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police demonstrations

I fought the law and the law made very loud noise

It’s been a long road from the battle of Orgreave coke depot during the miners strike twenty five years ago to the battle of Kingsnorth power station in Kent last year. Instead of horses and baton charges, the police at Kingsnorth reportedly used the Clash and Wagner. Demonstrators at the climate camp were beaten over the head with high volume music, including tracks like “I Fought the Law and the Law Won” and “The Ride of the Valkyries”.

Depriving the protesters of sleep is supposed to make them easier to control. according to PC Plod’s manual on psychological operations. But many protesters aren’t that bothered about sleep and might’ve rather welcomed the play list of punk classics. I mean, isn’t that what young people do these days: gather in fields to gyrate to highly amplified popular music? It’s like a return to the free festival ethos pre-Glastonbury.

Come to think of it, shouldn’t the police really arrest themselves under the 1994 Criminal Justice And Public Order Act for organising an illegal rave? You can’t just set up a massive sound system in the middle of the countryside.you know. Waking the dead. Young people from miles around would be turning up in crumbling buses accompanied by grimy children and dogs on string. Asking people if they’re sorted for E’s and Wizz. Though with all that glow-in-the-dark clothing I suppose the officers would be well sorted for a 1990s rave. Smiley faces, flashing lights and funny helmets – it’s all there.

Mind you,the demonstrators probably wouldn’t want the music policy dictated to them by the police, They’d set up their own sound system and use Spotify to download suitably rebellious tracks like Rolling Stones’: “Street Fighting Man”; Kaiser Chiefs’: “We Are The Angry Mob”; Clash’s “White Riot”; Bob Marley’s: “Get Up Stand Up”. Queen’s ”;‘I Want to Break Free”, Billy Bragg’s: “World Turned Upside Down” and Eric Clapton’s: “I Shot The Sheriff”,

The police would have to respond in kind with painful antipersonnel lyrics like the Police’s: “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” and “I’ll be Watching You”. This would be followed by excruciating novelty singles such as “Shudduppa ya Face” and ‘Laughing Gnome” before mopping up the hard core of demonstrators with with a medley of sixties classics including “I can see for Miles” “Get Back” “The Harder They Come” . “You’re Going Down”. “Folsom Prison Blues” and “Chains”.

The climate campers might be knocked down, but they’d get up again, because they’re never going to keep them down. The’re trying to stop a coal fired power station incinerating the planet so musical hostilities would resume with “Heatwave” followed by “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall”, and “It’s the End of the World as We Know it”. (ok that’s enough silly songs. Ed).

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About iain2macwhirter

Writer and journalist.

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