One of the defining features of cities is the dense web of connections that characterise them. This week I was sharply reminded of this by the appearance of industrial action at my workplace organised by people I know from elsewhere. I was taken by surprise, but it was exciting to have this part of my life intruding on my normally dull workplace. Since industrial action is likely to be ongoing for some time, I now find two of my worlds caught up with each other. This makes me a little nervous as well as excited.
There is certainly plenty of opportunity to gain new knowledge and skills and build new relationships. But alas we live in a country afflicted by repressive legislation, which means I have felt some uncertainty about the best way to show solidarity. Meetings over the coming days should clarify what is possible and how best to support the actions of my colleagues and comrades. The nature of the repressive legislation is draconian, affecting what I would consider to be my right to associate in ways that make sense to me. I am reminded of former times in this country when many forms of association were banned, and people met in back rooms of pubs or on remote heaths and spoke in whispers and codes. This history of repression and resistance is now largely unknown, and the memory of what type of country we live in has disappeared with it. Repression is the knee-jerk reaction of the majority of our elite, and continues to this day.
No wonder the overlords of Londres are committed to a different model of the city to myself. I find the accidental connections made in a city to be beautiful and hopeful. They fear them and pass laws against them.