photo diary of the 2009 Climate Camp and G20 protests in London
photo diary of the 2009 Climate Camp and G20 protests in London
[See coverage of G20 Meltodwn at Indymedia UK]
In the midst of the temporary tent city could be seen glimpses of another world, in the form of visual art (on every available surface, as chalk drawings, banners and politically charged art installations), live music (ad hoc jam sessions and Samba), pedal powered sound systems and kitchens, people dressed in carnivalesque costumes, open air meetings and meditation sessions, even a performance poetry workshop.
This was in stark contrast to what happened just streets away when a branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland had it’s windows smashed in and offices wrecked by people angry about not only the big payola that its (mis)managers were receiving at the tax payer’s expense, but also due to some of it’s investment portfolio, underwriter as they are of arms manufacturers, dirty fuels and vivisectionists – all now being subsidised by our taxes. What a wonderful world.
A few hours after I left, someone died on the streets of London that day, apparently within a crush that the police had created by herding protestors into one small area like so much cattle. One thing is for sure though, whatever official enquiry is done, it’s doubtful it will ever reveal truth of the matter. Only those that were nearby will ever know what happened, and it’s up to them to tell us.
I witnessed a half hearted kickback at the protests, in the form of city workers leaning out of office windows safely ensconsed several floors above the real action jeering and waving the pieces of paper they seem to think are so important and attach so much worth to. One man even being so bold as to mockingly shout and wave a fifty pound note (obligingly holding the pose for photographers) at a man sitting atop a monument nonchalently watching the mayhem take place around him. He seemed completely nonplussed by this weak attempt at rebellion on the part of the other party below him.
In a fiat economy such gestures seem empty, as the price of everything is subject to it’s inevitable downward trend (unless it’s deemed to have ‘status’), and the value of money itself blows with the wind.
Such is the mad mad MAD world we live in, such is the precarious balance of things that the global ecosystem hangs upon.
Just a few feet away from this incident I also saw Clowns giving away “Clown money” (I still have it here), on the grounds that in a broken economy it was probably about as useful as the ‘real’ thing.
I also crossed paths several times with someone who seemed to be setting themself up as the next incarnation of The Messiah, who as you can see was kind enough to pose for me!
What I witnessed on Wednesday is something I will never forget.
The transformation of a space usually reserved for the passage of gas guzzling vehicles and the human traffic (some would say human effluent) of commerce into something entirely different, completely outside of our usual predictable daily experience of the inevitable dreary routine of the capitalist treadmill sucking away our creative potential and commodifying our time and labour.
And yet, as I sit here and write this, in the UK alone we currently have strikers occupying several factories and parents occupying a school threatened with closure. It would seem that dissent, dissatisfaction and (un)civil disobedience are not only in the air, but are the preferred choice of action for people who are sick of being lied to, and tired of being treated like units of production.
As well as this, across the water protestors have trashed and burned a city in outrage at NATO not only being brash enough to celebrate it’s own birthday, but declare it will send more men and women to their deaths in defence of expendable fossil fuels in a country the majority of us will never visit.
This is going to be an interesting year, as momentum and dissent gather pace, as more people get angry rather than just let things happen, collectively sending out a simple message to the powers that be: YOU ARE WRONG.
G20 was just the start.
Shocking Exclusive: Man waves Fist at Protestors!!
A view over heads, looking towards Bank of England at the layered police lines.
The protests drove some to climbing the walls!
Sweet Jesus, it’s The Messiah!!
Just clowning about.
Credit Crunch Clowns.
Not The Establishment.
RubberCops, near The Bank of England.
So much for bylaws about cops and photographs…
Everybody is an artist, in their own way…
Striking a pose whilst phoning a friend.
RoboVans, brought to you by Gordon Brown.
A flowering of individuality.
The Messiah purifies The Beast!
Sounds good to me…
Credit Crunch Climate Camp…
Possibly the biggest Climate Camp so far.
Waiting on the Bus Stop!
It’s all Jungle music to me.
Note the leaf, I didn’t place it, it just happened that way.
An in-tents experience.
The Green Man…
“Stop Trading Start Swimming” – an outcome of sea levels rising perchance?
Promoting Positive Pedal Power.
Climate Camp Kitchen, serving up good wholesome food.
Have a Banana!
There were even some young farmers in attendance…
I didn’t see anyone using it.
Another variation is possible…
The banner is the point.
Two conflicting worlds, side by side.
Rhythmns of Resistance in action.
Mestre doin’ his dang…
Building to a crescendo…
Up close and noisy!
Third part of my pictorial diary of Climate Camp and G20 protests in The City of London.
Mestre says “I want the break this long”…
Piracy is rife in The City of London it would seem…
I decided to join the climbers, and this is what I saw – an amazing vista!
An overview of the police vs protestors.
A very high chair indeed.
Can’t argue with that.
I dunno, why not?
Punks mingled with Hippies, so forget all that other bunk you’ve heard.
The usual noisy, obtrusive Copper Chopper turned up and buzzed us for a while.
The only boom we’ll be seeing for a while!
It did what it says on the banner.
You won’t be seeing this in Tate Modern!
Wall Scrawl Drawl.
A familar figure put in a ghostly appearance…
In the belly of The Beast, a brief blossoming of Human potential.
Horny and strung out!
Did they take notice..? Do they ever..? It’s up to us.
Poetry in motion…
…No, REALLY in motion!
Too many distractions for me join in…
Om Sweet Om. No, they were very quiet actually.
A timely reminder of those who have fallen…
…In support of their beliefs.
Nature doesn’t do bail outs, but lawyers do if you’re nicked.
More RoboVans. I wonder how much overtime they get for doing this?
Maybe nothing directly tangible (although RBS may disagree), but we’ve shown that there is another way we can utilise our city spaces, another way of life that can be pursued outside of the endless treadmill of aquiring more things and more money, the house, the car, the 2.5 children and the dog.
You can also choose to opt out of all this nonesense and be yourself, try to fulfill your true potential as a Human Being.
In fact just to simply be yourself in the dysfunctional, conformist, materialistic society we find ourselves living in is probably one of the most revolutionary things you can do.
To detourn someone else’s catchphrase…
JUST DO IT!