As is always the case, the closer one is to the political establishment, the safer one is from state and media attack. We see examples of this from the British state broadcaster all the time; non-establishment politicians and activists are smeared while their every infraction is blown up out of proportion, while – no matter how criminal their behaviour – the establishment politicians and activists are shielded by the state media and the rest of the political and policing establishment.
Demonstrations of the popular will of the movement are important, but we must bare in mind that marches and rallies serve an internal rather than an external function in the broader strategy of resistance. The unionist media has rightly pointed out - something we already know - that marches do not win people over to our cause. This was never the purpose of the popular demonstration. Convincing others of our need for independence is of the greatest importance, and - within the movement - is proper to the role of the revolutionary praxis of education, organisation, and agitation.