Positive report from Fuck Parade 3, sent in by a random anarchist who was in the mob.
Last Saturday over a thousand people came together at the ‘Fuck Parade’ to resist gentrification and the social cleansing in London’s East End. It was a beautiful expression of feeling put into action.
It kicked off under Shoreditch High Street arches with three or so massive music rigs, fire breathing and buzzing energy. A couple of hundred at first, mostly anarchists, squatters and social housing eviction resistors. The solid bloc continued to grow, as the informal march went through the streets chanting with flares and flash grenades, holding space and blocking roads, picking up more and more local people off the street and out of the estates as it passed. At points the demo was around a thousand people.
As the march hit the famous hipster cereal cafe the windows went in and it got a dose of red paint. The staff got the shutters down but not before a smoke bomb had gone in and the street outside got christened with cornflakes.
On from there a number of upmarket Estate agents got smashed up and kicked in with boots and flying metal street furniture. As riot cops tried to keep up with the bloc and occasionally try to cut it off or snatch people, they were very obviously outnumbered and the crowd weren’t having any of it, with missiles flying, confrontations and very physical scuffles breaking out continuously, leading to a decent amount of pighats flying about…
There was a “hipster cop pig” effigy set alight, bins pulled into the road and put on fire, which was helpfully much exacerbated by the clueless cops who struggled with the burning effigy spreading the fire.
De-arresting was fearless, as at one point almost fifty people swarmed to try and take back one of their own, driving riotcops with shields and batons back off the road.
The bloc held solid for the best part of the demo with police unable to penetrate it, impotent and overwhelmed by numbers they clearly hadn’t anticipated, given the local strength of feeling.
Cop vans with arrestees were surrounded and unable to move, and the rear doors of one van were forced open in an attempt to liberate arrestees, with the crowd demanding “give them back they dont belong to you!”. The cops were properly riled and even began turning on each other when one of the riotcops lost it and started screaming that his colleague was a “fat stupid cunt”.
The solidarity was beautiful as the crowd protected each other, refused police access to blocs, picked each other up if we hit the floor and totally had each others backs. In the middle of what might have looked like total chaos, when an ambulance was seeking to pass the road, the entire crowd simultaniously stopped and waved it through, immediately reforming to retake the road once it had passed.
The crowd went on to split into three or so roaming blocs, each finding its own action and celebrations before diffusing into the night.
Much has subsequently been made in the mainstream press of the hipster wanker cereal cafe getting smashed. But for those who were there that was just one aspect of many, seemingly no more pertinent a target at the time than the Estate agents, which got an even better thrashing but were almost entirely written out of the “official” narrative. Similarly, participants were misrepresented as a bunch of middle class whiteboys, when in fact it was very predominantly working class and diverse in terms of age, gender, race, ability and experience. This rewriting of history and identity is arguably its own type of state/media violence. Either they just dont want to see us, or perhaps we are so invisible to them they can no longer see us at all?
Alongside somesuch pure bollocks made up by the press, there’s predictably been all types of liberal middle class whining in the mainstream media about direct action, the “right” to ineffective protest, and the human right to expensive cereal. The point lost on them all is that the Fuck Parade exists precisely to offend the parasitic classes and class traitors. It is precisely the fact that Fuck Parade has made no apologies for itself and sets its own terms that has so far been its strength.