Monday, September 25, 2006

Manchester, England: Flush Blair Down the Disposal!

Our first five days of honeymoon finds us in Manchester, England, visiting Val's longtime friend, Daniel Burton, she met (and had a crush on!) in Palestine, some 17 years ago. At a lively anti-war demonstration of about 50,000 people in Manchester, we heard the righteous rhetoric from George Galloway and others (at least 25% of we could not understand because of the accent), had a lengthy march around the city center, a 5-minute symbolic die-in, followed by, you guessed it, more speeches. We ducked out of the latter, wiggling our way over to a hip joint that served amazing rissoto with bison mozzerella. Here a sampling of photos..

Daniel, Val, Mark. Note the sign on the right of a hand pushing Tony Blair's head down a garbage disposal (called a 'disposer' here in England). George Galloway, kicked out of the Labour Party for calling Blair and Bush "Wolves" created a new party, 'Respect' of which he is the only member elected.

Val and Mark, center, at the symbolic die-in during the march. Note the chap next to Val looking up. He's taking in a brand new-high rise apartment building, the tallest in Europe, which has a hilarious fence like feature on top, said to blend the building and sky together!

Flags of Lebanon and something you probably won't see at a demo in Denver: a flag for Hezbollah! A huge turnout of Arabs and Muslims, many in traditional dress, lots of signs in solidarity with Palestine, Iraq and Lebanon. One flyer handed out said, "Israel, an army with a country".

Val and Mark and a peace sign from the local troublemaking Quakers. They had quite a turnout, several dozen marching from their main Meeting House, just a block from City Hall, the center of the anti-war rally.

John, Val and Mark. John is Daniel's partner, a lovely charming fellow and a self-admitted "defeated socialist" but very much in the hunt for a better world.

George Bush made an appearance, marketing imperial U.S.'s latest triumph.

Daniel and Val over the Bollion River. On a lighter note, we had a lovely 6-mile walk through the English countryside, visiting a few villages, a farm (homemade ice cream, cheese and eggs procured) and, of course, a pub.

Val and Mark, walking along a canal tow-path. Lots of blackberries along here, and stinging nettles! Canals were built at great cost ($ and human) in the 18th century and only used briefly because of the advent of rail lines. Several folks were fishing and a long flat enclosed tourist boat rambled along as we walked.


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