I know. I'm a disgrace.
Anne, you're absolutely right about Mosely using the park for demos too. See here what a little googling threw up (literally?)
Oh yes and we mustn't forget the Anarchist Picnics, like this one in 1978
Any idea where the speaker's corner used to be?
It was down by the gate nearest Finsbury Park station and I was told that some twenty five years ago by 90 year old Harry Young, a former British Young Communist league founder member and later Socialist Party of Great Britain stalwart who used to speak there as a young firebrand desperately trying to impress the left wing girls with his impressions of Harry Pollitt, Zinoviev, Stalin and the like. He was later sent to Russia as the UK delegate to the Third International and became fluent in Russian albeit with what Zinoviev called 'a disgusting accent'. I tried to make a documentary about him back then called 'The Cockney Commissar' and I still have his un-published autobiography.
By the way, it's not a question of the dismissive "something must be done about these agitators". It's the semi permanence of the encampment. That doesn't seem to be what the archive photo (they are indeed a fine set of gates) represents if it's presented as an argument. Nothing I've said in this string opposes the odd march or demonstration whatever my sour views as to the political efficacy of the Sunday march. It's the semi-permanence and "in your face" that is an irritant to some people - yes, like myself - who likely walk through the gates about fifteen times a week. I don't log how long there's been a political set-up at the gates this year but it seems to me for a fair number of weeks.
No, the photo was more to answer the question of why not demonstrate at the Turkish embassy etc. My point was that anti-war activity was a feature of the Park every Sunday. Why Finsbury Park and not in Central London? Perhaps for precisely the reasons people set out. It's where 'real' people are who may not appreciate their strolls interrupted by politics but if you are promoting a cause (especially in the days before mass media or nowadays if your cause is unlikely to spark interest in the media) you need to be in a prominent place to draw ordinary people's attention to what you have to say.
Historically given that support for the First War was almost unanimous amongst ordinary people in 1914, those who were speaking and demonstrating against it were probably at risk from angry denunciation, if not violence by the people that they were trying to convince. My comment re "something must be done about these agitators" therefore refers more to the idea raised here that they should be somewhere else marching and protesting. I imagine that the anti-war demonstrators were probably told the same thing.
So no problem with the previous PKK - Oclan set up that was probably there for about three weeks - but am very happy to be corrected as to duration?
So the point remains that this protest camp seems "semi-permanent" and "in your face"?
Is it just that the MET are scared of these people because they have no officers inside? And I don't mean that I think they should be shut down, I mean that anybody else would be stopped from doing this. Imagine if Greenpeace setup here with loudspeakers and music all day long?
And also think about what GCHQ would be doing with your facebooks posts now if the MET thought you were causing "trouble".
Who knows? Sometimes its just a case of there's nothing technically to stop them and they have enough folk to man it.
After all they changed the law to try and get rid of Brian Haw. They failed and his successor continues to protest there despite them taking away everything including her chair. She's been there 8 years.
I'm surprised at you John using a 'whataboutery' argument.
I'm doing it from the point of view of "what about my right to protest?". I've taken my children on marches in central London where there was a heavy and rather intimidating police presence and I doubt that any trades union would be allowed to occupy this gate in this way.
I usually complain about the inconvenience of local demos but I support this one, in solidarity with the Taksim demonstrators.
I wonder if our Bulgarian neighbours will do something in support of demonstrators in Sofia and other Bulg cities? They are standing up against corruption in their government. A lot of people around the world now coming out to say 'enough is enough.' Interesting times.
I can't help but be reminded, watching these protests in Turkey, Bulgaria, Brazil, of the heady days of the Tiananmen square pro-democracy protests, 1989 in Beijing. I remember visiting students occupying the Square in their tents, talking to them of their hopes and ideals, and of what they expected would happen. I was coincidentally doing research at the time for my PhD thesis on educated youth and their movement highlighted both similarities to as well as differences with the policies of the Deng Xiaoping government and Chinese youth. I made copious notes, some sound recordings and took pics (I still have them somewhere!) There was no internet back then- I relayed as much through to the BBC Worldservice via James Miles by public phones.
In the end, I watched helplessly as tanks rolled down the streets towards the Square on the night of June 3rd/4th and later became a witness to something I never thought I would see in my life.
I really hope that the Taksim protests and the others can bring some peaceful changes. After all these years, perhaps I still have some ideals left.