Thursday, January 25, 2007

it'll never get better if you picket

Sitting in the coffee shop window is the model of urban sophistication, to most people, to me its more often a pain in the arse, but at the moment though the amount of people I would like to meet far outweigh the amount I'm trying to avoid, and the pleasure of watching the assortment of winter faced freaks and strange shaped heads that share my dirty little city is entirely worth the risk.

Out of my window I can see a silly hat juggler taking a break from peddling his pointless anarchic skill to the uncaring crowd. I remember this guy from the only protest march I ever went on - same hat but he was topless and roaring against globalisation. Now he's drinking McDonalds hot chocolate outside a Tesco's juggling for pennies, and yes, I am aware of the hypocrisy of sitting in a Starbucks bemoaning the fall of an anti-globalisation protester, but in my defence I have to say I was only there to meet girls.

The night before you see, me and my good friend Twon were in a pub (surprise) for no real reason apart to celebrate a day of the week that ends in "Y" and we are approached by a very lovely but in retrospect, quite smelly lady. She basically told us there was a massive protest organised to coincide with the other May Day protests around the world, Twon feigned interest and I decided to go, based on the same reason I have seemed to do most things; it might be a bit of a laugh.

Next day at the crack of noon, me, my brother and Twon made our way into the city centre looking for hippies. I took my mammoth of a brother along for protection - you never know when a six foot man mountain will come in handy, to which there were about forty of us, embarrassingly for the protesters, we were outnumbered by the police 2:1, we were given a telling off and them "escorted" to the "allocated protest area" which was under a fly-over in the arse end of town, my brother caused some poor hippies to be arrested by pushing them into the police herding escort because they was pushing us, later on it turns out the poor bastards were only pushing us because the police was pushing them into us. My brother, the only guy ever to turn up to an anti-globalisation protest in a Nike t-shirt.

Some half hearted chanting and milling around later, we dispersed and after lying to the head hippy saying we would come back later, as a souvenir Twon and little brother took there placards, which wasn't a problem until Twon insisted he was hungry and decided that the only place to go was McDonalds. They immediately called the police, I, being the most rational and least giggling of the three of us, pointed out to the police officers that we wasn't actually protesting, merely hungry, and no we wasn't going to get rid off the placards because holding a placard isn't actually illegal yet. Logic coupled with the mumbling of my pacing brother about "trying to take it off him" convinced the police we weren't anarchists intent on bringing down the system and three weird men having a laugh.

Obviously somebody suggest a trip to the pub, unfortunately Twons and my brothers attention span are only marginally longer than mine and the novelty of the placards had worn off, soon a playful fight had broken out between them using the placards as weapons, because of there size it looked worse than it actually was, and the police were called for a second time, once again it fell to me to explain the commotion was all youthful hi-jinx and pleased that they never had to break up a nasty fight, the police went to leave.
"You might want to get rid of the placards though" said one police officer as he got into his car. At this my brother said.
"fair enough" and casually tossed it to one side, I have never worked out whether it was an final act of civil disobedience or just him not knowing his own strength because the offending item flew over a nearby wall and we heard a metallic *clang* and then a very loud car alarm going off. This time the police wasn't so forgiving.

It was serious this time, our names were taken. My brother, this being his first time encountering the police, gave a false name.
"John Brown" I'm not sure if the name could have sounded more false, but I stepped in and told him that he should give a real name because they check.
"***** Smith" he told them, of course this also sounded false but was in fact the truth, the curse of the family name Smith. The police reminded him how they ARE actually checking and did he want to change his mind, this confused him, and he hesitated, which was even more suspicious. They asked my name.
"Daniel Smith" that was it, I could see across they cops faces that any sense of humour they were harbouring, was now well and truly stripped away. Luckily Twon saw this too and gave his real name, unfortunately when asked the place of birth Twon had to answer truthfully.
"Perth, Australia" he said with a wide, shit eating grin spreading across his face in a fatalistic act of defiance. I expected any minute to feel the sting of CS spray and the sharp crack on the knee of a baton being drawn.

We got a warning. And a story to tell the kids. And I got a pint after all


Blogger Tumuli ranted..

A story, indeed. You should have also kept the placards as souvenirs and possibly used them at another protest, under assumed names the cops can't check. ;)

9:47 PM  
Blogger Shroom-Monkey ranted..

yeah, and it will never better if you don't start posting on a more regular basis. Come on Danny, get your ass in gear!!!

10:29 PM  

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