Polar Bears vs Capitalism: Place Your Bets
Written by: Violet Myers
“Politicians are criminals” states Vivienne Westwood boldly, ignoring Caroline Lucas, Lynne Featherstone and Jeremy Corbyn shifting uncomfortably behind her.
“Their acts are crimes against humanity, they are trapped in the rotten financial system, which is the cause of all our problems.”
She wears a large felt crown and is met with cheers as she addresses the thousands who have braved the cold November weather to join London’s Climate March.
Westwood was one of many prolific environmental campaigners invited to speak before the large and diverse crowd before they headed out on the march across the city. Despite the poor weather, Central London streets were filled with protesters waving placards that ranged from ‘Life is Better With Trees’ to the old favourite ‘I’m so Angry I Don’t Know Where to Start’. Some had dressed their children as adorable, near to extinction polar bears while some handed around free organic apples to the crowds, the whole event had a distinct Burning Man meets CBBC vibe and is just what the organisers had intended; an entirely family friendly event.
…Waving placards that ranged from ‘Life is Better With Trees’ to the old favourite ‘I’m so Angry I Don’t Know Where to Start’
Demonstrations, such as these, carry with them a bad name that’s been hard to shake. As a result of a few non-organic bad apples, who have taken the civil out of civil disobedience, marches are sometimes feared as dangerous places and unsuitable for children. The organisers of London’s Climate March have made distinct efforts to change this opinion by borrowing beautifully crafted, ten foot animal costumes to be worn throughout the march, keeping signage and speeches to before-the-watershed standard and having the focus very much on the next generation. They are encouraging participants to think of our children and our children’s children who, after all, will be taking the brunt of climate change if action is not taken soon.
The march drew out 70,000 people including Emma Thompson, Charlotte Church and Thom Yorke. Whether it can be deemed a success relies upon the outcome of the climate talks going on in Paris but, from a personal point of view, the atmosphere was incredibly humbling, passionate and remarkably positive. It was overwhelming to be surrounded by thousands of people so focused on change and for a moment it was easy to feel like the people really did have the power.
The feeling was short lived. Leaving the march and heading to the tube via Oxford St, our party was surprised to find a less than positive reaction directed our way, especially to a particular placard held by a fellow marcher that read: ‘Stop Bombing Syria’. A taxi driver leant out of his window and shouted “They’re going to bomb us first!” others simply went with the classic “Shut the Fu*ck up”, while most shook their heads and muttered under their breath.
For a moment it was easy to feel like the people really did have the power
Leaving one march and joining another (the slow death march that is shopping on Oxford street) it felt clear that, although a small percentage of the public are willing to give up their Sunday to try and make positive change, the cause has a lot more work to do if it’s to compete with the pull of Christmas shopping and the shiny lights of capitalism in general.
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This family run restaurant has been sourcing the best of date night seafood the for the last twenty years, sourcing the finest and freshest fish from their very own fishmongers in Stoke Newington. But not only are they super sustainable, these guys are also super on trend with a signature lobster sub. So you can feel posh and down to earth all at once, stroke your beard then passionately get off with an avocado once you’ve finished cycling home on your fixie.
Have you ever sat in the pub with ol Vick and Charlie and whatsherchops and thought, I’d love to draw a nude right now? No? Well what about a neon nude? Yeeah, now you’re keen! Well luckily that tasty Duke of Wellington pub happens to have just the right set up for a life drawing class. Not to mention a fluorescent one. So that is exactly what they do now. Every other Monday Jylle leaves her superb gin and tonic pouring duties to host Neon Naked.
The last time I checked it was March 18th and I was watching someone drink green beer in a big hat and wondering whatever happened to Boxing Day. But someone has informed me that it is August and we need some kind of plan for the month because all logic has flown out the window and nobody knows what anything means anymore and I can’t remember if I had breakfast yesterday no but thanks for asking. Time for some live music to zone out to and tap along blankly while we gather our thoughts.
Haunting melodies, rich ambience and devilish lyrics: indie folk singer Hazel Iris comes to Stokey all the way from California. Joining her is musician Mally Harpaz on accordion, cello, guitar and even percussion to create a pretty special double bill of musical awesomeness together.
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If only there was a club night that could tap into that special pre night out time. Or at least play your taste in music, sometimes on repeat. Imagine! Lucky for you musical homebirds, bi-monthly club night Mammory Tapes intent to do just that at VFD in Stokey. All night long you can expect an all girl playlist and the best of your bedroom beats on the dance floor. So get ready to finally showcase your once unseen pyjama/half ready outfit based choreography.
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