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Thread: London 2020

  1. #1
    Milner for PM!
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    London 2020

    What with car shows being off, I have to occupy my time somehow...

    I sensed that my adrenal glands were going to be put to work as soon as I walked masklessly into East Croydon station. There aren’t normally police patrolling the station but there were on this occasion. Fortunately, their job seemed to be to encourage Covid compliance by way of intimidation rather than physical force, and they didn’t give me any hassle.
    I arrived at King’s Cross at 11.30, having arranged to meet a group of people prior to the protest’s scheduled start at midday. This all fell apart pretty quickly, because there were very few people at King’s Cross save for a plague of policemen. Anyone would have thought someone had reported a bomb.






    The scene at King's Cross at 11.30

    My photography clearly made me conspicuous, and I was spotted by a fellow protester who informed me that due the heavy police presence at King’s Cross, the start of the protest had been moved to the Angel, so I duly set off in that direction.


    Good old-fashioned guerrilla stickering on Pentonville Road

    Once again, nothing seemed to be happening there, so I approached a bemused crowd who had got wind that the protest had been relocated again to Marble Arch. That would have been about an hour’s walk from the Angel, so we, a posse of about eight, jumped on an Underground train at Warren Street and alighted early at Bond Street, expecting Marble Arch station to be beset by more hired thugs.

    I must recount an amusing incident that took place on the train. Without giving it any though, I sat down, as one does when one sees an empty seat. The man sitting a couple of seats along quickly said to me, “I suppose you’re f—king exempt?”, to which I responded, “I am, yeah.” Quick as a flash, he jumped out of his seat and sat on the opposite side of the train. A moment later, he realised he had only moved nearer to one of my smiling comrades, so he shot up again and sprinted into the next carriage. Lol.

    Shortly after getting off at Bond Street, we noticed the protest moving along a side road and so ran to join it, feeling a bit like we were in a film. It must have been getting on for one o’clock at this point. At first, it seemed like the protest was considerably smaller than previous ones, which wouldn’t have been surprising given all the efforts of the police to disrupt it. However, the march didn’t always consist of one single coherent group, as the police tactics seemed to be to force it to disperse in smaller groups. The demographics appeared to have changed, too, compared to previous protests I’d attended. The earlier protests were marked by lots of ‘seasoned protesters’. This one seemed to be attended mainly by ordinary middle- and working-class people, folk had travelled from Durham and Wales and there was notable contingent of Scousers. There seemed to be lots more young people waking up to what’s going on as well.

    After moving back and forth through the streets of Mayfair and Soho, the actual scale of the occasion became apparent when we marched in a seemingly unified body along Oxford Street and Regent Street, and it was on this occasion that the police presence really decided it needed to make itself felt. Suffice it to say, these weren’t your normal bobbies on the beat; they were Special Coppers, from the elite band of skull-crackers formerly known as the SPG and now operating as the Territorial Support Group. I don’t know what they make truncheons from, but every policeman was nursing a great big, stiff, hard one.




    Heart-warming scenes in Soho...




    …and stomach-churning ones. Somewhere in the middle of the coppers, a harmless civilian is lying on the ground.

  2. #2
    Milner for PM!
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    Busy Old Bill at Piccadilly Circus

    As the above pictures show, the TSG operates on the principle of ‘hit people first, hit them again later’. It is its practice to harangue and intimidate peaceful protesters until it succeeds in eliciting a response borne either of anger or fright and, when it gets the response it seeks, you don’t want to stand in its way. One video shows a protester throwing railings at police. I didn’t witness that myself, but I am confident such instances were a response to or defence against police brutality rather than an attempt to incite it, as most of the protesters were generally fearful of being coshed. As my sense of journalistic duty drew me closer to the scuffle pictured above, I caught two people who’d been sent flying having inadvertently stood in the path of Constable Savage and friends. They don’t care if you’re male or female and, if the circumstance was presented, I doubt they would make the distinction between adults and children, either.

    It was only on seeing the TSG in action for the first time that I really came to appreciate what makes it so effective. When I witnessed the police throwing innocent civilians onto the tarmac without thought or hesitation, it became painfully obvious that these policemen were not acting out of any sense of civic duty or public-spiritedness, however misguided; I was staring into the face of stark, unregarding stupidity.

    Once again, we ended up being broken into smaller fragments, and we wandered around a bit aimlessly, in small enough numbers not to be of any more concern to the police, unsure if we were supposed to be heading for Trafalgar Square, Oxford Circus, or Hyde Park. Somehow, we all managed to reconvene at Hyde Park, where we were once again set upon by the TSG and were chased in a big circle around the park.


