Veterans, the elderly, miners, and mums with their children were among those protesting former Prime Minister of Britain Margaret Thatcher’s funeral in London on Wednesday.
Hundreds came to protest the funeral which cost the British state $15 million, but all protested in their own way again the “Iron Lady.” The Mirror reported that some shouted, some stood silent and some turned their backs away from the funeral cortege as it passed through Ludgate Circus.
One protester Siobhan Smith (40) said, “There are many, many of us who don’t recognise this mass-mourning, but who don’t want to be disrespectful. That is why we are turning our backs.”
The crowds, in some places 20 people deep, started gathering from 8am to await the procession to St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Some chanted, “Waste of money, waste of money” in time with marching bands and “Margaret Thatcher, Dead, Dead, Dead.” Some held up pints of milk in a silent reminder of what she had taken from them as children.
Despite the fact that the protesters’ message was heard, the Metropolitan Police praised their behaviour as the funeral of Britain's most divisive Prime Minister passed off peacefully. They reported no arrests.
In Derry and Belfast, in Northern Ireland, crowds gathered to mark the funeral. In Derry they gathered at the Free Derry corner, in the city’s Bogside area.
Many carried black flags, while others carried posters of the faces of those who died during the Hunger Strikes, during Margaret Thatcher’s years. An effigy of the former Prime Minister was also set alight.
Masked men held aloft a banner depicting Baroness Thatcher and close friend Airey Neave, who was killed by an INLA car bomb in 1979, the Belfast Telegraph reports. Others waved banners of republican group the 32 County Sovereignty Movement.
Further white line and black flag protests took place across Belfast city.
Paul Maskey, Sinn Fein MP for west Belfast, said the public was marking the "loss of loved ones throughout the conflict."
"There's a lot of people who have lost loved ones during the conflict. What we were doing today was to let people get out and demonstrate - it's about showing solidarity."
"It was to remember the hunger strikers and those who died because of shoot-to-kill. We had a very, peaceful and dignified vigil. Ours was very peaceful."
In areas of northern England mining communities held “parties” to mark Thatcher’s funeral. A hundred people gathered at Glenmuir Arms pub in the village of Logan, East Ayrshire near the ex-mining town of Cumnock. The pub was decked out in festive bunting.
In Goldthorpe, South Yorkshire, ex-miners and their families took to the streets led by bagpipers following a horse drawn carriage carrying an effigy of Thatcher. A floral tribute read “SCAB.”
Here’s the Channel 4 report from Goldthorpe:
Here are the BBC highlights of Margaret Thatcher’s funeral: