imc-er | 03.11.2007 19:22 | London
Not even the proper toff bit of Notting Hill either. The enforced procession crossed Ladbroke Grove and was led to to - as one pissed yuppie explained to me - the "former home" of David Cameron. Citizen Dave, according to this local resident put up the For Sale signs shortly after hitting the big time - his new neighbours include eighties chanteuse Annie Lennox.
Locals go about their business...
Police easy target
Dragged to crowd
Mixed reaction from bystanders
Woman dragged out and knocked down
and carried to the van
Police jam up Ladbroke Grove
Detained by police...
..then given a hard time "out of sight".
Frankly they had no say in where they went, being outnumbered a least five to one.
Police took advantage of the gloomy deserted streets to behave as you'd expect. Enforcing a policy of forcing suspected sympathisers into the demonstration they targeted a man with a broken arm, twisting it until he fell screaming to the ground. Using they ensuing crowd reaction ("scum, scum") as an excuse they violently arrested two women at the kettle in Oxford Gardens.
On the slow laborious return to Meanwhile Gardens 4 or 5 others were snatched on various charges. Photography and video of arrests was blocked at every opportunity - in one picture in this report a man is arrested, then a police minivan is driven between me and the victim to prevent me filming. However it is clearly visible through the windows that he is now being treated in a way that causes considerable pain.
Police behaved very badly, but perhaps it's not surprising that they'd defend the establishment vigorously against an action, the object of which was billed as: “old etonian heads on spikes!"
In yer dreams? Well dream on how this might have turned out on the other side of the channel.
After managing to lose the police entourage the group made it's way out of the cop-infested Portobello Market area, after some discussion the decision was made to hang a Class War banner at Buckingham Palace during the changing of the guard.
Unfortunately the time spent avoiding cops whilst crossing town meant that the monarchistic ritual was over by the time we arrived, but there was still opportunity to hang our 'No War but the Class War' banner on the Victoria Monument facing the palace and serenade the Royal Household with chants of 'You Rich Bastards' for half an hour before riot vans showed up.
Dodging London's Finest again the group headed over to the toffs playground, Mayfair, where we left our banner tied to the scaffolding facing the 5-star Dorchester Hotel before swapping numbers and heading our separate ways.
Considering the cops' concerted efforts to keep us away from their paymasters, making our presence felt at two of London's capitalist landmarks without being stopped was perhaps more than we could have expected, all in all a successful day.