Thursday, November 27, 2008

Dancing at the Royal Exchange

Last week - 18th November - people gathered outside the Royal Exchange in the City of London (financial district) for a mobile clubbing event. You know the kind of thing, flashmob meets up and people dance to their own music on their headphones, then disperse. Life in London and Make Shift Media were there - the latter reporting 'There were babies, and men in suits, and cyclists, and students, and hipsters, and hippies… they were swaying, and rocking out, and popping, and skanking... Every once in a while a spontaneous cheer would erupt, people would throw their arms up and whoop and dance harder for a minute. So much fun to be among city strangers, staying warm in the chilly November night, all boogying down!'

As the financial crisis deepens, perhaps so does people's focus on the financial districts of London and other cities. In London at least this is an area that many people never go to unless they work there and it can be quite ghostly at weekends when less people are around. So it's good to see some streetlife returning to the area that was once the heart of London life, not just banking. Further east at Canary Wharf there was also o a Halloween dancing on the grave of capitalism event with ghosts and witches (on the same day there was an anti-capitalist Zombie Walk in Amsterdam).

The place where people danced last week outside the Royal Exchange in London was where hundreds of (mainly) punky protestors were penned in by police during the March 1984 Stop the City 'Carnival Against War, Oppression and Destruction'. And in June 1999, thousands took part in the riotous Carnival Against Capital in the area, with music from large mobile sound systems, not just from ipods. More to come I am sure...

1 comment:

Mr Tear said...

Now seems like a good time to drag the soundsystems out of storage (or recall them from Spain & Eastern Europe). A Carnival Against Capital would go down a storm at the minute...maybe RTS style?