Nine Wells

3PI have now completed my annual ecological surveys of the fields south of Addenbrookes Hospital around the Nine Wells nature reserve. The surveys show that the area remains extremely valuable for farmland birds of high conservation concern, with exceptional numbers of grey partridge in the autumn, as well as good numbers of skylark, linnet, yellowhammer, corn bunting and yellow wagtail.

‘The square km south of Addenbrookes has this year supported a grey partridge population of at least 15 spring pairs/km2 and 88 birds/km2 in autumn. The arable farms typical of Cambridgeshire support between 0 and 5 pairs/km2 and 0–20 birds/km2 in the autumn.’

Dick Potts, the UK’s leading partridge expert commented on my 2015 report: ‘I found your study extremely interesting and further evidence that densities can be quite high near urban areas with impending development, with newly planted trees, some very probably insect rich habitat and no shooting.  The mild winters must have helped.’

Corn buntings also did particularly well this year, with 6 or 7 pairs, twice the number of the previous year. This is an important population – there are just 11,000 birds in the UK and its recent extinction in Ireland risks being repeated in large parts of Britain if its breeding sites are not protected. The RSPB’s nearby Hope Farm was delighted to have 3 pairs in 2016 in 1.8km2.

There continues to be a risk that a further field of the site may be taken out of the green belt and made available for development, to extend even further the Biomedical campus. I shall be presenting my findings to the Local Plan Inspector at the end of February.

You can download a copy of my reports here.

Nine_wells_Survey_report_2016

Grey_partridge_2016

My reports for 2015 are here:

Survey_report_for_TL4654_2015

Grey_partridge_of_Nine_Wells

Why I’ll be voting to stay in the EU

As the author of Thesalonika, Rue Mouffetard, Poussière d’étoiles, Les enfants de la mer and Andalucia it may not surprise you to know I’ll be voting to remain in the EU.

I don’t want to get into the economic arguments – while I can’t see how leaving would create more decent jobs, trade etc, I’m no economist, and anyway I don’t believe anyone can accurately predict such things – too many other factors in the wider EU and world economy will affect the future. Instead I want to focus on the things we could lose if we walk away – the 4 Ps of peace, people, protection and place.

Peace – It’s not just that, following centuries of conflict between European nations, we have enjoyed 70 years of peace between EU members. Above all, the EU’s regular meetings have provided a forum to resolve differences between member states. The EU has also helped us surmount some major challenges such as the reunification of Germany and the end of the iron curtain. Many on both right and left of the leave campaign want to return to a Europe of nation states, as does Marine Le Pen in France. Such a backwards step is potentially highly dangerous – we are far better off working together.

People – My friends come from across Europe (and of course from far beyond) – from France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Ireland and Greece as well as Turkey and Russia. Much of my favourite music, art, cinema and literature comes from Spain, France and – in the case of the great Jacques Brel – Belgium. Most of the recipes I cook are from Italy, Greece, France or Spain. I value all these people and their cultures and have no wish to close borders and take a step inwards.

Protection for workers – EU regulations underpin the UK’s health and safety law and oblige employers to take steps to reduce the risks we face at work. The Working Time Directive limits working hours, while EU rules strengthen maternity and paternity benefits and ensure that part time workers get the same rights as full time workers. There’s also protection for consumers as well. And one of the most important aspects of the European community is that all member states are constrained by these regulations – there is reduced opportunity for individual states to undermine these rights in order to gain competitive advantage.

Protection for the environment – OK – the EU’s record on this hasn’t always been good. The early CAP was disastrous for biodiversity – but even that has now greatly improved. Away from this the Habitats Directive 1992, the Birds Directive 2009 and the Natura 2000 ecological network provide enhanced protection to habitats and species, the Environment Action Programme regulates businesses to reduce waste and pollution, and the EU has been a key player in attempts to reduce climate change. Of course, Nigel Farage doubts global warming and hates wind turbines.

Place – We all have the right to travel freely throughout the EU and to live, work or retire where we choose – and we have the right to decent healthcare throughout the EU. And yes, this means that people from other EU countries can travel, live and work here. Good. As John Lennon said, instead of building walls we should be building bridges.

