Eileen Cook reports on two demonstrations in Edinburgh in less than twenty-four hours.
The first, on Friday evening, was called by Stand Up to Racism, UCU Scotland, Muslim Women’s Association, anti-war and peace groups and others. It was attended by nearly six hundred people. It was very crowded at the assembly point on the narrow corner close to North Bridge. There were speakers from a wide range of organisations, including Abortion Rights. Interesting people in the crowd, very much not the ‘usual suspects’, many had come out to protest for the first time. Walking to the US consulate it became clear just how many were there as the demonstration stretched out.
The second on Saturday morning, initiated on social media by two young women in solidarity with the Women’s March in Washington, was expected to be small. In fact it turned out to be even larger than the evening before. A couple of thousand crammed into the road outside and around the US Consulate, many under the theme ‘nasty women’. A very mixed crowd, there were women of all ages, quite a number of men plus lots of kids and dogs. There were large numbers of home made banners, hand-made placards and hand-knitted pink hats. The speeches were hard to hear because of the size of the throng. The police were having difficulty keeping the control they wanted. Young women in particular were climbing up on to the wall to show their banners across Edinburgh and were certainly not answering entreaties to get down; they were there for the duration of the demo.