    This scene from Hyde Park gives a better idea of the scale of the march

    Somewhere along the Carriage Drive, the police pulled a somewhat ineffectual trick out of its sleeve…


    “You cross zis line, ve arrest you,” were their precise words

    We returned to Speaker’s Corner, and managed to stay there for a while. I can only presume the police didn’t have sufficient numbers to deal with us all, and we had free rein for as long as it took for back-up to arrive. The protesters took the opportunity to indulge in a rousing chorus of the protest song We Are the Ninety-Nine Per Cent, set to the tune of She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain, which I didn’t initially take to when I first heard it sung at the end of August. It struck me as somewhat crude and erring too close to the conspiracy theories. Now, though, what the hell, I’m happy to join in. We’re living well and truly in Airstrip One and the ‘poison vaccine’ of the verse is nearly upon us. Besides, I love live music and this is the best I’m going to get for a long time to come.

    Sadly, back-up did eventually arrive and we were gradually routed from about three o’clock. Cue more police brutality and nonsensical arrests.


    No mask, no neck, no brain, no heart


    A brave man, the man in grey

    As I was leaving, I witnessed the arrest of the young man in grey, who had nothing to do with the protest. He was simply out for a walk in Hyde Park with two friends. A group of TSG approached him, and said “There’s a protest going on and we’re trying to disperse it. We know you might not be involved with the protest, but you need to go home.”

    The young man quite politely stood his ground and told Constable Savage that he was entitled to stay in the park. Whoops! You don’t answer back, silly. It’s the Black Maria for you!

    This is where we are, I’m afraid. The pride and respect I feel for the people who turned up to march for their freedom in the face of police brutality is immense. The disgust I feel for the state and its hired muscle knows no bounds. I never gave too much thought to the American gun lobby’s argument that the possession of arms is necessary for the protection of citizens against the state, but after today I feel like they might have a very valid point.

    Incidentally, the day had a happy ending, as a chance conversation with a couple of other protesters as I was leaving sparked a new friendship. We enjoyed a spot of socialising after the protest, and ended the day in an ‘illicit Soho establishment’, which isn’t necessarily what it sounds like now that entry into anyone else’s premises is illicit. When I went home at about five, police vans were still bombing around every which way, for no obvious reason other than to put the fear of the devil into people.

  3. #3
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    If its OK with you,I would like to send this text to my MP, whom I have logged my disdain about the Police actions I have seen on UTube today.
    G

    You have a PM
    Last edited by fad15; 30-11-20 at 06:01 AM.

  4. #4
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    I fully support the police against selfish cunts.

  5. #5
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    Sorry guys didn't think this particular forum was for political viewpoints of which ever variety, can we please keep it to automotive and related.

    Where ever you go there will always be someone with an opinion 180 degrees out from your own.

    Neither opinion is correct, they are just that, opinions.

    My daughter works for the Met and has to deal with arseholes and idiots all day every day.

    The police do go over the top on occasion, but they do not make the rules, only enforce.

    There are always two sides to every story...

  6. #6
    Milner for PM!
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    Sorry, Phil, I'm afraid I gave into my natural urge to do some documentary reporting. I'll do my time on the naughty step.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nigel Incubator-Jones View Post
    Sorry, Phil, I'm afraid I gave into my natural urge to do some documentary reporting. I'll do my time on the naughty step.
    I love your writing style and general attitude to life. Keep on doing what your doing...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nigel Incubator-Jones View Post
    Sorry, Phil, I'm afraid I gave into my natural urge to do some documentary reporting. I'll do my time on the naughty step.
    And you still make a joke of it. I've just spent the morning with somebody who has long covid which started in March. I just hope that you never have to do the same. I come here for the cars and to escape the crap going around in the real world. Instead I wake up to this drivel. I'm done.

  9. #9
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    Me too.
    When you can no longer express an opinion for the fear of upsetting someone that does not hold the same beliefs as you we are all lost.

    Just look at whats happening around the country... you are NOT THE ONLY ONE to loose people in this so called epidemic.

    They are driving a wedge between people who up to this point were all of the same opinions and values. Seems like we have lost the fight so just hand over your cars and be a good boy......

    I have no intention of fighting you or your values so lets just part on good terms.
    Gerry
    Last edited by fad15; 30-11-20 at 04:13 PM.

  10. #10
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    or better yet lets not part but agree to disagree and get back to the car shit

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