Sunday, 5 April 2009

In the thick of the skinny latte riot

I get a call that says it’s all kicking off round the corner: “They’ve arrested the giant bunny.” The police cordon closes in to practise the ancient Metropolitan tactic of crowd control by bladder control: after four hours of pelvic clenching, Tank Girl activists will be reduced to promising, crosslegged, that they will never ever have another contrarian thought if they’re just allowed into the bogs at Starbucks.

I show the top lackey of the capitalist conspiracy my press pass. “Take your glasses off,” he says. “What’s the name on the card?” Well it’s mine of course. “Okay. You can go. Nice outfit.”

A few streets away on Bishopsgate it’s another world. I know it’s another world because there are lots of banners saying what we need is another world. One huge one says “Nature doesn’t do bailouts”. It seems to me nature has been doing nothing but bailing out for 10m years. This is the climate camp, a tented suburb of whimsy with Buddhists chanting meditations for peace, teachins, sit-ins, afternoon tea and quite a lot of snogging, scratching and nit-picking.

These are the young people who you’d be proud to have as children: committed, caring, visionary, smiley and moral without prudery. You just wouldn’t want to talk to them much, or share a towel. I bump into Emily Sheffield, deputy editor of Vogue. She's here with a photographer, an assistant and a picture editor. They’re doing a story on pretty eco-warriors. She tells me they were caught in that beastly cordon and the police wouldn’t let them out.

Read the rest, by AA Gill in The Times

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