Above all for me the EU represents a way of living that sets a certain benchmark. Things like not resorting to the death penalty, agreeing a Charter of Fundamental Rights and embedding values of human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights into the EU treaties. I know it’s far from perfect – the treatment of Greece was inhuman (though Yanis Varoufakis nonetheless strongly believes we should stay in). I’m appalled by its policy towards Syrian refugees, and concerned about the rush towards TTIP. However, for many years now the UK has had governments that were even further from perfect – invading Iraq, cutting benefits for the disabled, etc.

It’s up to us to fight for the EU we want. To quote Varoufakis:

‘Britain needs to join the rest of us on the other side of the Channel in the only fight that is worth having: the struggle to democratise the European Union.’

Election reflections

I had been planning to write a blog about the recent election result, which has left me – as many others – feeling thoroughly depressed. One of the things I found most troubling was the way that the Labour party had attacked the people who it should have been courting as future allies – notably the SNP and the Greens (for whom I voted). And I am still waiting for some recognition from the Labour party that they will need to reach out to other parties on the left if they are to have any hope of unseating the conservatives in the future.

Then I came across this from someone called Annette, who blogs under the name of Virtuella. It puts things so well that I thought I should just reblog it. Here are Annette’s words:

“Thanks a lot, Labour Party. Thanks to you we will be governed for another five years by the party that has pushed people into poverty in their droves, that has seen suicide rates soar among the sick and disabled, and food banks spread like a fungus. Thanks to you the party that has brought the UK’s economic recovery to a standstill whilst doubling the national debt can go on wrecking what is left of our assets and destroy the environment as collateral damage. Thanks to you, Ian Duncan Smith will be allowed to continue his assault on the most vulnerable and Theresa May can go on slashing our civil rights in the name of fighting terrorism. Thanks to you the rich will get even richer while everyone else will get poorer and the NHS in England may as well pack up and go home. It is your fault, Labour Party, that the Tories now have a clear majority, unchecked even by what little moderation the Lib Dems might have been able to impose. The Tory reign has been so abysmal, you ought to have won this election by a landslide. You failed.

Now don’t you dare even think of blaming Scotland. In Scotland, we did our bit to bring down the ConLib coalition: we ousted all but two of them. Actually, Carmichael and Mundell won by very narrow margins and if you hadn’t been so hell-bent on fighting your potential allies, the SNP, we might have got rid of those two as well. In any case, Scotland has reduced the coalition’s seat count by ten. All you had to do was add a little to the Labour seats in England and Wales and we’d have been home and dry. But no, not you. You lost big time.

I’m going to help you out here, Labour, because I have watched your decline for a long time and it seems clear that you have not the foggiest idea where you have gone wrong. That is why almost everything you did to improve your prospects has only made things worse. So let me try to explain, and let me tell you in advance that everyone I have spoken to over the last few days agrees with me. Not because I am so super-clever, but because it is blatantly obvious. Only Labour seem to be unable to see it.

Forget Blairism. The con Blair pulled off worked once, but it will not work again in our lifetime, because there are things people don’t forget. Blairism gained Labour the support of a certain number of swing voters and that helped you as long as your core supporters loyally stood by you. Whatever made you think, though, that you could give up the goals and values of your real clientele and that nevertheless they would keep voting for you indefinitely? Sure, many people feel loyal to a party and are patient with it, and there is a certain inertia that needs to be overcome before some voters desert their traditional party. But if that party continually fails to represent their supporter’s interests, these supporters will eventually walk away. The sentence I heard again and again and again these last few months was this: “I have not left Labour, Labour have left me.” That is the core of the problem.

So listen to me well, Labour Party, because if you get this wrong again you will be done for, once and for all: Don’t try to appeal to Tory voters. Tory-leaning voters might vote Labour as a one-off protest vote, but by pandering to them you alienate the people who are your natural clientele. For a few years that might work out, but eventually the Tory-leaning voters will return to the Tory fold and your own supporters will decide you’re just not worth it anymore. If they have any sense, they’ll move on to the Greens, and if not, there’s always UKIP. If they feel seriously conflicted, they might just stay at home and not vote at all. In Scotland, they have serious alternative now. In any case, you’re unlikely to gain back their trust as long as you present yourself as a paler copy of the Tories. Nicola Sturgeon did give you the heads-up in the leadership debate. She said that of course there is a difference between Tories and Labour, but the problem is that the difference is not big enough. It is nowhere near big enough.

There are several ways in which this failure to be properly Labour instead of Tory-lite has played out.

