|It's raining men, hallelujah|
If there ever was a chance that this protest would cause trouble and therefore hit the headlines, it was Saturday. The Dale Farm activists are now without a cause. The East End was hosting an Anarchist book fair which regularly draws crowds of 1000 or so. There were two other demonstrations going on in London on the same day. In other words, there were lots of left wingers in London on Saturday. Why did they not come to support the occupy St Paul's cause? There were one or two 'faces' but they seemed to be on their own. The smart money is on the thought that the 'occupy' movement is just too soft and cuddly. The trouble makers will be saving themselves for the two big protests in the coming month. No point in getting lifted with the 'cuddlies' and having bail restrictions that stop them taking part in the big demos is there? More on this point later.
|Cuddly and naive|
The occupy mob are an easy target when it comes to ridicule. I am as guilty as anyone. My posts have been littered with comments about lentils, veggies, tofu, etc, etc. Hey ho, that's life eh? The following is a true recollection of a conversation overheard, again in Starbucks, but earlier in the morning and in the queue. There were four of them. Two guys and two girls. It seemed that they had been on the piss the night before. There body language marked them as a pair of couples. They looked a mess. The conversation went like this -
1st male - Ah man, I feel like shit dude
2nd male - Yeah me too. God I need a coffee
1st Female - I'm going to have a cold drink
2nd Female - So am I. A nice cold fresh orange
1st Female - Shrieks and jumps up and down excitedly, OOOhhh know what I fancy? a big jug of cold Pimms with loads of fruit and ice, mmmmm.
Kinda says it all doesn't it?
The protesters had tweeted that they were going to march around the financial area. The arrival of the samba band (yeah, them again) signalled that perhaps the march was to be soon. Despite heavy traffic, around 3/400 of the crowd just marched and danced onto the road and away from St Paul's, led by the samba band. Cops were running about trying to get into position. It seemed despite the twitter warning of the intended march, they had been caught on the hop (again). Don't they have intel watching twitter? Or instead of working on actual situations, were they sitting in an office somewhere filling in mountains of paperwork relating to whatever the out of touch, shiny arsed, high ranking, never seen an angry man, office dwellers have decided is a good idea. During the day there was only a token police presence at St Paul's. There were others in vans parked around the area, but the march was well underway before perhaps 7/8 vans managed to catch the march and could only tag along at the back. Mind you, perhaps there were not enough on duty. Cuts don't just affect the great unwashed.
|The march shouts at Top Shop|
I keep calling the protesters 'Occupy St Paul's, or Occupy LSX', well from now on I'm going to refer to them by the name they are more commonly known by 'UK Uncut'. Yes, that's right, the same mob who last year regularly trashed Top Shop, among a host of what they perceived as targets. They seem to have been re-born though. During the march from St Paul's to Finsbury Sq, the march went right past the doors of a huge branch of Top Shop. I braced myself for the paint bombs and smashed windows that normally happen. However, aside from a few choruses of 'pay your tax', there were no incidents at Top Shop. There was not an anarchist flag in sight. There were no people with their faces covered. Perhaps the rumours of a leadership split in UK Uncut are true. What could cause a split? UK Uncut have been happy to work hand in glove with the anarchists in the past? Could it perhaps be that a well known union has decided to 'donate' some funds, drawn from the subs paid by their hard working members? Could it be that the same union could not afford to be associated with anarchists and violence, not now, not with a campaign to disrupt the Olympics underway? Time will tell!
More photographs from the day are available at www.mitchell-images.com