Week 3 – Politics As Usual

Last October, I went to an anti-war demonstration in Trafalgar Square. I know the issue of Iraq now seems stale to many, but I’d never been to a demo before and I thought it was brilliant.

For me, the funniest moment came at the start of the march – I needed to get my wheelchair over a kerb, so I asked the guy in front of me to help lift it up. A few minutes later, the friend I’m with nonchalantly explains that I have just asked some high-flying MP to “gimme a hand” with the ½ a tonne lump of metal!

For some strange reason, I can’t get the image of John Prescott and Gordon Brown struggling to heave the wheelchair up a flight of Downing Street stairs out of my head.

I was lucky enough to speak to George Galloway after his speech, which was sick. What a legend! I’m starting to realise what a loser I am when I’m star-struck by politicians.

It is fantastic to meet a person who believes so passionately in any cause, but particularly when it is one you also feel strongly about, and I was sure to let him know how much I admired, and supported, his vigorous opposition to the Iraq War, and his consistent championing of rights for the people of Palestine.

I also told him about my Lebanese roots – that’s right guys I’m part Arabic, probably where I get my great looks from, and we spoke briefly about his stance on Hezbollah. Although his view of the group as not terrorists has sparked a huge amount of controversy in the past, again it is a view which I agree with.

Lebanon have been invaded by Israel a number of times over the last few years, and Hezbollah have resisted. If Lebanon were to hold truly democratic elections today, Hezbollah would be at its helm.

The protest itself was an excellent experience; the energy created by so many people gathered to fight for a common cause is breathtaking, and as we marched towards Parliament, I was ready to mekkle some war waging MPs… for real.

Another aspect I enjoyed was the fact that, similarly to music or sport, the spirit of rebellious politics is one that can unite people from all backgrounds. Whether you’re white or West Indian, with two legs or no legs, all preconceptions and stereotypes seem to evaporate into the revolutionary atmosphere.

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