the Disillusioned kid: Cold Cold Christmas
| Email | Home | Linkage | Profile |

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Cold Cold Christmas

Yesterday must have been one of the coldest days of the year. If not ever. So what better way to spend the evening than standing around in Parliament Square shaking a bucket full of small change? Of course, this wasn't all I was doing, I was also participating in a carol service, which may or may not have been illegal.

The dubious illegality of the service stems from the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 (SOCPA) which prohibits unauthorised demonstrations "in vicinity of Parliament." This has generated considerable resistance, as many of you are no doubt aware: "mass lone demonstrations" were large numbers of people seek authorisation for ostensibly independent protests taking place at the same time; illegal picnics; Mark Thomas' record number of protests within one day; naming the dead ceremonies; and much more. The thinking behind the carol service was that as SOCPA doesn't define what constitutes a "demonstration," it is entirely possible that a carol service might very well be covered and that the police would look pretty stupid if they tried to arrest a bunch of carol singers. Last year's event,which I didn't attend, was such a success it was decided to repeat the exercise and, freed from the bondage of wage slavery this time around, I thought I'd toddle along.


I spent most of the day wandering around London sightseeing (read: getting lost) and took the opportunity to visit Santa's Ghetto, the gallery set-up by Banksy and friends, which very definitely gets the Dk Seal of Approval. I arrived at Parliament Square at around 6.30 in time for the latest mass lone demonstration, which ran the gamut of causes from calls for the decriminalisation of the Kurdistan Workers Party/Kongral-GEL, to criticisms of the Iraq war, via demands for improved working conditions for elves.

The Carol Service kicked off just after seven with our choirmaster leading on a saxophone. I was assigned the job of collecting donations for Medical Aid for Iraqi Children (we raised £85.93 and 75 euro-cents) and distributing song sheets. I carried these tasks out with the enthusiasm which friends will be familiar with and spent much of the service hidden away at the back of the crowd so that people wouldn't notice my near total inability to sing in tune. I also snapped a few photos (which you can find here) although the light conditions and my limited photographic skills colluded to render them not all that exciting. To the apparent disappointment of some, the carols were all traditional, with traditional, unaltered lyrics. We sang:
  • O Come All Ye Faithful
  • Away In A Manger
  • Little Drummer Boy
  • The Twelve Days of Christmas
  • Deck The Halls
  • Good King Wenceslas
  • The First Noel
  • Joy To The World
  • We Wish You a Merry Christmas
  • Jingle Bells
  • Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer
  • Santa Clause Is Coming To Town
  • Amazing Grace
  • God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
  • Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
  • Silent Night
Little Drummer Boy was skipped over, because of apparent difficulties with it last year. This was fine with me. It'd have been fine with me if we'd skipped over the whole list, but I mumbled my way through.


There was also a minute's silence and Tim Ireland presented veteran peace campaigner Brian Haw with a megaphone. This apparently occurred last year, but the new one had the benefit of being even more powerful. Brian also speechified briefly and closed the service by leading the Lord's Prayer (which I was surprised to discover I still know the words to). The police were nowhere to be soon throughout.

Apparently there were 43 people in attendance, most of them, it seems, bloggers. Tim of Bloggerheads organised the whole shebang and deserves a serious back-patting for doing so. Also there were Rachel, Davide, Rabbit Strike, D-Notice and Rigmor Haga. I'm told there was somebody from Indymedia, so no doubt they'll have a report (possibly with video footage) in a day or two. After the close of play, several of us retreated to the warmth of the pub. Putting faces to names was nice and there was much discussion of possible future protests (anybody got an ice cream they might be prepared to lend us?) and the politics of blogging (on which note, National Service sounds like it's going to rock).

Overall I think we can notch the carol service up as a success, albeit a small one. It's just a shame it was so cold. Perhaps next year we can hold it in the summer?

Labels:

|

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Side Projects

Carnival of Anarchy
The Peace Pipe
UK Watch Blog

Acquaintances

Against the Current
Atopian.org
Culture hits and gendered bits
Daniel Randall
In The Water
Mike Wood
On The Barricades
Pizarro's Sword
Space Cat Rocket Ship
Surveillant Assemblage
TashCamUK FotoPage
The Naked Lunch
The Peace Pipe
The World of the Dynamite Lady

Strangers

Anarchoblogs
Antiwar.com Blog
Arte & Lingua
Barker in Valencia
Blairwatch
Bloggerheads
Blood & Treasure
Bombs and Shields
Boomablog
Born at the Crest of the Empire
Chase me ladies...
Chicken Yoghurt
Craig Murray
Dead Men Left
Direland
Disreputable Lazy Aliens
Empire Notes
Europhobia
Friends of Al Jazeera
Global Guerillas
Guerillas in the Midst
I Blame the Patriachy
Informed Comment
Insultadarity
Janine Booth
Lenin's Tomb
Life of Riley Blog
Media Watch Watch
Neil Shakespeare
NO2ID NewsBlog
One Hump or Two?
Otto's Random Thoughts
Perfect.co.uk
Pitch In For Uzbekistan
Registan.net
Run over by the truth
Solidarity With Iraqi Workers
Shut Up You Fat Whiner!
Sudan: Passion of the Present
Talk Politics
The Anthropik Network
The Daily (Maybe)
The Devil's Kitchen
The Disillusioned
The f-word
The Head Heeb
The Killing Train
The Revenge of Winston Smith
The Socialist Unity Blog
The Wicked Truth
Theory of Power
Things I Don't Have Time For
This (Fresh) Gringo
This Is My Truth
Thumping the Tub
Time The Dreaded Enemy
UK Watch Blog
UK Poli Blogs
underbrella
Under The Same Sun
Uzbekistan.neweurasia.net
What Fresh Hell Is This?
Where is Raed? (RIP)
Who Are You to Accuse Me?
Words and Rocks
Zeropointnine
Z-Net Blog

Neighbours

Asbo Community Space
Defy-ID
Eastside Climate Action
Faslane 365
Freecycle
Indymedia
No Borders
Nottingham Student Peace Movement
Refugee Forum
Stop the War
Sumac Centre
The Demo Project

Ivory Towers

Anarchist Studies Network
Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice
Postanarchism Clearinghouse

Miscellania

Anarchist FAQ
Antiwar.com
Chagos Discussion List
Chagos Support Forums
Electronic Intifada
Future of Iraq Portal
Index of Political Blogs
Indymedia UK
Infoshop
Iraq Occupation Focus
Pledgebank
Refuser Solidarity Network
SchNEWS
Socialist Unity Network
The New Standard
UK Chagos Support Association
UK Watch
Weekly Worker
Wikipedia
WriteToThem.com
Z-Net

The Progressive Blog Alliance

Register here to join the PBA.