5pm and the usual tedium we'd associate with a StW event began. Thousands filled the square, all but a few flogging Socialist Worker or carrying the party's begging buckets.
As the predictable speeches poured out of the pa one 'Socialist Party' stand even had a stab at flogging silkscreens of Che Guevara at a fiver a pop. Knocked out no doubt in some south asian sweatshop for pennies this surely wins a coconut for global capitalism.
No matter. At 6.45 celebs led a pre-arranged token march the fifty yards to the Whitehall barricade. Constables smirked, Stop the War having briefed them of their limited intent.
Others turned out to have different ideas. As placards and sticks flew, a determined mass pushed at the centre. Police jumped to secure the barriers but to no avail. Soon they were in the air flying over the police line's heads.
Cops responded with vicious baton blows. Fingers and heads bled, stabs were made to the stomachs, people fell to the floor but the crowd pushed on. A senior officer ran the line shouting "No Arrests, No Arrests, orders from the top".
Stop the War stewards now pushed to the front to try and calm matters. Ill briefed cops, not realising they were on the same side walloped them with sticks.
As dusk fell the TSG riot cops took the front line. The crowd responded with a sit down, punctuated with the odd punch up and, relative calm having being restored, the introduction of the usual snatch squads.
Bush came, Bush went, Brown probably got bitch slapped - hell, who knows how the Queen managed at tea.
The only thing we can positively relish it that it's the farewell tour and if we're lucky enough he'll stay alive 'till the end and we won't get 'Old Dick' Cheney in charge.