Monday, January 09, 2006

Free Speech...just not in this particular spot.

I headed down to Parliament Square the other day in order to see if their were any interesting protests taking place (as their usually are at the weekends). Unfortunately because of the weather most demonstrators had probably decided to stay at home with a cup of tea. Still I did find this interesting character; Mr Paul Pawlowski, a 77 year old Polish 'socialist' who had some rather interesting, lets say, theories on the way the world should be run. This particular placard was a conspiracy theory blaming Israel for 9/11, and it ended up with him getting into a heated argument with a Jewish couple in the underground (see top photo).
Due to new laws protesting within a certain radius of Parliament is now forbidden unless you have a permit from the metropolitan police. As we were chatting he was approached twice by two separate police patrols, and had to root around to find his scrumpled up letter with his details on whilst they did name checks. But he did not seem to mind, if anything his sense of humour probably made for quite enjoyable conversations for both parties. Still I found the concept of 'bureaucracized' protest quite comical.

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