Picket Report, Dave Bird
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From: Dave Bird
Subject: PICKET, Birmingham(England), 2000/March/3rd
Date: Sat, 4 Mar 2000 20:00:17 +0000
Organization: Smelling--nose Dogs for the Anosmic
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PICKET, Birmingham(England), 2000/March/3rd
Local demo so I get the privilege of turning up late, 12:15 to
meet the people from train and coach arrivals. Me, Jens,
Shellac, Martin, JohnR, Hartley, a local couple... later
we're joined by another local woman (who has a go on the mic),
plus the new guy and his wife.
The bOrg now occupies the 2nd floor of "one-one-two" New St, I
big glass and chrome art deco building on New St. Ground floor
is shops entered from New St, with Pizza Hut on the corner;
1st floor is the upstairs of Thompson Travel; 2nd floor offices
are entered by lift only from a small door on Ethel Street. There
is a buzzer entry-phone, with camera. We turned up at 1300 and I
buzzed it: "is Mr Etrawl there" "who?" "Xemu Etrawl"
"don't know anyone of that name"
"well, ask around the Org, he'll probably be in later.
To set the scene, there are actually some large imposing 18th 19th
and early 20thC buildings along this prospect. The busiest
shopping area is east of us in the vehicular part of New Street
and Corporation Street; the old bOrg was east of that, at the
asshole of the city overshadowed by the raised inner ring road.
The less busy western end of New St is. like Ethel St, pedestrianised.
At the west end steps lead up past "the floozie in the Jacuzzi"
(a statue in a fountain) to broad boulevard called Colmore Row
where all the big bank buildings are. Like Pittsburgh we have
our own "iron man" statue, which looks rather forlorn as if it
fell out the back of an aircraft and lodged in the pavement.
More steps lead up to the massive city library, and this is where
people hang out to skateboard, eat sandwiches, etc. Damian said
it reminded him a lot of the pedestrianised High Street in Poole;
well, except for the lack of sunlight and salt water. The day
was bright and cold. For a couple of moments single snowflakes
appeared, but it couldn't make its mind up to snow.
Colmore Row "pigeon park" (cathedral CORPORATION
ct ' . ' ''''''': :'' : : square) :STREET
Lby ' ' : : : : : :
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chamb ' '-.-----------' '-------' '------------------.-----' '-----
erlainSq :______ ___________ _________New_St___:_____ _NEW_ST
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Sq '. '. . <_" : : _.' : : N
'. '. ' ''-----------' '--------------------'' .' : /|\
'. '. /________ Stephenson_Street___..-': : |
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We set up halfway down Ethel St opposite the door, and tried out
the boom-box which is now working fine (hooray!). I gave them a
few verses of the ElRonRon to wake them up. Hartley suggested
we move to the T junction with New St, next to a rotating advert
which passing kids occasionally used as a slow speed roundabout.
We were well provided with leaflets, and public response was good.
About ten minutes later five pods emerged from the pod-shop and
assembled uncertainly behind the rotating sign. We saw between
six and seven in all, including some who tried to go unseen.
I noticed "Leatherjacket" (I think his name is Mark) hovering
around, and he came over and tried to handle myself and Jens
for a while. Two women body-routers turned up and tried to
work about 20ft further up. They actually had a fellow clam
pretend to be a customer, which drew a bronx cheer from us.
Plenty of amplified calls of "don't sign your life away to
scientology," and "watch out for the pods with the clipboards --
they're after all your money." They told the cops we were
blocking their door -- which we hadn't been even when we were
in Ethel St -- and the copcar pulled up in the middle of Ethel St
to keep watch. We packed in at 15:30 anyway, because of the cold.
Later we went some distance over by Colmore Row, and there were
groans when we passed two pubs, but most people thought it was
worth the wait for a nice pint of properly cellared Abbots Ale.
After a nice get together in the pub, we went our separate ways
home. Yippee, I get to be the first report in!
.' '. "OUR GRAND DAY OUT"
| _ _ | cracking clams, grommit!
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