Policeman at Occupy London quoting Winstanley

Darren mail at vegburner.co.uk
Tue Oct 25 01:59:17 BST 2011



/OccupyLondon's extension squat is now well established right in front 
of the Bloomberg HQ in Finsbury Square. The School of Oriental & African 
Studies student union have moved their big Mongolian yurt, a splendid 
affair robed in very thick white felt, from London University to the 
shadow of Deutsche Bank. A number of the Finsbury campers seem to have 
been lured from their TV sets by Friday's sudden volte-face by the 
Cathedral authorities. St Paul's announced out of the blue that they 
wanted the pro-democracy demonstrators to depart. Yet just a few days 
earlier it was suggested that maybe the police should leave. Why?/

/The pressure from above to which the Dean & Chapter had succumbed was 
not, of course, God but Mammon./

///The latter, however---in the form of City of London Corporation & the 
Tory Party at prayer, with more than a phone call or two, no doubt, from 
the Home Secretary (i.e. /for European readers, the Minister of the 
Interior/)---seems in its tactics to have brought forth that which it 
sought to suppress. Sudden evaporation of any visible principles of 
Christian charity, in favour of the nation's money lenders, was the very 
thing that caused a second anti-banker bridgehead to bounce up almost 

/Finsbury Gardens, which in the Christmas bonus season play host to 
hordes of fat cats & vomiting commodity traders, are ideally placed to 
catch the autumn sun most of the day; and the attention of constant 
passing traffic, which is forced to stop at a set of conveniently placed 
City Road traffic lights. Bus drivers hooting support as they drive by. 
Well-wishers of all sorts dropping off donations of food, tents etc. 
Each time it happens a big cheer goes up./

/Team of volunteers yesterday (Sunday) apparently went 60 miles to 
collect a set of donated portaloos. Yesterday morning requests for 
interviews at Finsbury Square alone were coming in at two or three an 
hour, from the likes of LBC radio phone-ins, Press TV (Iran), BBC Online 
etc. A very clued-up young Palestinian, who's doing a course at Exeter, 
had completed four or five no-nonsense question & answer sessions by 
lunch time./

/Young women seem to play a major role---unusually for most such 
political situations---at Finsbury. Very focused & efficient, they 
facilitate the two general assemblies each day, for example, more so 
than the men. And run around recruiting campers to deal with the meeja. 
One of the most skilled technical advisers, however, flitting between St 
Paul's & Finsbury, yesterday at least, is a self-employed window-cleaner./

/One Met Superintendent, stood watching from a distance as yesterday's 
morning meeting got under way. He was a tad audibly contemptuous, I 
noticed, of two legal observers some yards away across the lawn. 'Which 
are they?' I asked, not having hitherto spotted that there were any./

/'The one's in the yellow tabards //,' he replied. 'Autonomous 
collective? Now there's a contradiction. Like socialist worker'/

/I pointed out that the meeting of hand-flutterers wasn't in fact called 
an autonomous collective but a general assembly. Seeking to establish 
some common ground, I reminded his colleague, a Scot, that the Church of 
Scotland has a General Assembly. Which prompted his superior---somewhat 
to my astonishment---to start quoting Winstanley at me. '"And the earth 
shall be a common treasury for all . . ." General assembly was a term 
used by the New Model Army . . .'/

/He was familiar, it turned out, with both the Penguin edition of 
Winstanley and, in the circumstances, its suitably titled companion 
volume by Christopher Hill: /The World Turned Upside Down/./

///' . . . Very interesting man, Winstanley.'/

/Stroll on. And mind how you go./

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