Peter Marshall | 01.04.2010 17:22 | Social Struggles
Chris Knight and a nice banner for the occasion
The PCSO says you shouldn't be dong this here
And phones a friend
A token tap on the shoulder
Christ Knight and the election flag
Chris Knight, one of the leading figures behind last year's April 1 demonstrations at Bank announced that the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse who led the marches there would this year on May Day be dragging our political leaders (in effigy at least) from their various HQs to stand trial at a people's assembly in Parliament Square. Since the event is called 'Carnival of Death' I think we can take it that the sentence has already been passed, and as Knight reminded us, the only good politician, the only honest politician is a dead politician.
Of course no party leader will actually be hanged, and the police should not make the mistake they made last year at Bank of confusing the rhetoric with reality, which led to their ridiculous over-reaction, with squads of riot police psyched up to batter largely innocent and joyful protesters - and the death of a bystander. In case they read this, let me repeat, this is called a carnival; if you want to take part, come ready to dance.
Others talked briefly about some of the other battles on the streets of London in past years, including the Battle of Wapping when Rupert Mudoch moved his newspaper empire there from Fleet Street and the various fights against racists in the East End from Cable Street in the thirties and much more recently.
Shortly after the speeches started, a police community support officer came to tell those taking part that they were not allowed to hold protests or other events in Trafalgar Square without permission. When he was laughed at, he brought over a Heritage Warden who told us the Square was the property of the GLA (Greater London Authority), and that permission was needed for events.
Fine said those present. The GLA is a public body; we own it, this is a public place and we give ourselves permission and intend to continue. Trafalgar Square is not just a public place, but one that since its building in the 1830s has been a traditional place for demonstrating radical dissent. It was a tradition that those present were determined to continue.
The PCSO stood a few yards away and phoned a friend, and soon he was joined by around a dozen police officers who also stood around watching. Fortunately they had enough sense not to try and stop the commemoration, which ended after around 30 minutes when the organisers decided it was time to go down the pub.
As the event ended, copies of the anti-Election manifesto and a suitably defaced poster showing the leaders of the Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat and BNP leaders were distributed by the Whitechapel Anarchist Group. This Election they say, Use your cross wisely, under a picture of the four leaders in the cross-hairs of a gun sight, and attached to the bottom is a 'Free Gift' - a safety match, with the message " Burn Your Ballot". On Election day they intend to hold a mass burning of ballot papers in a Whitechapel Park (I hope they remember they will need the matchboxes.) As they say "It's time to end the unjust, corrupt system of terror and build a fair, equal society that will benefit the majority. We all know voting doesn't change anything and our collective apathy allows this folly to continue. It’s time for REAL change. It's time for revolution."
It may be time, or even long past time, but I think there is no chance of it happening. The one area on which their manifesto is curiously lacking is the environment, and pressures from this seem likely to bring civilisation as we know it to its knees as it fails to adapt.
More pictures on Demotix:
and probably more still on My London Diary in a few days: