Protests in Nottingham

5 December 2009

12:45

Stumbling on a demonstration (protest) today on the way to work in Nottingham, I couldn’t resist running in to borrow the office site camera and running back out again to play journalist.

The English Defence League (EDL) scheduled something for today (5th) and the Nottinghamshire Stop the BNP (NSBNP) has responded with a counter demonstration.

NP1

Against the EDF and BNP

The commotion is taking place in Market Square (in the centre of Nottingham) as I write this: no plans to move that I am aware of. Police presence is very noticeable as two opposing demonstrations face off. I say face off, but the whole affair is pretty composed for now—and the crowd isn’t huge. In fact, right now there are probably more photographers and curious Christmas shoppers than anyone else. Still, it’s my first protest, and I enjoyed the experience.

NP2

Police Presence

NP3

Reflections

As I left the scene, I overheard an announcement on the NET PA system that all trams into and out of Nottingham have been cancelled owing to the crowds. I am sure the rail network will suffer proportionately (if the huge BTP presence means anything). Christmas shopping is already a nightmare by this week—it’s probably a jungle now.

Apparently, an army battalion with ties to Nottinghamshire is also planning a parade. The mix up should be interesting—assuming I haven’t missed it!

EDIT:  1630

After hearing sirens all day as I sat in the office, as well as occasional yelling and a helicopter, I decided to check out the latest before leaving for home. A quick glance at the BBC’s coverage showed me things had taken a turn for the worse. Still, I had no choice but to make my way through the city centre. I managed to avoid the worst parts, but experienced a share of angry, hooded protestors. At one point I was cycling alongside a running mob, feeling slightly nervous in my high-vis jacket. Thankfully, no one thought I looked too much like a police officer!

(EDIT: It was the Mercian Regiment that paraded through Nottingham, and it was before all the kerfuffle.)


The Night is Alive with the Living Dead! (in Nottingham)

2 November 2008

Anyone wandering around Nottingham (Market Square) between 1600 and 1730 this last Friday would have seen an unusual sight indeed. For those of us who are easily frightened, the sight of over a thousand zombies gathered in one place – and performing coordinated dances no less – might have been a bit much. For some insane reason, Nottingham decided to attempt (successfully) the world record for the greatest number of zombies in one place.

How did that one come about?

Anyway, the make-up and zombie training  were both free; and coupled with two universities full of eager students, we got a considerable crowd (gaggle?) of zombies.

Only one guy in our office took part – gore and everything –  much to the dismay of his manager. Since we are based just off Market Square, the  occasional instructions-cum-screams of the choreographer were hard to ignore. And so I eventually popped down to see what was happening; in time to watch preparations for Thriller – obviously.

Perhaps one day they’ll go for a crowd of Elvises (Elvisi?) or something. Until then I’ll continue to pay my council tax with eager anticipation.


Go Hull City FC!

26 October 2008

I just watched Hull City FC (soccer for some of you) trounce West Brom today. For someone who is not a follower of the premiership, and not particularly loyal to any one part of the UK, I am feeling a considerable pull to support this team.

For those of you who live in a cave, Hull City – a very little known team – have been taking the premiership by storm: beating top teams like Arsenal and West Ham. It’s a veritable underdogs-beat-favourites Hollywood plotline.

When you consider that, and the fact that my housemate (a faithful supporter of many years) is as enthusiastic as a toddler with Lego, you can see why I’m drawn to the northern team. Let’s hope they continue the winning run.

Go Hull!