1. You have failed to be an effective opposition. Instead of challenging the Tories’ brutal austerity policies, their hair-raising incompetence with the economy, their blatant favouring of the rich elites, you have done little else than bicker about details. You have allowed the electorate in England and Wales to believe against all evidence to the contrary that what the Tories have done is basically right. You voted with them for more austerity cuts. You voted with them for Trident renewal. You voted with them for more foolish military interventions in the Middle East, even though you must know by now how the Iraq War has damaged you. You abstained from the vote on the fracking moratorium which would have succeeded had you not been so cowardly. You have not been a counterweight to the nasty coalition, you have enabled them.

2. You have allowed the Tories to determine the political narrative. Instead of countering their agenda with your own agenda, you kept telling us you would do much the same as the Tories, only in a nicer way, and you deluded yourself that this would keep everyone happy. All this nonsense about cutting the deficit by slashing public services and restricting government spending, when it is standard textbook economy that in times of recession the government must increase spending to help the economy recover – you could have called the Tories out on this, you could have presented the figures of how the Tory approach had made the economy much, much worse. Why did it have to be Nigel Farage of all people who pointed out in the leaders’ debate that the Tories had doubled the national debt? That would have been your role, you should have hammered this message home relentlessly instead of letting them get away with their ludicrous claim that they had fixed the economy. You even allowed UKIP to set your agenda: Instead of making it clear, like Natalie Bennett and Leanne Wood and Nicola Sturgeon did, that immigration really, really isn’t a relevant problem, you went about printing “Controls on immigration” on mugs and even inscribing it on your ridiculous monolith.

3. Instead of fighting the Tories, you fought your potential allies. This wasn’t so disastrous in the case of the Greens and Plaid Cymru, given their small numbers, but I will say that having a big campaign to unseat Caroline was not only mean-spirited but stupid; those resources should have gone into targeting a Tory seat. However, it was your treatment of the SNP that might well have cost you the election. Again, you let the Tories determine the narrative. They crowed about a constitutional crisis, about a second referendum which neither the SNP nor the wider YES movement are seeking within the next few years anyway, about “breaking up our (sic!) country,” about chaos and nationalism and England being held to ransom. They and their compliant media outlets abused the SNP and the people of Scotland on a daily basis in the most despicable terms. And all you did was parrot them. Nicola Sturgeon could not have held out her hand any more sincerely, and yet you sneered at it.

What you could have done, should have done, was to challenge the Tory narrative. The SNP have been riding sky-high in the polls since September; and you had known for months that you could only form a government with their help. Plenty time to come up with a constructive strategy. You could have pointed out that the SNP are a moderate party of the centre left. You could have pointed out that they have a track record of eight years of competent and sensible and not-at-all-outrageous government in Holyrood. You could have pointed out that they stood for the kind of temperate progressive policies that many, many people in England would have been delighted to see. You could have pointed out that in no imaginable universe would even 59 SNP MPs be able to call the shots in a 650-strong parliament; that you would always be the boss in any kind of arrangement. You could have thrown all your might into convincing the English electorate that a Labour/SNP team effort would be good for the whole of the UK, as it undoubtedly would have been. Instead you declared a week before the election on national television that you would rather see the Tories return to power than work with the SNP. The stupidity of this is mind-blowing. And all under the banner of “not working with a party that seeks to break up the UK.” Tell me, what is your deal again with the SDLP, a party that seeks to unite Northern Ireland with the republic? You don’t even field candidates against them to give them a better chance? If you can work with them, why not with the SNP? But even today you still harp on about “nationalism” when in fact what the people of Scotland have opted for is the moderate social democratic policies which you should have offered but didn’t.

4. Having alienated your core supporters and turned your back on your potential allies, and with no progressive track record as an effective opposition to show to the electorate, you have based your election campaign on sound bites, PR stunts and silly gimmicks. Just after Nicola Sturgeon presented her gender-balanced cabinet and promised to work tirelessly on shattering the glass ceiling, you insulted the women of the UK by inviting them to talk “around the kitchen table” about “women’s issues,” proudly brought to us by a pink van. And you didn’t see it coming that people would call it the Barbie Bus and laugh it out-of-town? You allowed Jim Murphy to run amok in Scotland with one insane “policy announcement” after another – remember the “1000 more nurses than anything the SNP promises?” Why not promise weekend breaks on Jupiter for the over 65s? You wheeled out Gordon Brown at random intervals to make meaningless promises and you expected people to be swayed by the pledges of a retiring back bencher? You had some wishy-washy election promises carved in a massive gravestone and you thought that was a good idea?

