Why Trafalgar? #3

Posted: March 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

Ross Speer, student activist at Queen Mary University of London on 'Why Trafalgar?'

Trafalgar Square; the heart of London. In both a geographic and cultural sense. Trafalgar Square is a major thoroughfare, tourist attraction and monument with Nelson, the great British Admiral, looking down Whitehall, the seat of power for the British government. The historical relevance of Trafalgar remains in the British social consciousness to this day. The great victory over the old enemy, the French, that allowed British naval dominance of the globe for a century. In this sense, Trafalgar is a monument to British supremacy. To an empire on which “the sun never set”, the like the world had never seen before. A monument to a bye-gone era when Britain ruled the globe.

So Trafalgar is, at it’s heart, an imperial monument. A constant reminder of our imperial past that shapes the world to this day. An imperialism that continues to have profound effects  on many of the middle eastern nations currently in revolt. What better way to show solidarity than to seize this monument of our domination over them? When the British people take Trafalgar in emulation of the Egyptians in Tahrir they will be saying that we lead no longer. It will be the Egyptians showing the British the way forward. What was once the imperial periphery becomes the revolutionary core.

Closer to home, the seizure of Trafalgar has more than symbolic implications.We will be taking a sacred space, right at the heart of British government. We will be rejecting their use of the space as a superficial celebration of British military victories. We will be taking that space and organising our own use of it; not as British subjects, but as British people. We will be disrupting the day to day operations of the British state and British capitalism right on the doorstep of those who wish more than anyone that we would do anything but. We will be rejecting those who wish to organise our space, our lives, and showing that there is a new way forward. A way forward in which ordinary people are capable of taking control.

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