Posted in March logistics on March 21, 2011
The March for the Alternative is expected to be the largest TUC event for decades and the first national mobilisation against the spending cuts viewed as unfair, too deep and too quick by a majority of voters.
We think it’s important to be prepared, so the day is both as successful and enjoyable as possible for everyone taking part. So here are our top ten tips for first-time marchers:
- Tell everyone about it! Bring along your family, friends and colleagues to share the day. Having good company along always makes for a fun day out, and spreading the word will really boost the size of the march. How many people can you bring with you?
- Wear comfortable shoes. The march route from Embankment to Hyde Park is nearly three miles long – and if it has been raining Hyde Park can get very muddy with that many people – so wear flat shoes, trainers or boots.
- Be prepared for the weather. It’ll be quite a long day and March weather can be unpredictable. You might need a coat, jumper, hat, gloves, umbrella – or even sunscreen and sunglasses! If you are a public servant and normally wear a uniform you might like to wear that on the day, though make sure this won’t get you into trouble!
- Keep hydrated. You might not always be near a shop or kiosk, so bring a bottle of water and other soft drinks to keep you refreshed. Cafes in Hyde Park will be open as usual but will be very busy.
- Don’t go hungry. Bring a packed lunch and snacks to keep your energy up over lunch time – and if you’re marching nearer towards the back, it may be nearer tea time before you get to the rally.
- Bring a rucksack. A rucksack or a bag you can wear across your body are useful for carrying things easily – and leave your hands free for flags! Don’t forget to pack any inhalers or medicine you usually take.
- Enjoy the sights.The march route will take you from the Embankment, up Whitehall and past Trafalgar Square, along Piccadilly and into Hyde Park. It’s a rare opportunity to see London in a different way without the traffic. Don’t worry about getting lost if you don’t know London. It’ll be very obvious where the march is going, and there will be stewards every few hundred metres to help out.
- Share the moment.If you have a camera, why not take some pictures of the day that you can share afterwards? If you’ve a smartphone, why not share pictures and updates online as it happens? Twitter users can follow @March26March (hashtag will be #26March), and there’s even a special phone App to help out on the march.
- Look after other people. Treat everyone with respect and look out for anyone who needs help or assistance on the way round. If you want to help others even more, why not volunteer to be a steward?
- Arrive on time and know your way home. Be patient – with more than 100,000 marchers the march will be leaving the assembly point from 12noon to well after 2 pm and possibly later. If you’re coming from within London, think about coming later rather than early, and try to join the march from the rear. If you’re coming on a coach make sure you know where the pick-up point is and what time the coach will be leaving. Check your route back to underground and overground train stations from Hyde Park. Ask the police or march stewards if you’re unsure.