Thursday, December 9, 2010

An American Girlfriend In London, Pt 4: What A Riot

A VERY good friend of mine (Doug) that I've known since I was like 14, is in London on business this week (woohoo!) and tonight (his last night) we met up for a bite to eat and to catch up since we hadn't seen each other since spring.

I don't recall the place we ate at, and it wasn't a "real" meal per se ...just a massive plate of chips (french fries) & a variety of sausages (um... YUM! Seriously.. YUM!!!) We had been sitting around waiting for the BF to show up and after an hour or so decided to move to somewhere to get a cup of tea/coffee ... and as we left the restaurant we were greeted by this:

 (click to enlarge)
I walked up to one of the cops in their riot gear and asked him "What's going on?"
He replied "I don't know, you tell me..." and smiled.
I just looked at him funny and said "Ok, what's your name? I'll go run up ahead and shout back for you" and started to walk away.... then this happened...
 It was fairly intense for a few moments there.  But did I manage to catch THAT on video? No. (That would have been too awesome apparently....) I was so taken aback by the sight that greeted us outside the restaurant that I had whipped out my camera, and as soon as the first picture was taken the cops started marching so I filmed THAT moment. (it was a VERY creepy sound BTW) People were rushing around and shouting, and Doug & I had NO idea what was going on, so I asked another bystander. They told us it was in regards to the recent changes in the college tuition policies. (Apparently they want to change the fees for English (not Welsh or Scottish) students from £3000 to £9000... and not too many people are all that pleased about it. There have been loads of demonstrations around the city, a MASSIVE riot about a week ago, and tonight there was a whole mess of angry protesters around London, and the police were trying to get them all into one place to keep an eye on them in Trafalgar Square. (I don't think they were keeping too close an eye since they seemed to miss the guy spray painting "TORY SCUM" on the statue known as Nelsons Column. (Nelsons Column is basically the London equivalent of The Washington Monument and was once known as the center of town as well.) Doug got a good shot of that on his phone.

We finally made it through the crowds, found an empty coffee shop, and went in... getting hot cocoa... 'cause not much says "we're wild, crazy, and live on the edge" like hot cocoa, ya know? The BF eventually showed up. Doug & the BF finally got to meet, and I am happy to report they got along famously... as they should. I would have to break up with the BF if he didn't like Doug, not even kidding. Doug is that fantastic... and I love that he and I got to see the oddities of tonight together.


  1. So that's what happens when an American girl doesn't have an internet - she doesn't have a clue what's going on around her, LoL :) Just kidding =)

  2. no, you're right. I rarely watch the news here because I never have any idea when it's on. There are like 38 channels, and about 30 of them run never ending re-runs of "Friends"(which I find SO odd.) I do read the paper when I find one on the bus on the train... or if someone brings one home, but the BF is a total snob about the papers here and gives me crap for wanting to buy certain ones... so I just don't bother. I knew about the anger growing in regards to the tuition being raised, I just had no idea that minor storm was brewing while we munched on crisps & sausage. It's not really the kind of thing you expect to see when you walk out of a restaurant, you know? :)

  3. Yeah, I understand that you didn't expect "a war" when you stepped out of a restaurant.
    There were student demonstrations in Ljubljana a couple of months ago and I was surprised and angry because the demonstrations became quite violent. I'm a student myself but I didn't go demonstrate because I don't support our student organization and I think that those who destroy public property and vandalize everything and everyone are wrong! Demonstrations aren't about destroying everything but it's a way of showing the government that you don't agree with her actions.

    I hope you'll soon get the internet and a phone. What's going on with your credit card thing?

  4. HA! Credit card is STILL not here. I'm just a day or so shy of one month of waiting now. Tomorrow I hike up to the bank to tell 'um to fuck off and ask for my money back.