Charlie Veitch: The Police Don't Want Me At The Wedding
UPDATE: Charlie has been arrested. Read about it here.
In the run up to the crowns-and-clean-bedding-benefit scrounger wedding, Met Police Commissioner Lynne Owens said: "Any criminals attempting to disrupt the day, in protest or otherwise will be met by a robust, decisive, flexible and proportionate police response.”
And she meant it – even arresting six known anarchists yesterday, in preemptive Minority Report-style, to hand out temporary banning orders for central London (it's pretty ironic that they expect anarchists to obey banning orders).
I was sure I was going to be detained next (or as they say, dawn-raided, snatched and grabbed), so I chain-smoked a few rollies and made a video-log, anxiously awaiting the dreaded knock on the door... there is blow-back, you see, for inadvertently making yourself Public Enemy Number One.
You see, I've been speaking to the press. A lot. Since starting to write for VICE and my appearance in the Evening Standard and on CNN, I've media-whored myself to get as much publicity for us anarchists as possible. Though I've been careful about what I say, Associated Press edited my interview so that all I said was:
“We're likely to see a large group, dressed in black engaging in destruction of corporate and government property”.
Even though I went on to explain that there is a vast chasm between, say, destroying a bank window (destruction), and raining depleted uranium upon Iraqi civilians (violence), the media, ever ready to juxtapose and sensationalise, simply broadcast my sound-bite.
And so I decided to pre-empt any kidnapping of yours truly by turning up at Scotland Yard HQ and informing the cops that I was not planning any destruction myself – though I would not be dismissive of angry and ignored protesters who do, in fact, smash shit up.
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“Ah, Mr. Veitch!”, exclaimed a friendly sergeant as I walked in the door. After exchanging brief pleasantries as equal adversaries on the battlefield that is Central London, I told him that there are nice anarchists out there who equate their anarchic beliefs with love itself – the purest positive emotion that is only possible in a society of equals. I explained that on the day of the Royal Wedding I wouldn't cause too much disruption. He studied my face closely, looking for signs that I was bluffing, or dis-informing, but I was in an earnest mood that day, and it paid off: Rather than sitting in a cell at Shepherd's Bush Police station right now, I am writing.
There is a toxic mimicry of love, which is a form of Stockholm Syndrome, and this is the 'love' one feels for one's superiors, such as for a royal, or for an abuser. It's not really love, as we all know, but a subservience that begs the master not to strike us any more. This love is in fact the opposite of what it appears to be: It is fear!
Yes! The general population does, in fact, FEAR any possibility of emancipation from the ridiculous monarchy or from the very need to be governed, because they do not know what they'd do without this obedience.
In my mind's eye I have just seen a massive hammer strike a nail really hard on the head – BANG! End of my article, I've figured it all out, so now rather than reading Vice, you can run outside and be free!
But before you do, let me tell you about my Jason Bourne moment. There I was, sitting on the tube and listening to my pirated iTunes library, when I noticed a man filming me from across the carriage. I stared into his camera, and he quickly turned it away and started playing with the viewfinder. My paranoia instantly assumed the most fantastical; that he was tailing me, and that all my media-whoring would lead me to a gruesome death in a black Mercedes in a Paris tunnel.
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“Oh shit”, I thought. I got off at Hampstead, and he got up to leave too. I consoled myself that this was a popular stop, and he maybe was just filming me because of my sexy military shirt. I slowed my walking, and so did he. Hairs began to raise on the back of my neck. We stood side-by-side as we waited for the lift to take us from the Northern Line to ground level. Lift arrives, door opens, I walk in beside him, then TURN AWAY AT THE LAST MOMENT! He goes up in the lift without me. I am happy now because I can now deduce once and for all: Was this guy following me?
I get to ground level, and he's there, lighting a cigarette, looking right at me. I still try and reassure myself with the thought that he's waiting for a friend. So I start to walk down the street. After fifty yards, I turn, and – for fuck's sake – I was being followed. He had begun to walk after me. He looks up, sees me standing there, and does a U-turn back to the station. I switch my phone off, and feel that panic that a man feels the first time he is followed. You may know it?
So there you have it. If you seize control of the world's news media, declaring a wish to destroy this system and how you abhor the monarchs, you will get followed into posh suburbs. But the point is that I am able to write this, 48 hours before the big distraction event of the wedding. Try pulling this media-whore shit in Russia, or China, and see how far you get. As far as driven into the desert with a shovel and a hit-man for company.
God save the Queen. But first, please save me.
UPDATE: Charlie didn't get saved, he got arrested. Read about it here.