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XR In London

At the XR Demonstration, completely by accident last Wednesday night.

Heading towards Charing Cross to get a train back home and my eyes were drawn down towards the Mall, where bright colourful banners lined Trafalgar Square. I couldn’t go home without an investigation. I immediately realised that it showcased a very developed XR demo with the hearse surrounded by police, a DJ booth, music pumping out of speakers and food tents to nourish the masses. More like a festival than any Criminal activity. I searched for a familiar face in the crowds and was met by Kenny, who showed me around the other occupied sites. It’s unlike the general media reports: music boomed out from speakers with several DJs and I heard that Orbital had played there the previous night. Spontaneous Public dancing, in the street and square itself went on for hours. I placed my bag down for kenny to guard and was invited to join a fish group dance which involved becoming like a school; a collective, of human /fish moving as one, dancing and twirling together.

These sites of protesters were peacefully put together including many pensioners forming a blockade by St James Park, others along Whitehall and a full camp outside Westminster abbey area. There We witnessed several arrests, observers wearing orange hi vis vests (to record the legal rights) and heard reports of police brutality (breaking bones). To my right, a man in his sleeping bag was physically removed; carried along the road by 4 other officers. We had spoken to a WPC (who is on time and a half) who remarked that she really just wanted to get back home to her children. Sadly the entire london wide Met forces has been enlisted to patrol the camps meanwhile the gang lords on Hackney were dealing in knife crime, where the police presence is more needed.

Walking back up towards the square I felt like stretching out so we stopped for a yoga session and to dance on the raised blockades to techno music. Back at the square I learnt that kenny had formed part of a Choir singing earth chants and lines like: “We’ve got all the chocolate; the chocolate we need, to help the world, Hallelujah! We’ve got all the chocolate, all the chocolate we need, blessed be” we chanted.

We shared a meal picnic snack style at the outdoor dining area towards the back steps of oatcakes, mange tout, nibbles and chocolate, snug from the wind, sharing our ideas on Conscious Plant based foods for the future. #PowerToThePeople.

By Nelson’s column, dancing in the crowd; the DJ tells us that the food tent is so full the crew needs more volunteers; could some the crowd go to assist? In that moment I felt a minor dilemma – I asked myself- should I offer my time, to do this, to serve..?! (having come from a 10 hr shift myself…) did they mean me? In that moment, the crowd parted, like waves and approx 20 or so youngsters filled off, in the direction of the food tent, to join the service team. Volunteering support without a question; teamwork. Following that moment of movement, my eyes fell upon another bystander, who turned out to be … a French chef, interested in learning about vegan nutrition and menus… we smiled softly and a few days later, I found out who the lead chef was, our kitchen supervisor from Buddhafield festival retreats; who we’d be catering alongside in the kitchen at Buddhafield in the City (26th Oct). #smallworld scenario.

All of which only leaves me to conclude that ‘these protestors’ have more in common with Buddhist Monks, than ‘anarchist’ punks. #peaceful #positive #protestors

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