Nicole Rafaelo | 06.05.2001 14:06
As luck or lack of it rather has it, I ended up being penned in, just yards away from the objective, right in front of John Lewis Shop on Holles Street. Although the media portrayed the event like some kind of victory for the coppers, I can safely say that I had probably the most positively charged experience in recent years. We were literally surrounded by riot police in combat gear, some of us got arrested, but tried and tried to break through increasing number of police officers. Rain poured on us relentlessly and the choppers hovered in smaller and smaller circles above us but we could not be crushed. All of us, individuals with their lives and problems and who knows what else, suddenly became one large heart beating the same rhythm; our team of drummers did an excellent job to keep that rhythm going all day long. The enforced detention did nothing to deter us from bonding and forging new links, sharing experiences and optimistic plans for the future. Many of us were wearing banners stating different political views and affinities – and it was so nice to see that diversity around us – but we all shared a common belief in freedom for human kind. At one stage, I had a distinct feeling that we were growing bigger and bigger and the coppers were shrinking to a dwarfish size; during one of the many forward surges we had, attempting to break through the “boys in blue” cordons, I came inches close to one of the riot police cops; although half of his face was covered with a mask, I could see his eyes growing bigger and showing without a doubt real fear of the magnitude of positive energy coming from us. That is why we can be so proud and overwhelmed by the whole experience. Being penned in and forcibly detained for several hours, unable to tend to our basic needs, beaten and arrested, we, the invisibles:
 Made the police look stupid and powerless with their pitiful resort to provocation and illegal imprisonment,
 Shut down probably the most emblematic commercial avenue for the corporate capitalism, causing some 20 million pounds loss of dirty business in the bargain,
 Showed that no amount of police and technology the Establishment employ to the level of overkill had any effect on us.
The whole event brought us even closer to each other, made us better prepared to step into the new era for humanity, made us hungrier for freedom.
I disagree with some of the views expressed by the corporate media that we lack purpose or simply seek the attention of the cameras. It shows how desperate the system has become to stop this relentless march towards freedom. Behind every banner, placard or chant we used during Mayday, there is diversity and mutual respect for each others’ views, there is a powerful will to expose the pre-packed TV delivered consumerism life-style and destruction of our planet. Capitalism belongs to Jurassic Park along with communism and military dictatorship. We owe it to ourselves to stop this archaic nanny state that has got batons and rubber bullets and choppers to enforce a “democracy” for the privileged few.