouth at 1am, it’s been a long day. A successful, but long, day.
Looking forward to the next protest in March!