Well, I bet no-one in their office saw this coming.
My mate works for Brighton council. Someone did a shit in the canteen microwave. This is the official response. twitter.com/edmundharris/s…
— Ed Harris OBE (@edmundharris) July 20, 2012
Oh Brighton…..you never disappoint us in the “surprising thing of the day” category. Today? World “naked bike ride” participants cycling past our house. They braved the cold, rainy conditions with style and grace. Good jobs guys and ladies!
More fun pictures from participants around the world can be found here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/gallery/2012/jun/10/world-naked-bike-ride-pictures?newsfeed=true
These people are much braver than I! Maybe if we lived in warmer climes….there’s always next year:)
This afternoon Ashley and I walked down to Queens Road to show our support for the counter-protest against the EDL‘s “March for England”, a horrible little rally organised ostensibly as a St. George’s Day event, but in reality it was little more than a platform for the EDL’s Islamophobia and general bigotry.
We saw an impromtu EDL protest outside Churchill Square a few weeks ago which consisted of five overweight blokes, two of whom had their faces covered, and was shut down by the police almost as quickly as it began. This was a slightly more high-profile affair though, with around 200 EDL members facing off against a few thousand counter-protestors, separated by around 500 police.
As the march made it’s way down Queens Road there were small scuffles here and there as EDL members lashed out against those opposing them, and anarchists tried to break through police lines to attack the EDL.
When the EDL reached the main contingent of anarchists and Socialist Worker signs the real trouble began. We were disappointed many of those present for the counter-protest seemed more interested in starting fights with the police than focusing their energy on the EDL.
About one hundred people seemed determined to stop the march altogether and attempted to push back the line of police horses, which somewhat inevitably led to them being rushed and truncheons being unsheathed.
The vast majority of the anti-EDL crowd were well behaved, and employed my preferred method of counter-protest; derision and humour. This lady told us the first draft of her sign read “Nazis are not nice”, but she changed it to “Nasty” to make it that much more forceful -
The EDL were as charming as you might expect. I noticed they’d called this a family event, which apparently means plenty of swearing, throwing things, and constant threats of violence. Even my fairly benign chants of “Boooooo!” were consistently met with invitations to fight. But if you don’t have a shred of logic or reason to pin your arguments on, I suppose punching is all that remains.
As I write this the remnants of the protest has been kettled by police in Victoria Gardens, and apparently have begun to give speeches, which are being expertly drowned out by the opposition.
In the aftermath of the march, there are lots of accusations being thrown around about police brutality, mainly based on this video. It’s difficult to condone police attacking protesters of any kind, but in this instance it’s definitely not a cut-and-dry case of police violence. We were stood about two metres to the left of where the video was filmed, and this is what we saw:
As I was saying on Twitter all last night, I don’t agree with what the police did, but the protesters were guilty of bad behaviour here too.
The biggest disappointment was that some people clearly showed up just to have a fight with police. Why all that energy couldn’t have been directed at the bunch of marauding racists a few feet behind the police I do not know.
In a couple of news stories I’ve seen the following quote from Matt Silva, a spokesman for March for England:
“From my side, we did all we could to facilitate a peaceful and lawful gathering. There was no provocation, no racial chants, no homophobic chants which we have been accused of doing in the past. This was a family event but I was completely appalled at what we saw. There was no excuse for the violence.”
He also said women and children had missiles thrown at them, and there was “no provocation from any of the marchers who sang the national anthem because it was the Queen’s birthday on Saturday”.
I don’t know which march Mr Silva was attending, but the vast majority of the attendees seemed there exclusively to provoke violence. A bald, overweight man challenged me to a fight, and when I politely declined he challenged Ashley. Take a look at any of the pictures from yesterday and tell me the EDL aren’t provoking violence. It’s ridiculous.
Also, I saw the entire march go past twice and I didn’t see a single child. What responsible parent would take their child to such an event, anyway?
Ashley and I walked down the road to Hove Lawns today to cheer on the many brave souls taking part in the Brighton Marathon. According to the enthusiastic announcer there were around 13,000 runners attempting to finish the course, and judging by the foot traffic heading back towards the Palace Pier, a fair amount of them were successful.
It was another one of those schizophrenic Brighton spring days when the weather is pleasantly warm in the sunshine but nipple-hardeningly cold should you stray into the shade, which I can only imagine made the marathon even more challenging for the runners.
Having run a couple of half marathons in her time, Ashley explained the technicalities of marathoning (marathonism?) to me as we cheered on the participants. We saw a couple of people well into their fifties and sixties taking part, which only served to make me feel like something of a failure in life. If I’m even able to run up the stairs at that age I’ll be genuinely surprised.
One aspect that seemed to confused Ashley somewhat was the number of people running for a charity or other organisation. I guess in America most marathonists do it for the sake of competition, whereas in the UK most take part to raise money for their favourite cause. This, of course, means many hilarious costumes.
Good show to all those who took part, and we’re sure a ridiculous amount was raised for charity.
On Friday we took advantage of the fantastic weather and decided to take a wander down to the Brighton Food Festival in Jubilee Street. The Festival runs for a few days in April and again in September, and according to their website is the largest event of its kind in the South East. By all accounts this event was something of a record-breaker, with about 60,000 people attending over the two days (although I imagine most on the Friday as the weather was unadulterated in its glory).
Brighton Food Fest (@brightonfood) April 08, 2012
The first thing that struck us was the sheer number of people. Wall-to-wall humans all down the length of Jubilee Street. We’ve attended many festivals and street events in our time living in / around Brighton but this was by far the most popular.
We started at the southern end of Jubilee Street and picked our way through the crowds and stalls of fantastic Sussex merchants. Our first stop was the truly excellent Burning Desire Foods, who produce a range of hot sauces all made in Brighton. These proved to be a real revelation for someone who has previously existed on Tabasco. The depth of flavour in their sauces is amazing, and offers a real full-bodied burn – think of it as something like a heat massage where Tabasco offers a spicy slap in the face.
Having purchased two bottles (one for home and one for a birthday present) we moved on. Walking the stalls I was really pleased to see plenty of local institutions taking part in the festival. Moshi Moshi was there, as was Sams, and our favourite local cheesery La Cave à Fromage. Small Batch were doing a roaring trade – albeit cheating somewhat as their cafe is located slap-bang in the middle of where the Festival was being held!
For lunch we enjoyed a quite marvellous burger from Garlic Wood Farm, and driven on by our meat-high purchased three gigantic packets of sausages from Rushfields Farm Shop (somewhat embarrassed to admit we’ve polished off one entire packet already).
I was pleased to find Indian food represented in the form of a pop-up curry house and stall from Manjira, from whom we purchased some Garlic Pesto.
To our incredible disappointment we spent so long perusing the stalls we missed all the food demonstrations happening in the Corn Exchange, but our sadness was tempered somewhat by the huge haul of delicious food we had to carry home.