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Will These Men Help Occupy LSX Survive the Bleak Midwinter?

Are you Santa in disguise, Justice Keith Lindblom?
December 20, 2011, 3:45pm

Yesterday, Occupy LSX met the massed lawyers of the City of London Corporation, who want to sweep our old friends off the streets of London and away from the gaze of puzzled tourists forever. Because it was announced last week that it's definitely OK to tweet from court now, we were able to follow the events unfolding inside the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand. It was very exciting.

Founded on the dual tenets of ubiquitous dog shit and Jesus Christ, initially Occupy's defence seemed a little naïve. Things changed, though, when super-lawyer John Cooper QC turned up. If the tweetosphere was anything to go by, Cooper spent several hours beating CoLC witness Doug Wilkinson around the head with a book of arcane jokes about UK and international law. It was glorious.

What a zinger.

The real drama was saved for later, though, when, like a scene from any number of films you'll doze through this Christmas, the all-poweful Justice Keith Lindblom deigned to alight from his throne and get out there on the streets to meet the grubby, plucky urchins of Occupy LSX. Once there, he was treated to a guided tour of the Occupy movement's halls of power. The sights included:

The welfare tent…

The toilets…

The "safe space" (which actually kinda looked more like a trap)…

The clothing tent…

The peace tent (there were a lot of tents on the tour)…

The food tent…

The free Gaza tent…

The prostitution tent…

And the bins.

The animated bald guy leading the tour was called Max. I had a quick chat with him afterwards to see how he thought it had gone. “It's hard to know, the judge was pretty hard to read. Obviously… Because he's a judge. But I think it went well.”

And Max was right, he was hard to read. He wasn't even knocked off his stride by this free-thinker who decided to show up in a Scream mask. That is a Scream mask, right?

Serious John Cooper QC is serious

Though he hasn't given any indication as to whose side he's gonna come down on, the judge has hinted that a decision either way will be reached this week. Naturally, this has the 99 percenters wondering about their future, and for the last few days the regular general assemblies the Occupiers hold to discuss everything have become rather circumspect and morbid. "It's life or death," said Max, when I asked him what the hell was going on. "Literally. It was interesting the judge being here, it felt momentous and John Cooper was strong for us today. But this is it for us. Actually it's a lot like A Matter of Life and Death… you know, the film?” Nah, me neither.

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I asked a couple of other people what they thought would happen:

      
Ray: [left] "We'll win. We have right on our side. It's in the bag."
      
Anthony: "I'm no expert. But I got the feeling it went well. The main thing was that no one jumped out naked and screaming or anything."

   
So the saga continues. But the clock also ticks. This week could see the end of Occupy LSX, or it could see the path cleared indefinitely. The external pressure on the movement has synced up neatly with internal conflict over its future, as Occupy tries to decide what its priorities are and which of its myriad aims it's going to have to drop for now. Some say Occupy has said all it can, done all it could ever hope to achieve and is coming to its natural end.

But I bet this guy has other ideas. And they've also managed got their hands on a tank, so who knows how that one will play out. I guess we'll find out in 2012.

Anyway, Merry Christmas, Occupy LSX! Wrap up warm.

WORDS: JOSHUA HADDOW
IMAGES: NATALIE MEZIANI