Circle Line

Jun. 1st, 2008 10:15 am
emmelinemay: (Joker)
I woke up this morning rather regretting not going to the circle line party.

The news this morning made me less regretful, and sadly confirmed my worst fears.

But a night that started in a celebratory mood soon turned sour as four train drivers and three other London Underground staff were assaulted, one police vehicle was damaged and two officers assaulted and another injured. A spokesman for British Transport Police said 17 people were arrested. (from here)

We'd been a bit wary of the sheer numbers rumoured to be going - I am really not very good in crowds, I can get little claustrophobic on the tube when it's crowded and I feel like I'm trapped. That, in combination with having to take all my skate gear, trying to meet up with my friends somehow en route and the fact that Mark really didn't want to go (He bribed me with a takeaway Rasa...) and the fact that I'm always knackered after skate training, all added up to - lets stay in.

My main concern had been the sheer number of people there, and the fact that not all parties had the same agenda.

Many of our friends, and a number of parties, wanted to send the message that it isn't drinking that causes the problem on the Underground. It's drunk behaviour. Banning drinking on the tube would not stop drunken people being on the tube, and being drunk and disorderly on the tube is already an offence, one that is very hard to police. The aim of most of the parties I knew about where to show that people can gather on the tube, drink, have fun, and leave again.

Unfortunately, not everyone had this in mind. Some people where just there to get FUCKING PISSED. Sure, they were hugely in the minority. 17 people arrested out of 2000? That's less than 1% of the people there. Peanuts.The media won't see the difference though. It will all be lumped together in one amorphous mass. Any trouble, mess, disturbance or chaos would ultimately be used by the pro-bojos as proof that this unpopular (although papers quote '80% are in support of it. I suspect that 80% of people is actually "80% of people that read the London Paper and text in to the stupid polls they have" which isn't exactly representative) rule was actually the right thing to do.

Ideally, there would have been civilised drinking parties, with no trouble and no violence and no litter, which would have demonstrated that drinking on the tube is not an issue.

What it has shown though, is that here in the UK drinking=drunk. People don't seem to drink to enjoy the drink - they drink to get pissed. Pissed people, well, some of them are fucking idiots, however sensible and normal they may be sober.

After skate practice, we had to call the police because a profoundly drunk man was bothering us. He was grabbing girls' backsides, facing up to our refs, belching loudly on our ears, and generally being a total knobber. He was barred from the pub twice, and kept pushing his way back in, loudly demanding a drink even while the barmaid was calling the police. He was a big (yet short) fella, and drink had made him bold. Surrounded by three of our refs, and Ninjette, who is tiny, but really tough, he was a picture of wobbly defiance - crossed arms, 'go on, fuck with me' expression, beer all down his front and his flies undone.

The police arrived and he remained defiant, fronting up to the police as three 6' policemen in stab vests surrounded him and slowly herded him away.

Once round the corner, they spoke to him told him not to come back, to go home, to sleep it off. As soon as they let him go he headed straight back for the pub. The police stopped him again, at which point he kicked off. A van was called, he was cuffed, locked in the van, shouting and swearing and struggling and lashing out drunkenly the whole time.

You have to be very, very drunk indeed to think that behaviour like that is ok. Unfortunately, many people DO get that drunk. Being drunk makes you lose a sense of correct behaviour, you lose your inhibitions, you lose that voice that tells you THIS IS NOT A GOOD IDEA.

Drinking on the tube is not generally a problem - many people who drink on the tube drink on their way out, and thus aren't drunk yet. One of the problems with the sheer number of people that turned up is that the message so many of us wanted to come across - that drinking isn't the problem - was lost in the chaos, and the crowds.

As always, a small minority of people ruined it for the rest of us.

On the other hand, well done guys, you all made history. I love the idea of so many people all taking a crazy stand for London, and part of me really does still wish I could have gone. To the organisers - I salute you. I think you did an amazing job to herd so many people, and I am so sorry that your message was lost in a sea of drunken idiots.

And, you know, provided you take a lid for your booze, you can still drink on the tube. My travel-drink-of-choice has always been vodka pored into a diet coke bottle. I'd like to see them throw me off the tube for drinking diet coke...
emmelinemay: (Drinky blonde beer)

Following a conversation about the above choice of drink-and-mixer, and wether or not they were 'weird' - i said i'd do a poll. So here it is:

[Poll #931391]


emmelinemay: (Default)

February 2015



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