Loughborough Junction to Brixton
2 December 2023




4 DEC 2023 09:15:40


you think of the lost recording from the broadcast on saturday which you were not able to hear. you think of those moments when police were pushing from behind so you struggled to stay on your feet, how that sounded, to be in the middle of thick action. you think of that boy you only glimpsed. police had grabbed him. the crowd tried to get them to let him go but police created a passage through the crowd and they smuggled him through into another van and it sped away. the crowd was not able to get that person back. there were not enough people in the road to stop those from the police from getting them away. some people were sitting at the front and back of the vehicle to stop it moving, but there were not enough people on the side.

once the person was arrested, the demo changed. that is what you would have wanted to document, how those things came together: the march in support of palestine, events in palestine, and the action in support of a detained young person on the street by the edge of the pavement on windrush square – how those things were overlying. some people were saying it was a distraction, you think you heard, but you think of it more as an elaboaration or an explication of the forces at work. that is what the protesters were also saying. that is what they argued, that police were acting in collusion with the state of israel, that they extended the occupation into the present moment, the present space. that overlay of spaces is what the broadcast sought to convey, you think, the binocularity of that situation (Fred Moten [1]). that difficulty. the sound of the boy being smuggled from one van to another was not heard, you think, or it was heard as a gap. unlike in film, sounds do not convey the action, they do not support a narrative, they exist as many channels partly dis-organised. in a very small area different things are happening, in a thick pressed area with people pushed together. a lot is going on, a myriad of threads, in that situation, you think. those two men from jews in support of palestine were there with banners. their presence, you can say, was eloquent, it shifted the space. the presence of a person can be a moral force, it can shift a space, it can co-create a space of protest, of dissent, of unexpected solidarities. that person was speaking as the young person was being held, on the grounds they were inciting hatred, as you understand, inciting violence, for carrying a poster, as you were told. all those people were there together: mothers with children in a pushchair or a sling, police in high visibility outfits with communications equipment – large men and women listening to updates on their devices, so they have that double character, that resignation of responsibility. voices bounce back and forth, some amplified. the space under the big plane tree on the square is filled with urgent activity, and the space to one [or more] side[s] by the road is full. a series of large bollards separate the road from the square. people are pressed back against them.

you and p went to the market at loughborough juction. as you were crossing to the loughborough farm, you heard the march and you joined the tail end where a woman was holding a hoot for gaza sign. that woman's accomplice: jim was holding a hoot for gaza sign at the front of the march, she said. cars were hooting. that woman was a veteran of marches, she said. this was her first march since she got ill, she said. she was holding the sign in one hand and supporting herself with a stick in the other hand. she was bringing up the end of the march with the police behind her.

you spoke at the market to a woman from Rochester. she used to come in to parties and they would hop the paper train back to Rochester in the morning. she had lived on the Loughborough Estate for 30 years, she said. the platform cafe was full of people selling baked goods and spices. karen was there from manchester and migle was selling plants. people stood in big coats muffled against the cold. it was very cold. the marchers got cold standing around, trying to get the PA to work. they were following the manual and turning it off and on.

the demo was diverted, you can say, it's true. it took on a different character. police were laughing when they got that boy away. you watched two senior police arrive, both tall. they took over organisation and after that they took the initiative. a woman police officer was told to get into the driving seat of the van where they were holding that boy, a slight person, he looked, surrounded by policemen. that driver was a diversion. a few people saw what they were planning. somebody with a reddish flag said they're going to move him into that other van. it was not possible to respond. by then they had created the passageway and there were not enough people in the road. they bundled him through quickly and the van sped off. you thought of that painting of the fall of icarus: the placid seascape with a small splash far out in the water.

