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Street Party 96
|At Broadgate, the scene was rather different to
a normal day. Few suits but a crowd of people, young and a few of us less young, dressed more for fun than work
in bright colours, fancy dress, jeans or party frocks.
Faces were being painted, music was being played and we were getting ready to party. Anywhere on the streets.
Police and security stood at the edges talking in small groups and seemed at a loss.
No one seemed to know what was going to happen or where we were to go. Then people wandering through the crowd began handing out leaflets, telling us to follow the pink arm-bands. Eventually we surged into Liverpool Station, and down on to the westbound Central line platforms.
Still we had no idea where we were going - and rumours spread fast - Hyde Park was the favourite, but Marble Arch came and went. When we found Holland Park had been closed by the police we knew we were close, and at Shepherds Bush we streamed off, still following those pink bands.
The Police were apparently on our side as they seemed determined that we block Shepherds Bush Green, fencing this off at its eastern end, and bringing traffic more or less to a stop over a much larger area than the eventual party. A few tried half-heartedly to cross the police line, but with surprising good humour they were prevented. A little partying began, but we hadn't yet reached our destination yet - and still most of use weren't exactly sure where we were aiming for. Once everyone had arrived off of the trains, a group went off down a side-street, though an industrial estate and over a fence or two onto the West Cross route (M41).
By this time the police seemed more or less to have given up, though they did make one or two attempts to tow off one of the lorries carrying sound systems. A crowd of bodies surrounding this and their van made this impossible and they withdrew. Soon the sounds and the raving were in full swing along the eastern carriageway, and carpets, settees and other furniture were being carried onto the motorway to set up some living-rooms and a small section of road was grassed over.
I was sorry to leave early, but I'd used up all my film and had other places to go. I landed painfully from the long drop down from the motorway wall and limped to Latimer Road. It was great to see the party still going strong from the train.
It was fun to be there and it made its points about transport and the effects of roads effectively with coverage on radio news bulletins and tv. I was pleased to be able to take part in it. We've still got a long way to go before the streets are really ours and working for the good of us all.
Peter Marshall learnt to ride a bike when he was six and still rides daily to work on the machine he got as a
13th birthday present from his oldest brother(in 1958.)
All pictures on this page are copyright © Peter Marshall, 1996. Permission for non-commercial use in environmental campaigning is normally granted without payment but requires his prior consent. Copies of pictures are also available for personal use - please inquire for prices.
All pictures on this page are copyright © Peter Marshall, 1996.
Permission for non-commercial use in environmental campaigning is normally granted without payment but requires his prior consent. Copies of pictures are also available for personal use - please inquire for prices.