?

Log in

No account? Create an account
just another day in the city - The Villages

hutch0
Date: 2009-04-01 23:03
Subject: just another day in the city
Security: Public
Location:home
Mood:exhaustedexhausted
Music:sky news
As those of you who are on FaceBook - or `the 'book,' as we refer to it - will be aware, earlier today I took a wander up to the Bank of England to have a look at the G20 protests.
I hadn't really planned on doing this. I hate crowds - I almost lost my mind on my one visit to the Notting Hill Carnival - and I've spent an appreciable part of my miserable life trying to avoid trouble. But we were watching footage of the protests on the telly in the office and I mentioned that I was half-thinking of popping up there, and our office manager launched into a convoluted tale of how, when he was a Boy Journalist, he covered a Rangers-Celtic match and he was the only journalist to witness trouble kicking off and wrote a story that got him in trouble with the Glasgow Police. And I thought, ah, the hell with it, it's only ten or fifteen minutes up the road, I'll go and have a look. Never seen a riot before.
So at lunchtime I went up Ludgate Hill and along Cheapside to Bank Junction, and now I'm going to tell you what I saw, which may be slightly different to what you've seen on television and what you'll see in the papers tomorrow.
When I got there, about ten to one, Bank Junction looked like this



It looks kind of impressive on the telly, but the main body of the crowd was confined by the police within the junction, which is not a vast space. Everyone else was tourists and local workers out on their lunch-hour and people who'd just come to watch.
I thought the atmosphere was pretty good, really. There were people out selling teeshirts and whistles, someone had a sound system. The police had everything locked down pretty tight, but things seemed fairly good-natured, if a bit boisterous.
I worked my way around the junction down sidestreets and alleyways, and as I did I saw the horses go in



They formed up on Lothbury, around the back of the Bank of England. Note Token Idiot Having His Photo Taken With The Horses



This is from the other side of the junction, looking back to where I took the first pic. The building on the right is the Bank Of England



And the lady with the ginger hair and the `Chaos' headband is Vivienne Westwood. I have no idea what she was doing there, but she was being interviewed by somebody.



This next one is two guys in `V' masks, who when I saw them were having a rather amiable conversation with two policemen. A lot of people were taking photos of their sign. I wonder why.



I didn't see any trouble while I was there. I missed the windows of the RBS going in because I was trying to get around the other side of the junction, but on the whole, as I said, I thought the atmosphere was pretty good. It was a nice sunny day, it was like a big party. The police were variously grumpy, single-minded and perfectly relaxed and happy, which is normal for the police; I saw lots of coppers having smiling conversations with people, and I saw lots of coppers looking very grim and matter-of-fact. I also saw a lot of coppers putting on riot gear in the sidestreets, which was when I decided to make my excuses and leave.
There were clashes between protesters and police, and when you see them on telly they look terrifying, but that's because they're all edited together. Some of the media over here are characterising it as a `battle' between the forces of anarchy and the forces of law and order, but I didn't see that.
There were scuffles, and people injured and people arrested, and I'm hearing on the news that someone died this evening outside the Bank of England, but I don't know enough to comment on that. What I can say is that if this had been Paris, there would have been tear gas and baton rounds and water cannon and at least one building would have gone up in flames. This was not the Poll Tax Riot, and anyone who tells you it was wasn't there.
Post A Comment | 8 Comments | | Link






User: sarcobatus
Date: 2009-04-02 02:40 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thanks for posting this, Hutch. It's very interesting information.

I'm glad you got out of there when the riot gear made an appearance.

I don't like crowds too. Avoid them as much as possible.

I'm never at Facebook. Do you know how to set up an alert feed from Facebook to LJ, if there is such an animal? I need to know who posts what and when because I'm here more than there. Is there an email alert like what we get from LJ when a friend posts?
Reply | Thread | Link



hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2009-04-05 00:41 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
You only have to look at the protests in Strasbourg at the NATO summit to see how different things are here. Tear gas, baton rounds, burning buildings. Apart from some notable exceptions, we're just not as militant as the French.
I actually spent another half hour or so working my way around the junction until I could get back towards Fleet Street after I saw the police tooling up, and nothing happened. In any event like this you can assume the media have pumped it up by roughly fifty percent.
I'm not sure there is an alert feed from LJ to Facebook. You can link your LJ posts to Facebook, but I'm assuming in my case nobody would be interested. You can get email alerts if someone comments on a thread you've commented on.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



User: sarcobatus
Date: 2009-04-05 21:59 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Indignant
"You can link your LJ posts to Facebook, but I'm assuming in my case nobody would be interested."

I know no one will be interested in mine; and anyway Facebook is too public for me.

In response to the Pres pic, yup.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2009-04-07 22:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I know what you mean; there have been a couple of occasions when I've been about to post something on The 'book and I've stopped and thought, `Um, no, that's probably best said among friends over at the villages.'
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



calcinations
User: calcinations
Date: 2009-04-02 16:46 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
As I expected. It'll be interesting to find out over the next few days if they've been misusing anti-terrorist legislation or not. The media coverage sounds about normal, ie silly and one sided.
Reply | Thread | Link



hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2009-04-07 22:28 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I don't think they'll need to use the anti-terror laws for this one; public disorder will cover pretty much everything they want to do.
I suspect, though, that they have a huge problem on their hands after the Guardian published the video of Ian Tomlinson being attacked by a policeman.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



Kat
User: artykat
Date: 2009-04-02 19:46 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I really appreciated you going there and taking photos and then sharing it with us! Really interesting!

I also hate crowds. yuck.
Reply | Thread | Link



hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2009-04-05 00:26 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I wish I could tell you I did it out of the goodness of my heart for my flist, but I'm afraid I can't. When I got talking to our manager I got the impression he was getting worried that something would kick off and we wouldn't have anyone there to report on it. And he's not the sort of person who orders people around - a lot of his conversation is couched in metaphor and story and body language. But I figured he wanted someone to go, and from the television coverage I didn't think anything dangerous was going to happen, so why not? So I got some brownie points, I got some stuff I can write about for the Dundee Courier's Diary feature, and I got to smile for the Sky News helicopter's cameras. And to be honest with you, lunchtime on Fleet Street is so crashingly tedious that a potential riot starts to look attractive.
Reply | Parent | Thread | Link



browse
the villages
the links
December 2013
the promo