I went to the Official TUC Mayday Macrh at Clerkenwell Green today (very pretty part of London, btw).
As me and my Comrades agreed, without the 57 different flavours of Turkish Communist Party (complete with children in nice maoist uniforms, but they obviously decided to leave the AK's at home) the event wouldn't have happened.
A funny thing happened, though, on my way to the March. As I approached (after having succesfully got lost between the Green and Farringdon Station) the muster, I was asked to 'Sign the petition'. I didn't even bother to stop and check what the petition was - as a rule, I don't sign them. I'm a revolutionary Marxist who believes in working class political action, not grovelling to our masters with insipid demands.
However, before I could walk away, the feller concerned said "I see, you're Jewish, you support George Bush, yeah?".
Two incorrect facts. As I have made clear here many times, I do not support Israel,a nd in fact am actively working for its abolition, along with the abolition of Palestine, Lybia, America, 'etc. etc. in your hearts you all know the fucking truth'
What's more, I'm not Jewish. What hapened, and has happened before, is that my 'Puritan Look' that I aim for, which involves a widebrimmed black hat, has been confused with the sartorial aspects of Orthodox Jewry. Add to the fact that I don't shave (but don't have well cultivated ringlets), and I can forgive the odd misapprehension - though I usually respond my correcting people and informing them that they were being very presumptive.
You can judge for yourself from this picture of me engaging in an earlier form of Blogging at Hyde Park's Speakers' Corner.
What struck me forcibly, though, we the ignorant and utterly unwarranted assumption that a Jew necessarilly supports Israel or the War on Terror, etc. This is the creeping anti-semitism that so many writers have warned about, the metonymy from Zionist, to Israeli to Jew all neatly summed up in one thoughtless stereotype. Chilling, in it's own way.
I might not have mentioned this incident, but I later saw this petitioner Sporting a Stop the War Coalition Stewards Bib. I don't know what involvement the STWC had in the March, but he was certainly wearing this bib at their table, so the feller must have reasonable bona fides. Judge how ye will.