So, what would you march for?

At noon tomorrow, tens of thousands of people are expected to descend on Trafalgar Square for a protest rally against the Council Tax. Just like the anti-war and countryside movements before it, this is a cause which is galvanising Middle-England 'protest virgins' for the first time. Are we, as a nation, developing a new fondness for public dissent? The Independent took to the streets to find out what it takes for Britons to pick up their placards and pound the pavement...
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Chris Holmes, 32, Paralympic swimming gold medalist, London

"I'd march against the proposed European constitution and the effects it would have. It would cause an end to the right to trial by jury and the ancient right of Habeas Corpus. It's a massive attack on the whole basis of our culture and history. Having represented and won medals for my country, I think the loss of sovereignty would be disastrous."

Sol Martin, 22, student, London

"I'd march for a good cause, to raise money for cancer research or something like that. I wouldn't march about politics, it's boring isn't it? And anyway, I haven't heard about a cause that's worth me marching for. I suppose there might be a touch of laziness in there too."

Hilton Dawson, 50, MP for Lancaster and Wyre

"I would walk the length and breath of the country to resist the Government's atrocious plan to take benefits away from failed asylum seekers."

Chris Boon, 22, restaurant manager, Manchester

"Student finance is my bête noir. I'm too soon out of university in Bangor, North Wales, not to feel strongly about it. I've got a lot of debt so it is something I would march about. Essentially, the way they're planning to structure the top-up fees is ridiculous."

Charlie Carmichael, 50, fruiterer, Glasgow

"I would march if Britain said it was going to war again. After what happened in Iraq I would want to see all the evidence before I believed the government again. Bush and Blair wanted to get rid of Saddam and they were looking for an excuse. I would definitely protest if they tried the same thing on another country."

Julie Brookman, 29, travel agent, Kent

"I would definitely march for animal rights. There is no reason for the cruel way they are treated. It's completely uncalled for."

Francis Marden, 21, student, Kent

"I love going on marches, I go on any I can, I'm not really bothered about what cause they are for. I go on anti-war marches, anti-globalisation marches, abolish-tuition-fees marches, but I also went on the Countryside Alliance march. They're such fun, everyone strolling along together, they generate a real sense of community and togetherness."

Bill Macdonald, 71, retired site manager, Glasgow

"I would like to see tougher jail terms for the thugs and scumbags who feel they can do anything they want because there is no real deterrent. Some of these sentences handed out by the judges are almost criminal themselves. I would jail the judges. If anybody was starting a campaign to crackdown on criminals and reduce crime I would join it."

Karen Mcelhinney, 25, conveyancing paralegal, Glasgow

"I would march to protest against any attempt to fine people for not voting. It is our democratic right to vote and, if we want, not to vote. Sometimes not voting gives as good message to the politicians as anything else. If there's nobody worth voting for the people should be allowed to express that and not be fined for it."

Richard Scrase, 45, biology lecturer, Bath

"I feel very angry about the fact that people are kept in Guantanamo Bay illegally, I might go on a demonstration about that. But generally I stick to writing to MPs."

Tom Aikens, 33, chef, London

"I believe the best quality food comes straight from the farmers. What winds me up are those idiots in Brussels and their ideas on GM food. That a cucumber has to be a certain length before it can be accepted into the food market is ridiculous. I would march to change peoples' idea of food, to make them realise that food is not something that's meant to be cloned to fit a mould. People don't want perfectly shaped apples or pears."

Michael Willis, 49, a pro-life campaigner with UK LifeLeague, Glasgow

"My guiding principle on marches is if the Socialist Workers Party are involved then the whole thing is a charade. This rules me out of anti-war demos, anti-Bush demos, anti-hunting demos, gay-rights marches, aids-awareness marches and probably all the fashionable band wagons which seduce Joe Public from their armchairs on a Saturday afternoon. My overriding concern is with the plight of children; I march for forgotten children - unborn children; the most abused minority because they are both unseen and defenceless."

Tony Wilson, 50, television newsreader and former music impresario, Manchester

"I feel very strongly about regional devolution. I would - and I will - march for that. It is so difficult to explain to the people of the North-west why they have to put right the injustice of the North/South divide over so many years. We must get enough support to make devolution happen. I would also march against the Manchester traffic wardens - but it probably would do no good."

Dorothy Sheard, sixties, retired housewife, Manchester

"I have never been one for marching - it's too confrontational for me. I do a lot of my protesting in the house. But the Iraq war made me feel differently and it would possibly still move me to march. We've been waiting all this time for some explanation but don't seem to have got any."

Bruce Sandison, 65, chairman of the Salmon Farm Protest Group, Sutherland

"I would march on the Scottish parliament, along with other concerned anglers, to demand that salmon farming be brought ashore to properly contained land-based sites. There is no reason why they couldn't farm salmon in Regents Park, the only reason fish farmers are using our coastal waters as a public toilet is that it is cheaper to have them sited at sea than on land. I want to preserve our wild fish and stop them being killed by pollution from salmon farms."

Bruce Kessing, 57, owner-manager of an electronics business, Manchester

"The taxation system is my burning issue, believe it or not. I feel the poor pay far too much and it's iniquitous. The Government likes to curry favour with voters - they don't want to do things which are unpopular. That's why they shy away from taxing the higher paid more."

Chris Bailey, 61, chairman and non-executive director, London

"I would march to defend the countryside way of life. I think for too many people the Countryside Alliance march was all about fox-hunting, but it was about more than that. I'm actually quite anti-hunting but I'd be prepared to march to support rural areas."

David Fleming, 50, director National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside

"The thing that makes me angry is the mass predisposition to dropping progressive, graduated taxation. Retaining this is not just a political theory. How intelligent do you have to be to see that the fairest way of paying for quality services is for people with more money to pay more than people with less? I would absolutely march to restore more of that philosophy."

Kathleen Mackenzie, age not given, housewife, Western Isles

"I feel very strongly about bad language in public and especially in the street. It is a symptom of a decline in morals which sees people dropping litter, and thinking of themselves before anybody else. It shows a disregard for God and lack of respect for other human beings, and although I wouldn't start a campaign I would consider adding my voice to one."

Stephanie Ramsamy, 18, security guard, London

"I'm only 18, I'm too young to go on marches. There's no age restriction, really? Well I might go on one then, there doesn't seem to be a lot of point too it, though."

Kate Peever, 23, waitress, Manchester

"I was studying Russian at University College, London, until last year and still feel very strongly about top-up fees. I know people it is affecting and we are having to work now. If there was a protest in Manchester tomorrow and I could get away from work, it is certainly something that would make me march."

Nancy Tyrie, 22, sailing instructor, London

"I'm a bit scared of marches; what puts me off is a dangerous minority who can hijack them for their own goals and make them violent. I wouldn't go on one."

Fabian Moreno, 27, builder, London

"I've only just come to Britain from Brazil so I haven't been on any marches yet. I might march against this weather, it's too cold. You should change that."

Claire Booth, 35, lab technician, Glasgow

"I would march for a moratorium on whale hunting. I do feel strongly about the unnecessary killing of whales. Unfortunately I am not confident the politicians would listen, but at least the marchers would feel better for doing something."

Clio Gould, 35, lead violinist in the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London

"I'd march to cancel third-world debt - getting rid of it seems to be the only way forward. Marching makes people feel like they can take back a bit of control, be a bit more individual."

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