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HSBC The Frackers' Bank

Tuesday 14th October, grey skies, feeling chilly. Up to London again on Saturday (sigh, this anti-fracking is a demanding hobby!) for the Global Frackdown action, an early morning trip that involved sitting in Golden Square, staring at the two fine hornbeams I know so well, and the blurred nondescript Georgian monarch (I think) in Roman fancy dress: watching various bods assemble, and guessing before we saw them morph which of them were here to carry a mock-up drilling rig around Central London, and which were just passing by. Time for a coffee at the best place in Soho Soho Grind, along with several officers of the law: confirming we were in the right area. &off we went, working well & feeling welcome, to preach on HSBC occupied street corners. Charles Metcalfe from Balcombe, an impassioned speaker from Romania; a highly articulate Algerian, citing the neo-colonial aspect of Total (French oil company) and Chevron (French oil company), exporting to a previous French colony a dirty, doomladen and destructive activity banned in La Belle France. But who are we after today It's HBSC, the frackers' global goto bank of choice. There was someone recording footage for an Asian station said we were 20,000 strong, Well, I wouldn't go quite that far but we were visible, we snagged a lot of support from the passing populace, and the police were wonderful.

And thence to Parliament Square, where the STOP TTIP rally seemed to hover on the outskirts of a massive and totally peaceful, turn out of London-based Kurdish communities, gathered in grief and fear, and in solidarity with Kobani . . Anti-fracking protest has traction now (not the same as power, good lord no!) Stop TTIP Stop CETA not so much. It'll be a while, another year or so, I'd say, before the protestors manage to wake up the people on the street. Never mind the featherbrained politicians (Vince Cable???) allegedly overseeing these secret treaties. Is there that long? Or will we look around, and find all the horrible implications of those Investor State Dispute Settlement Clauses actual and irreversible?


The "Emma Thompson" Effie Gray last night. Came over as a little bit slight in the end because so long, and because John Ruskin (Greg Wise) such a blank that even his (genuine) staggeringly spiteful lines couldn't make him interesting. But very beautiful to look at, and sumptuously coloured. Just wondered slightly, did Effie really have an English accent? Very good news about the Parliament vote on Palestinian Statehood by the way.



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