Got a Q for Miriam Gonzalez Durantez? ×

to question whether it I should take my kids on a Stop the War demonstration

(32 Posts)
iloveeducatingyorkshire Wed 06-Aug-14 19:47:24

I really want to go to the big demo in London on Saturday. What is happening in Gaza is so terrible and I feel so powerless. But I have two small kids (6 and 3) and while I have taken them on a march before and they loved it I am concerned that on this one there may well be images on placards and so on of terribly wounded /dead children, as well as a lot of anger in the air. I really don't want them to be frightened (though of course I know children in Gaza are suffering a million times worse) Should I protect them from these possibilities or do you think it would be valuable for them to be there?

TheDayOfMyDoctor Wed 06-Aug-14 19:49:02

I think it's a bit young tbh for all the reasons you said. And my 6 year old DS has been on marches before.

BookABooSue Wed 06-Aug-14 20:05:08

I wouldn't take them. I have taken DS (5) to protests before but I think this has the potential to flare up.

TheSarcasticFringehead Wed 06-Aug-14 20:05:35

No tbh. I was passing through one and it would be quite frightening for children, plus I heard some anti Semitic chants and from people not in protest, some people yelled stuff at the protestors.

hoobypickypicky Wed 06-Aug-14 20:08:45

I wouldn't feel I should 'protect' the DC from images of the reality of war but I would be concerned that this particular march might end in scuffles and not be safe for small DC.

iloveeducatingyorkshire Wed 06-Aug-14 20:31:48

Thanks. You're all confirming what i thought really.

Patrickstarisabadbellend Wed 06-Aug-14 20:33:10

No. I have seen how some of these protests end up and it isn't pretty.

Guiltypleasures001 Wed 06-Aug-14 20:38:58

I think there could be potential for right wing factions to kick something off, I wouldn't chance it to be honest.

WooWooOwl Wed 06-Aug-14 20:39:31

I went to the last one and there were loads of children there of all ages. There were quite a few very small ones in pushchairs, and there was absolutely nothing that would have been threatening or disturbing for them. None of the chanting was anything that children shouldn't hear either, the whole atmosphere was very friendly. I saw a couple of people in t shirts that had pictures of the atrocities printed on them, but it didn't see any disturbing placards. That's not to say there weren't any, just that there can't have been many,

Of course, the next protest might be different, but personally, I wouldn't worry about taking children and I'm generally quite protective.

Mumblepot26 Wed 06-Aug-14 20:40:23

I took my 6yr old and 3yr old to the last demo a couple of weeks ago. My 6yr old in particular loved every minute!!! It was a brilliant opportunity to introduce her to the concept of 'speaking up' for what you believe in, and not letting 'the bully' win. There weren't any pictures of dead children, no scuffles at all...was all very peaceful...and no anti Semitic chants, she went home and wrote a very moving letter to the children of Palestine.... Your choice of course but I am sure it was a very positive introduction to the concept of people power and justice..

Backinthering Wed 06-Aug-14 20:44:12

I have been to two in Glasgow recently. Loads of families. Totally peaceful. No anti-Semitism.

mommy2ash Wed 06-Aug-14 20:47:04

personally I wouldn't. I'm not ready for my dd to know the world is such a horrible place yet. I think the entire situation in the middle east is so complicated right now I wouldn't know where to begin to explain it.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 06-Aug-14 20:57:19

I would go but stay on the fringes so that you can bail out if you feel uncomfortable.

Patrickstarisabadbellend Wed 06-Aug-14 20:59:08

I normally find it's the left who kick right off.

iloveeducatingyorkshire Wed 06-Aug-14 21:04:16

And now I just don't know again!

Mumblepot26 Wed 06-Aug-14 21:11:22

Like itsallgoingtobefine said, why not go but stay on sidelines, have a back up plan of something else to do if it doesn't work.

MiscellaneousAssortment Wed 06-Aug-14 21:59:26

I'd go on the beginning part but drop out before it gets to trafalgar sq/ pall mall/ Westminster - or wherever it is aiming for. They usually kick off as they come towards the end and it's those places where police are likely to close off side roads and hem people in - you definitely don't want to get trapped in a violent situation.

I went on a gaza march when I was seven months pregnant and did exactly that, dropped out before they marched down Oxford st, friends carried on and about 30 mins later and closer to the end of the march there were all the flash points and violence.

Oh also ask the police as they had a good idea where am violence would break out on the route, they were lovely, though wouldn't want to bet they'd see me (at all, or as someone needing help) if they were in mid trouble.

I found it very irritating that for that demo the bbc wrote up the march as very violent whereas the vast majority wasn't. Violence does end up over reported.

BookABooSue Wed 06-Aug-14 22:40:38

I would go to one in Glasgow with DCs but I think London has more potential for trouble simply because of numbers, policing strategy and there being more potential for counter-protests and extremists.

PinkSquash Wed 06-Aug-14 22:45:29

I think if you stay on edges you'll be fine, a lot of protesters on the marches are really good with the DC and don't want to upset them.

It is a good thing to introduce them to, but know the route so you can escape to a cafe if you need to.

DogCalledRudis Wed 06-Aug-14 23:01:16

I've taken my DC to demos. But i wouldn't take them if there trouble is meant to happen.

Lally112 Wed 06-Aug-14 23:05:00

I don't agree with kids and marches or protests or demos. they all have the potential to flare up and kids that young have no comprehension of why.

CuttedUpPear Wed 06-Aug-14 23:06:53

I took my DCs to several Don't Attack Iraq demos in the Blair years. I was pleased that I did so and they show an interest in politics now.

We all feel that our protest has been vindicated and I'm glad to have stood up be counted.

The only thing I would say is that it's a long day so have plenty of snacks and water with you.

Springheeled Thu 07-Aug-14 00:25:04

I went on the previous one in London and there were many children, also buggies. There was not a single antisemitic chant. Had there been, the rest of the crowd would have stamped right down on it. I marched alongside members of Jews for Justice for Palestine. There were many people in wheelchairs, and I'd say the age range went from babies to 80 year olds. It was very good humoured. Had I taken the kids, they'd have been fine. Mind you? Had I taken them, I'd have probably opted for the final rally, or staying at the edge, just because it was a very hot day.

Policing was very light last time, and I didn't see any riot police, etc. in fact, it was the nicest policing on a demo I have ever known- just a thin line of quite jolly police.

having said that, the size and therefore mood on Sat may be different, as the politics around the situation have heated up this week with Warsi's resignation etc. I'd just go to the final rally if I had my dcs.

Both dcs came to the local protest and were fine (with ice cream)

Are you normally in London? If so, or even if not, I'd go to final rally and enjoy the parks or whatever the rest of the time.

Lots of water and snacks!

I've only been on one demo that was actually scary and that was against the BNP at Welling. The policing was heavy handed to say the least.

wafflyversatile Thu 07-Aug-14 00:29:10

What springheeled says.

Take them out before the end if you're really concerned that this one won't be like the last two. Their feet will probably be bored enough after an hour or so anyway!

I know mine will. blush

alleypalley Thu 07-Aug-14 00:49:40

Me and dh are going, and taking our 9 and 4 yr old with us. We are both aware enough to judge to mood of the crowd and make sure we stay where we can leave easily if needs be.

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