the void was so fashionably late to the demonstration against the Israeli actions in Lebanon that we pretty much missed the demo. What we can report is that it was around 10,000 strong (maybe slightly less) and happened without incident bar a bit of argy bargy at the American Embassy where some fences were knocked over.
As to the action at the beeb’s Big Dance in Trafalgar Square, well we received this exclusive report from someone who was there.
Having left the pub and rushed across town to Trafalgar Square it was disappointing to find only one person waiting around looking slightly bored. So including the person I’d been drinking with that made a dispiriting three of us.
I’d read about the idea to disrupt the BBC’s Big Dance live broadcast on indymedia and it seemed a unique opportunity to send a message of solidarity to the people of Lebanon and show that not everyone in the UK agrees with the current Israeli massacre.
At the end of the demo in Hyde Park several people had seemed excited about the prospect and pledged to be there. I’d already walked through the Square earlier and it was wide open, virtually cop free with only around 10-20 security guarding the event.
Brucie was having it large on the stage and several million bored viewers were due to tune into this sorry spectacle.
So it seemed a done deal, various sambistas and activists were knocking around London boozers and it felt like we might be able to pull this one off. So we weren’t deterred by our lack of numbers, and mobile phones came out and calls were made. We managed to pressgang a couple of folk into being involved who were unlucky enough to be in the area as well as draw on the support of four punks who were drinking at the top of the square.
It soon became clear that no-one was likely to be enticed out of the pub to pull off what could have been a stunning action. It also became clear that most of those who’d said they were coming actually weren’t.
But we remained optimistic, even after the handful of cops present nicked our beers, which sent the punks disappearing off into the streets of Soho to down white cider in peace. The broadcast ended at around 8 and by now we were five, a ragged anarchist army, disenchanted, some slightly worse for wear and with only two placards to our names.
When Brucie announced they’d be back on at 9 for the grand finale the phones came out again and we thought perhaps we could salvage the situation. We had an hour, we made phonecalls and by nine ‘o’ clock we were numbering a less than impressive 7.
We knew we didn’t have the numbers, reckoning 20 people at least would be needed to get through the security and in front of the cameras. By 9.25, back down to 6 having lost one of us to the lure of the offie we clambered over the fences, a futile gesture born of desperation and we lasted about 10 seconds once the security saw the placards.
So we went home, dejected and tired, having wasted several hours of our Saurday night to achieve nothing.
So frankly, where the fuck were you all?
As anarchos sat in around in the boozers, no doubt moaning of the pointlessness of yet another A to B march here was a real chance to subvert the media and show the people of Lebanon that we’re not all US and Israeli stooges in the UK whatever the government may suggest.
20 people, without doubt we’d have made it on the telly. 100 people and a samba band and we’d probably have made history. But still, not worth eating into anyone’s drinking time is it, I mean it was Saturday night after all.
Too often I hear complaints about the inability of London anarchists to provide any kind of effective resistance. Well here was a chance, gift wrapped with flashing lights, celebs and millions watching throught the country.
And as ever we let it pass us by.
Fuck we might even have had the chance of meeting Bruce Forsythe!