Winter of our discount tents

by Julie Alpine-Crabtree







It’s been almost a week since the Occupy London protesters branched out from the original site at St Paul’s and set up camp in Finsbury Square.

On our way to nursery, we stopped to have a look. While I tried to scout out the signposted recycling points, Tent City University yurt and central point for newcomers that I’d read about, Milo just wanted to know why he couldn’t run and play on the grass.

“Because it’s busy with tents right now.”

Coincidentally enough, it’s also almost a week since the latest development in Milo’s vocabulary. I knew what was coming next – and most likely every five minutes for the next two years.


“Because people are fed up of banks being able to do whatever they like.”


Because poor people are paying for rich people’s mistakes? Because governments continue to bail out the very institutions to blame? Because austerity measures leave too little for too many? Because global financial inequality is out of control?

“Would you like a biscuit?”

I’m just counting my lucky stars that Milo hasn’t learned to read yet. Some of the placards floating around are pretty hardcore. They remind me of the slogans I held high in the Stop the War march back in February 2003, which was, incidentally the UK’s biggest-ever demonstration. Not that those slogans made any difference. I hope the people in Finsbury Square are not getting cold for nothing.

For one thing, I would hate for us to be losing one of our local green play spaces in vain.