May 14, 2004


After being involved in various Reclaim the streets and Mayday demo's it felt good to be around something where I was proud of the British Police although in truth I haven't been anti British police for many years. Living the life of a vagrant in London they had always been kind to me when I was pavement drawing. Doing squat parties in London we would often have the whole night patrol come slamming through the door. What we were doing was blatantly illegal, yet as we concentrated all their problems in one area, and were polite they always left without busting us.

One time we were having a party where we lived in a squat in Hoxton st. It was a Halloween fancy dress. We invited three sound systems and had a theatre, which included the stage and scenery from the hit west end show Bottom which started Ade Edmonson and Rik Mayall.

There were a few Osama Bin Ladens and an amazing mummy. We were all joking that if the Police were going to bust us it had better be tonight. I was standing by the door, painted red from head to toe with not much on, and what I did have on was made of fur. Sure enough, 2 van loads of Police turned up. We tried to close the heavy wooden door but they barged it open and tried to push in against a growing barrage of costumed people.

Seth who is six foot four (see BRING THE WAR TO THE FLOOR earlier) was there in a mini dress and a Merlin mask. He had his hands on a Policeman’s shoulders until the policeman realised and got agitated, so Seth let go. I leaned through

" Excuse me Merlin. I think you'll need this..." I picked up a plastic sword from the ground and put it in his hands. The policeman nearest me started trying to assert himself.

" Look mate you're getting red paint all over your uniform." I warned him.

Eventually two senior looking dudes with caps on stood forward. The older guy turned to the younger and said

" Right. What are you going to do." apparently we were to be part of a training session.

" We have suspicions of an illegal bar here. " he said to one of our number. " Can the two of us search the premises? "

This was agreed to and the officers were escorted, the long way, around the building. The guy doing the escorting was hoping someone would be going the short way to trash and hide as much of the bar as possible. I have no idea who was running it. I was just hanging around my front door to make sure no thieves left with anything from my house. The party was heaving and sweating with 400 costumed people totally out of their nuts some of who were shouting at these two policemen complimenting them on their fancy dress outfits.

By the time the officers had got downstairs the alleged bar had allegedly disappeared but there were still 4 fridges to negotiate. The younger guy opened one fridge to find one Alco pop bottle. Then he went upstairs. I wasn't there but I heard a story that all the other fridges were brim full of beer. I was still with the other police by the door who we were already getting on good terms with. The officers came back upstairs grinning from ear to ear obviously impressed with everyone’s costumes.

Everyone thanked them for coming and said that if they wanted to come again there was no need to bust the door, they could always talk to us. We asked if they wanted to stay for a beer but they said no, they unfortunately had to work. When the door eventually closed we all jumped around like kids for a little bit. None of the Metropolitan Police want to bust you for hash; they quite sensibly don't want to waste their time. Like most British people they just want you to be polite. The Police were the main force behind Cannabis being lowered to class " C " whatever that means. At times they seemed to be campaigning for it to be decriminalized more than most dope smokers I know. In truth the Police in Finsbury Park were turning a blind eye to all sorts of homophobic statements, punches and kicks and I didn't blame them at all. It was, totally the British thing to do.

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