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Blog: Sticking It To The Man

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I had the afternoon off on Monday to go to a DEMO, for LO! there was a debate in the House Of Commons about the Badger Cull and so The Words On My Placard and I were there to support The Badger Army.

It felt weird coming out of Westminster Tube, into a scene which had been all over the news the week before. As I walked around Parliament I saw policemen going about their business and tourists being tourist-y, and then I saw all the flowers laid out in front and attached to the railings. It was all suddenly very moving and real, that something awful had happened here just a few days ago, to people just like all of us, here for all our various reasons in one of the most exciting cities in the world.

Like everybody else I carried on, literally, in fact, carrying along downn the road and soon found myself at the demo where The Members Of My Crowd had been given a LAB COAT to wear and a placard to hold. The lab coat was part of the plan to draw attention to the Scientific FACTS around the Badger Cull i.e. that there is absolutely completely no evidence WHATSOEVER that Badgers are carrying Bovine TB to cattle. The actual truth of the matter is that David Cameron brought in the cull as a way to allow gits to murder badgers, EITHER because some farmers think they're a "pest", OR to allow easier planning permission for HS2, OR just because some people enjoying killing animals, depending on who you believe. Whatever the reason, it's a total pile of bollocks which results in the cruel deaths of animals that are meant to be protected.

We stood around for a bit and then there were SPEECHES, during which we discovered that Bovine TB may not have been found in badgers (they're not actually TESTING the badgers they kill for some reason, almost as if that's not why they're doing it...) but HAS been found in Hunting Hounds! So, the people who are most keen on killing animals are CAUSING the disease they're using as an excuse for doing it! Worst still, this has been the case for DECADES, but has apparently been covered up - we stood AGOG, taking in this news!

After the speeches we were told there'd be half an hour or so break and then some more speeches. This, I thought, would coincide with the debate in parliament which was due to start at half past four. Time passed, however, and nothing much happened - the lab coats and placards were collected up, people drifted away, but of speaking there was none. At about half past five someone started up a chant of "Save our badgers - stop the cull!" which everyone joined in with for about fifteen minutes, until some of the (very friendly otherwise) police came over to ask us to stop, as there'd been a complaint from over the road. There were about six loudspeaker things being used, so it was quite loud, but The Voices In My Chorus suggested that maybe this was just part of the process. The demo makes a right old racket for fifteen minutes, the police come over and give us a reason to stop, and everyone can go home happy.

It was a perfectly reasonable plan, spoilt slightly by an "anarchist" who took this as his cue to stick it to the man by continuing with the shouting. When asked to stop he looked all innoccent, waited two minutes, then started blowing a HORN. SIGHS all round were heard as the policeman dutifully plodded over to ask him to stop - it was a bit of entirely unnecessary dickheadery which resulted in a KERFUFFLE which was SOMEWHAT undermined by the self same Anarchist leaving five minutes later because "I've got a train to catch".

Or maybe that was just another part of The Traditional Process that I was unaware of?

Anyway, we stood around a bit longer until the organiser said that that was the end and we could go home now. As ever with these events I found it slightly infuriating, also PUZZLING - if someone has the wherewithal to ORGANISE a demo like this, with all the police negotiations and booking of locations, PA systems and speakers, why do they always allow it to drift off into complete disarray on the day itself? The only time I've ever been to ANY demo that was properly organised all the way through and DIDN'T end with everyone standing around going "Is that it? Can we go home now?" was another badger demo a few years ago when BRIAN MAY came and talked. It was almost as if everyone thought "Crikey, Brian May is coming, we'd better make sure it all goes properly!" That one finished EARLY!

Still, it was good to be there and make our point - with all the utter nonsense about flipping Brexit going on, and all the unutterable crap that will be filling up the news for the next two years about it, it's important to make sure the Tories don't get completely away with everything unchallenged!

posted 29/3/2017 by MJ Hibbett

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