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Saturday, October 22, 2005

BOOKWORMS TURN: Met heavy handidness causes mini riot

Following the Bookfair, we (we now including two strays from the Cardiff Anarchist Network we had picked up) headed off to the nearest pub. The nearest pub was a Whetherspoons pub which, as you probably know, is a chain that does not allow music in any of its pubs. Some of those from the book fair had the radical idea of playing some music in the pub…. Outrageous I know, but this innocent little act kicked off a mini riot.

A few bods gathered in the middle of the pub and assembled a mini sound system and when they were ready, they pumped up the volume and started dancing. It was not exactly a block rockin’ sound system, but it p*ssed the bar staff off big time. After a few minor attempts to shut the system off the management decided to shut the bar, thus p*ssing off everyone in the pub, including the Arsenal fans that were having a post match drink (I don’t know how Arsenal got off, but I know they did not win 6:1!).

After a while, the forces of law and order arrived outside. The cheesy quavers that had set up the ‘sound system’, happily turned it off, stuffed the various bits in their pockets and started to disperse. This really should have been the end of it all.

The Blue Meanies had a different view on things and decided to nick someone with a bit of the sound system in their hand. Not a clever thing to do outside a pub full of people whose raison d’etre is to challenge authority. Reinforcements soon arrived, first in patrol cars, then in vans. Within fifteen minutes the riot shields were out and the Met’s Forward ‘Intelligence’ Team had arrived. The street was closed and for half an hour madness reigned, all because someone dared to play music in a Whethersp**ns. If they had sent a couple of bobbies to wag fingers at the naughty kids it would have all gone un noticed, but they juts had to nick someone. When will they learn?

I have no idea what was going through the heads of those that set up the music, maybe it was just a laugh or maybe it was some sort of radical Reclaim the Pubs type thing. What it did achieve was a small dent in the pocket of JD Whetherspoon, not a world changing action, not particularly big or clever, but satisfying in its own little way.


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