By Sacha Ismail
On Saturday 11 February I went to the Muslim Council of Britain demonstration in Trafalgar Square to have a look around, and then to the free speech protest organised by groups associated with the Worker-communist Party of Iraq, outside the BBC in White City.
The latter was a good event, about 40 people there, we had a good shout - not much else to say.
The former was interesting. I'd confirm what was said on the news - both the other AWLer who came along to observe and I estimated about two to three thousand people. The tone was studiously moderate, no radical groups, all the placards were politically anonymous with slogans praising Muhammad and calling for "tolerance" and "respect".
No visible presence from the Muslim Association of Britain even - presumably because they were pulling all the strings anyway. The demonstration was mostly young, but it was very small compared not only to what the organisers predicted (30,000) but even what the police predicted (10,000).
The left presence was the SWP in force and the RCG doing pro-Cuba stuff.
But I'd say it had a lot of support from STW/UAF/Livingstone/GLA/CND-type forces.