April 16th Protest
Apr 18, 2016

On April 16th six of us went to the People's Assembly organised Anti-Austerity demo in central London: Lucy, Rebecca, Mariam, Michael, Angi and Irma. Partly due to a desire to demonstrate our feelings and partly to experiment with movements and sounds toward the big song and dance number taking place in the demonstration scene in the script.

We tried a few games, e.g. "Ha Hoo Hey", Swedish Clap (our own variants being embodiments of e.g. "social Housing", "David Cameron", "Gentrification") and "in and out the arches"

We had planned also to do more with our voices, with asking other demonstrators why they were here and variations on selfie games but we detoured to check out a protest at Savills on Regent street, Savills being apparently in cahoots with local and national government in a plan to demolish 100 more Social Housing Estates nationwide. We unfortunately missed this demonstration and instead adjourned to a Soho bar for a debrief.

We concluded that it was a successful experiment, actually good that we were small in number as in many ways it was a first sketch for thinking how we can incorporate our actions in a public demonstration and better to be reasonably subtle since the work we plan to do is still sketchily known.

It was very interesting to note how very unusual were our physical activities among the other demonstrators doggedly plodding forward. Our activities were met with good will and banter, though one man stated (with a twinkle in his eye) "you're not here to enjoy yourselves".

Actually I can't see why it's inappropriate to enjoy oneself on a demonstration as are we not imagining the society we would rather live in as well as demonstrating our opposition to aspects of the current situation. (This approach was more prevalent in late 90s/ early 00s with the Reclaim the Streets movement, though I think that our aesthetic differ substantially from this)

We concluded that in order to be more effective we require:
Greater numbers
Props for dancing with e.g. a rolled up banner creating a snake like effect

This experiment was stimulating in script writing terms as it helped with planning the group that we need to gather for the "real thing". Beaver's friends Max and Niamh are demonstrating with her sister Seb and a large group of their friends who we have met the previous evening to create their banners and props. This will be a colourful, musical and motley crew. Somehow I find it easier to envision these things having interacted not only with thoughts in the course of an actual demonstration.

This group will then be joined by Beaver, Saffron and perhaps Floyd and his friends and other characters for the climactic scene.

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