BY DARYL BJORAAS
Today, I found myself in search of a Sikh peace march that was supposed to take place at 11 a.m in London’s Hyde Park. Joining me in the search were my fellow colleagues Jim and Derek. We got to Hyde Park, the alleged place where these Sikhs were supposed to meet according to an online Web site that Derek had found.
We were grossly disappointed. Here we were, alone, at 10:30 or 10:45 on a Sunday morning, with no signs of ANY protest in sight. Supposedly, there were going to be thousands in attendance. You can imagine the disappointment we were feeling after not being able to capture such a visual event.
Personally, I was banking on this peace march because it’s one of my two stories. If the protest was made up, I would have to scramble to find another idea, so I insisted that we keep walking in search of this demonstration. So….we walked around the area for the next two hours trying to locate this protest, only to come up empty handed.
We had given up and started to catch a bus back to the flats. While Derek and I waited at the bus stop and Jim went into a store to get some groceries, some luck stumbled our way. (It must have carried over from Dublin.) A guy walked over to us and said the buses weren’t on their normal routes today because of a peace march, so we might as well look for another bus. Luckily for us, this was the exact peace march w’d been looking for.
Derek rushed into the store to grab Jim as thousands of Sikh demonstrators made their way down the street no more than 30 seconds after we’d spoken to the guy. We were right where we wanted to be, in the heart of it all.
“We want justice!” filled the air as we all walked with the marchers. I traveled to the front, back and center of the crowd trying to get every shot possible. It was empowering being a part of something so large. Listening to the chants, you could feel these people’s passion. It was nice to see and hear such a great gathering of people standing up for what they believed in.
The march itself lasted a couple of hours, and I captured tons of footage—footage that I hope will look as good edited as it did in real person. Unfortunately, after checking some of it out, two interviews that I had shot didn’t work. The mic, which had failed me before in Dublin, didn’t work again, and I don’t think I’ll be able to use them.