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(en) Ireland, Workers Solidarity #82 - The Joy of Reclaiming Streets

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Thu, 23 Sep 2004 09:29:35 +0200 (CEST)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
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"Singing and dancing, man expresses himself as a member of a higher unity.
He has forgotten how to walk and talk and is on the verge of flying up
into the air as he dances."
The Birth of Tragedy, F. Nietzsche.
The first feeling at any Reclaim The Streets is a strange one for
someone accustomed to the plodding, predictability of your usual
lefty "protest". It's that unsettling feeling of not knowing:
a) where we are going and
b) what is going to happen over the next few hours.

Strangely-dressed people look for a sign or signal, a few paper-sellers
hawk their wares somewhat warily. A signal goes up - the bikes head
off and then, suddenly, we're moving and moving quite quickly! The
next emotion is a tingle of expectation. As the motley group begins to
coalesce and swell in numbers a sense of purpose emerges, the crowd
quickens its pace. When it hits a certain size a spontaneous roar
surges up from nowhere, it begins to sense its own size and capacity
for adventure. And suddenly we're there.

There's usually a brief moment of excitement and complete chaos as
the sound gear sets up - often followed by a long period of frustration
as the generator fails to fire, some one has forgotten one of the
unbalanced mono leads, the police are already in the van and are
turning it over for evidence of hidden wombles. But pretty shortly
something approaching a crackly cough of sound emerges. And the
crowd go wild. It switches off again.

A few bongo players try and keep some sort of noise going. Oh no!
Someone is in possession of an acoustic guitar with intent to play.
But, eventually, it's on! Never since, maybe, the drugged-up days of
the really, really, really early rave scene will you see a crowd more
enthusiastic, more creative, more "up for it" and more willing to
move. Despite the fact that the DJs can't mix, one deck is broken and
the sound is like a broken walkman being peed on at the bottom of a
toilet, everybody seems to be having a good time.

A strange collection of hippies, crusties, passing kids, homeless
people, full time hedonists (just outa the scratcher), students, freaks
and ordinary "professionals" meld into one motley whole and swirl
around on a street that just previously hosted nothing more than an
anonymous traffic queue. The day goes on - the drink flows, the
organisers begin to worry, the cops look grim, another sound system
unloads, a few conscientious heads start filling black bags with cans.
What will happen next? - Will everyone get home OK? Will the party
ever end? Will it wander off somewhere else?

The interesting thing is you really can't be completely sure just what
will happen - it's up to you!

by Krossphader

see also

* The anarchist movement in Ireland
* Reclaim the Streets
This page is from the print version of the Irish
Anarchist paper 'Workers Solidarity'.
We also provide PDF files of all our publications
http://www.struggle.ws/wsm/pdf.html for you
to print out and distribute locally
Print out the PDF file of this issue

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