how one maps onto the next: the impossibility to gain agency over the situations created in palestinian territory. the failure of the action to save that boy from arrest, outnumbered by police. the failure of this broadcast, where drops disrupted the transmission and the recording was lost. the first part of the broadcast was recorded. other parts which you thought to yourself you wanted to study with others, to listen to how the people there negotiated those contradictions and overlays, those were lost. how they said: we are going on with the demo. we also have to protect our youth. how they called for people not to leave. do not leave, they said. if you cannot afford to be arrested stay on the edges but do not leave. the state of israel does not represent me or hundreds of thousands of jews around the world or many jews in israel who are being targeted for protesting the occupation, the jewish man in the blue beanie was saying. you were under the big plane tree where trestle tables had been put out, the pa was working now. to one side the van was standing surrounded by people with police to guard it. new people arrived by bike and drummers were playing. singing and chants bounced back and forth.

you think of these things as the lost traces of resistance, which is constant. if you had not joined this march, you think, you would not have known about [all these things that are going on; what these things like; what it is to be a part of them]. now it sinks again into unconsciousness. the experience of that loss is more bitter, it is a bitterness to hold. to engage with any kind of public action is take on the risk or you can say: the certainty of failure. the grain of the times, du fu would say, is against. to go against the grain, the lie of those times, which lie[s] smooth and flat, is to stir up hopes and prepare bitter dis–appointments [as non meetings with history, unwanted of europa, all those sharp a–synchronies]. a person lives among dis–appointments the way they live among furniture in their place. their place is not a designed living place. even if a person finds time to design and clean their place up to make it a place where they can live, they don t get far. forces encroach and the circle of their accomplices, their family and their accomplices, is not charmed. it tries re enchantment, you can say, in whatever ways it can find, whatever it can think of and whatever energies if finds it tries to turn that way: in the direction of a re enchantment [2] – either in this old house or on the street around a police van, where the chants go up. the chants go up and out. some of the chants go into the faces of police, provoking them to anger. you stand among them transmitting. you have those mittens with the hole for a trigger finger from varusteleka and an old wool hat. you re wearing thick clothing against the cold. p went back home. you wonder if you will be caught up in the arrests or if somebody will be caught against the bollards as police press forward, pushing people back. their faces are up close. the provocations of the crowd anger some of them. some are impassive. emotions warm the demonstrators, their breaths rise. from a distance, a cloud of condensing air can thought to collect above the vehicle. steam rises from people's heads as they are living these moments. vapour comes our of your mouths in spurts with sounds, hearing each other back. you hear what you are thinking coming back to you. people try interpretations and different kinds of languages, as they try to give those realities shape. to hold realities together in a street situation, a civic protest is to study together. it is to practice. to try interpretations and see what comes back, what sticks. what works, in this situation. what does not work. what can be learned for now and another day. you think of that person riding the paper train home from brixton in the early morning, riding toward the sea.

all that time sam was working on the book: notes for ecological radio at home at cambria road. the next day he printed out the latest version and sewed it up. a book passes from hand to hand. opened / looked through / held. sasha has a gaelic speaking exam this morning and max is going back to berlin from arnhem. he sounded tired and ill. say what you can, sasha's teacher told them, not what you want to


Credits

Live transmission via Locuscast app by Stéphane Cousot.
Stream / server hosting by Locus Sonus, ESAAIX, Aix-Marseille, in association with Creacast FR.
Remote recording by Mort Drew, Cambria Road, London, 2 December 2023.
Developed in collaboration with the Acoustic Commons Network.
acousticommons.net
Darkice streaming software by Ákos Maróy, Rafael Diniz and others.
www.darkice.org
Demo as part of a day of action organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and others. Assembly at Camberwell Green, SE5 at 12noon. Rally at Windrush Square, Brixton, SW2 at 2pm.
palestinecampaign.org


Notes

[1] '[A] complicated binocularity needs to be operative.. all the time.' Fred Moten in conversation with Jared Ware. 25 October 2023. On 'Millenials are killing capitalism live!' https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWnzkjUAZnQ.
[2] Sylvia Federici. Re-enchanting the world – Feminism and the politics of the commons. Kairos books. Pdf.
See also Vinçiane Despret on listening with birdsong https://www.rigabiennial.com/en/education/riboca-talks/event-language.