Anna Raccoonâs Special âProtestâ Correspondent files his on the spot report, with exclusive picturesâ¦
A FAILURE â This is how I would describe my current attempt to stop smoking. Despite the help of my GP and the wonder drug Champix, I still cannot stop. My family have suffered from my anger and almost menopausal mood swings. I am wondering if it is all worth it. I have cut down from 20 a day to around 10 a week, and I feel a bit healthier. I suppose I have had a wee bit of of success, but it is overall, still a failure.
The same can be said for the N30 strike. They too had a wee bit of success â they turned out in numbers and got good MSM coverage, with some opinion polls giving as much as 70% public support. Good for them, no, I mean it. But, they still failed. The pensions will still be cut. My bin will still be emptied.
Getting off the tube at Holborn I found it was crammed outside with crowds heading to the start point of the march. The atmosphere reminded me of the first student march of last year before the Millbank episode, although the crowd was older. There was an almost carnival atmosphere, although there was a serious message to get across, the majority had smiles on their faces and seemed to be treating the event as day out. The police were out in numbers. As with the student march earlier in the month, all side roads, passages and alleyways on the march route were blocked by barriers and cops, ensuring that the marchers stuck to the route, a tactic that I know from speaking to a well known anarchist, the troublemakers see as the single biggest obstacle to them running amok in the west end. It can be no coincidence that this tactic has appeared since the new commissioner took his place at NSY.
The Savoy on the The Strand is a good vantage point to see the demo come past (it has also been mentioned as a possible target for the F&M treatment). I waited and looked for my target for the day â the masked up yoof, those who wave the red and black flags of the anarchist. All I saw were good natured people. The marchers were chatting to the accompanying police escort. Some of the marchers were in fancy dress, some were playing drums, trumpets etc. There were no âyoofâ or anarchists that I could see. The march went past my viewpoint without so much as a chorus of âBooâ in the direction of the ostentatious grandeur of The Savoy.
I decided to check the usual pubs to see if the known troublemakers were there. Bingo, in the first pub I visited I found a group of them, huddled around a couple of tables clearly plotting the downfall of civilisation as we know it. OK, so they were on the streets as it were, but how would I find out what they were planing? Would I have to surreptitiously ease my way over to stand near them, Pink Panther style, hoping to catch a snippet of the plans? I certainly didnât have time to get changed into dirty designer clothes, start to stink of body odour and learn to speak âstreetâ in a middle class accent in order to try and blend in.
My first pint was not even halfway down when, being the media whores they are, the London version of the Occupy movement announced a meeting via Twitter â âEveryone get to Piccadilly Circus at 3pm for an âactionâ. Ah well, itâs an easy life sometimes.
Arriving at Piccadilly Circus there were a few of OccupyLSX there, a few UKUncut and approx. two hundred drunken Greek football fans, in town for last nights game against Spurs. It was amusing and telling watching the behaviour of the protesters. Normally at these events the air is full of home counties accents chanting âwhose streets our streetsâ or some such guff. This time however, being in close proximity to drunken grown up football fans, who to be fair, did look as though they were up for a ruck, the protesters were quiet as mice. Their body language spoke volumes. They were shitting themselves. At one point the TSG stood on the high steps around the Eros statute. It looked as if they were prepared to stop the Greeks getting to the protesters. It transpired that unlike the general MSM view of Greeks at the moment,most of those present were from a nationalist team and viewed these English anarchists as something of an aperitif before heading off to have Spurs as the main course.
After a while, the protesters began to move off in the direction of the Haymarket, pursued by a media pack and a few coppers. One of those at the front lit a red flare and the mob turned up Panton St. The clown carrying the flare provided the funniest moment of the night when leading his band of smelly comrades, he fell flat on his face outside the target of their occupation, Panton House. The crowd rushed into the building, brushing aside the security man in the foyer. A few managed to get to the roof and unfurled a banner. For the briefest of moments I thought about Millbank and objects being thrown from the roof. However the TSG were hot on their heels and soon a series of protesters were being âassistedâ in leaving the building.
By this time the whole of the Haymarket was a police car park. There was everything from motorbikes to vans full of police dogs. There were even full size civilian coaches to take away the arrested. The protesters were kettled in Panton St. The helicopter hovered overhead, itâs spotlight picking out members of the protesters. Once again the police deployed dot matrix signage to keep the troublemakers abreast of the current situation.
As is the norm, it was only a matter of time before the protesters turned on the cops. A small group of them tried to push their way out of a police line. Punches were thrown by the demonstrators and a cop lost his hat. An officer who bent to retrieve the hat was the target of a kick aimed at his head which missed. For all their bluster and âstreet smartâ tactics I had to laugh at one of the protesters. After the police had pushed the protesters back, in order to allow the coach with its cargo of freshly arrested protesters to leave the area, one yob in particular was still mouthing off at cops, not realising that his comrades had retreated to the shadows. He was against a wall surrounded by cops.
A few questions by the cops and this âstreetwise ruffian, this âclass warriorâ was shaking like a shitting dog. I thought he would cry. Iâm sure that when he returned to his tent at St Paulâs he would have found a wee bit of poo had come out. While this was going on I noticed one of the protesters fall to the ground as though he had been shot by an unseen police sniper. Clutching an invisible stomach wound, he was helped to his feet and dragged off the battlefield by two of his comrades. When I photographed this, the crowd turned on me. They honestly thought that I would stop shooting. I didnât.
There were only at most 150 protesters involved in this episode but the surprising thing is most of them were female. OK, it may have been hard to tell with some of them (November and all that) most of them were more âTena Ladyâ than âSexy Ladyâ. the screech from these baggy jumper wearing harpies is worse than the dreaded vuvuzela.
Finally, before the Haymarket became blocked with cops vehicles, two cabbies who tried to weave their way through the crowds of protesters. The cabs were slowly trying, foot by foot, to get through. The protesters took umbrage at this and started banging and kicking the cars. One driver, clearly scared, stayed in his car, the other, being what I would class a â proper London cabbie,and a bit of an old geezer,â got out to remonstrate with the crowd. For asking the crowd to move, he was spat on and abused by the crowd. He got back in the cab and with the help of the cops, manged to drive away. It will be a sorry day for the protesters if normal working class people, just like that cabbie, realise that enough is enough and decide to take the law into their own hands and rid the streets of the rabble at St Pauls once and for all.
Quite why non of this has featured prominently in the MSM is open to debate. There was an ITV crew inside the building with the protesters, and they filmed all the arrests. I would like to think that the reason for this was to deprive the OccupyLSX of the publicity they crave. Cast your mind back to M26 this year and the last big union led protest in London. Tens of thousands of peaceful protesters had their moment in the media spotlight snatched away when the same clowns involved in the Haymarket debacle smashed up Fortnum and Masons. I for one am glad the MSM choose to largely ignore the troublemakers this time.
The Occupy âbrandâ in London at least, again showed itâs true colours yesterday. I have heard a rumour that a certain Mr Assange may be hosting an end of term bunga bunga party in the womenâs refuge tent at St Paulâs. I understand there may be a display by an imported troop of banobo monkeys. Make of that what you will, but remember â you heard it here first.