Street dancing within the first minute of camp
Tent city sprang up just minutes later
Suburban lawn brought to the city
Workshops in progress
St Marylebone's students take afternoon off & get involved
Danny the poet
Hot beans and beer? from the rocket stoves
Bike powered PA systems
Blue sky thinking
The big picture, scroll left & right to see all
Maybe the police are not so bad...
How things changed at 7pm though. By then the mainstream media had returned to base to file their reports or rushed to capture the more sexy rioting elsewhere and the light was becoming too low for good filming. With no provocation, riot cops with battering shields and flailing batons came storming into climate protesters who offered only upstretched palms as resistance. They succeeded in taking just 10 metres of street back and I found myself comparing their action with famous WW1 battles for the absolute pointlessness of their brutality. And then the police in a truly infantile display of their hyper-active toddler mentality screamed in with flashing lights and wailing sirens displaying 8 of their newest macho toys for boys - Humvee like armoured police trucks that could have rolled straight off the set of some futuristic police state Hollywood film. It would be comical if it weren't so tragic that this is the new style of policing in 21'st century Britain. Considering how the Joint Commitee on Human Rights report had just warned that such immediate resort to aggressive police tactics inflamed public order situations, it was like the police were collectively wiping their filthy arses on that report. The lunacy of their tactics continued as although they presumably wanted to clear us from the street, they imprisoned us in that same street for 5 hours, not letting anyone out until the small hours. Conditions became pretty squalid by then with rivers of piss running along the pavements and gutters. If you transform a living space into a prison, the occupants will hardly maintain and respect it in the same way. It was a shattering end to what had been a joyful and empowering day. Anyone coming on such a protest for the first time will have experienced a complete reality shock and will for ever see the police in a totally different light. But this seems to be part of the master plan - to step by step make it less and less acceptable for anyone to protest about anything going on in this wickedly unjust world except in the most utterly ineffectual manner.
Riot porn film & stills to follow if I have time.