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Occupy London 16/01/2012

January 16, 2012

This is a difficult one to write up. We heard earlier that Maria (from Parliament Square) had achieved a judicial review, which we thought meant that what remains of the camp at Parliament Square, started by Brian Haw, had been reprieved. As I write this, having just got back from St. Paul’s, I am hearing that there is an eviction happening right now, including the removal of Brian Haw’s tent – which was a sort of memorial to his decade long commitment to opposing war. You will no doubt hear more in the mainstream media tomorrow.

All that has distracted me from the very positive post I was going to write about the Artic Ice. It wasn’t such a big deal at St. Paul’s – bless them, these folks certainly weren’t artists (whatever that means !) so it was kind of plonked on a palette on a bit of cloth on a freezing, freezing day – so, of course, it wasn’t about to melt. Still, they did improvisation, and we chipped away at it for a bit.  The thing to be said was – WOW ! it was crystal clear, extraordinarily so, visibly so.

Of course most of the point of it all wasn’t Art – but climate change – and somehow or other it all managed to make me really get how precious this ice is, not just because it keeps the planet -our home- in balance, but because of its breathtaking beauty.

It clearly wasn’t going to melt, and they very kindly gave it to us, and then someone had the idea that we would hold our General Assembly in Tate Modern. So, we trumped off over the Millennium Bridge, bearing the ice, and ended up in the Turbine Hall, about 50 of us. The security guys, having phoned through to ‘on high’ were fine and so we put the ice on the floor and sat in a circle around it, to have our meeting on the topic of Aims and Objectives of Occupy London. Some thoughtful person had brought along a stack of Occupy leaflets so we were able to hand them out to a gathering audience, who seemed more interested in us than the installation in the Turbine Hall , well, in fact it was, of course, more interesting.  We had artic ice, finally melting a bit, on the floor, next to ‘The Crack” – still a visible trace despite repairs – which is probably more unusual than a video installation, the artic ice I mean, not the repair job on the crack. But it still hadn’t melted, so then we had to carry it out of there at closing time (10pm) – and some was thrown into the Thames and some came back to Occupy St. Paul’s and some people chipped off a bit and ate ? drank? it and I held a bit in my hand, much later.

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