Yours was a hopeless, hopeless campaign from beginning to end, without vision, without structure, without conviction. And yet I, like so many, clung to the hope that surely people in England must be so fed up with the Tories by now that they’d vote for you anyway and that surely once the election day dust had settled you’d see sense and head a progressive alliance with the SNP, SDLP, Plaid Cymru and the lovely Caroline Lucas who is worth her weight in diamonds. We could have turned things around for the good of the many rather than the few. Instead the Tories now have carte blanche to suck dry the people of the UK and grin smugly while they feast on our bones. All thanks to you, Labour Party. Now get your act together and make sure this will never happen again. I cannot spell it out any clearer.”

Walking the streets of Paris in the footsteps of Louise Michel

It was just after we joined the Rue des Fossés St Jacques on a cool August evening that we found, painted on the footpath, the words: ‘Au Panthéon; Simone de Beauvoir et Louise Michel’.

We had celebrated my birthday in a Greek restaurant just off the Place St Médard, at the southern edge of the 5ème arrondissement. After eating we had climbed the rue Mouffetard towards the Place de la Contrescarpe and the Panthéon, the final resting place of the great men of France. Of the 71 worthy people buried there only one, Marie Curie, was a woman. I could understand the case for de Beauvoir joining her; but Louise Michel was new to me.

I visit Paris regularly but over the years I spend less and less time on the Champs Elysées and the grands boulevards for which Haussemann had in the 19th century demolished large swathes of an older Paris, leading Baudelaire to write in Le Cygne: ‘Le vieux Paris nest plus; la forme d’une ville change plus vite, hélas! que le coeur d’un mortel.’ (Old Paris is no more; the form of a city changes more quickly, alas! than the human heart.)

I prefer the less ordered older quarters of Paris that escaped Haussemann’s  attentions, mainly those clustered around the hills or ‘buttes’ of the city, including Montmartre. My favourite is that which tumbles down the contrescarpe along the rue Mouffetard. As we walked back down the slope I determined to find out more about Louise Michel.

By the time we set out again the following morning a combination of an iPad and hotel wifi had given me a short introduction to the remarkable life of this anarchist, teacher and poet. Born in 1830 in the Haute-Marne as the illegitimate daughter of the son of the local chateau and one of his servants, Michel trained as a teacher and moved to Paris where she opened a school, wrote poetry, corresponded with Victor Hugo and became active in left-wing republican politics.

We walked along the rue Pascal, following the course of the river Bièvre which used to flow past the Gobelins and the tanneries at the foot of the Rue Mouffetard but is now confined to an underground canal. We were heading in the direction of the Butte aux Cailles in the 13ème arrondissement – in 1871 one of the last strongholds of the Paris Commune.

The Commune was established in Paris (and in many other major French cities) following France’s defeat at the end of the war against Prussia. The spark that lit the uprising was the French army’s attempt to take back the cannons that had been used to defend the city during the siege of the final months of the war. And it was Louise Michel who had alerted the people of Montmartre to the presence in the city of the French army.

We crossed the Boulevard Auguste Blanqui – named after the revolutionary who had been imprisoned by the French government to prevent him joining the Commune – and ventured up the rue Daviel towards the Butte aux Cailles – in English the ‘hill of quails’. This area is another where much of the old housing has survived since before Haussmann, and numerous narrow streets and passages scramble up the hillside, lending the area a village-like feel until a more modern tower block looms up ahead and brings you back to modern Paris.

The Commune survived for two months – time to introduce new ideas and practices far ahead of their time – but eventually the French army began to move into the city, massacring thousands of communards as they went. Louise Michel fought the soldiers in the suburbs and later the city barricades. At her trial Michel denounced her persecutors:

‘Puisqu’il semble que tout coeur qui bat pour la liberté n’a droit qu’à un peu de plomb, j’en réclame une part, moi ! Si vous me laissez vivre, je ne cesserai de crier vengeance… Si vous n’êtes pas des lâches, tuez-moi!’ (Since it seems that every heart that beats for freedom has the right only to a little lead, I demand my share. If you let me live, I shall never cease to cry for vengeance… If you are not cowards, kill me!)

At the top of the butte we found the place de la Commune de Paris and drank tea in the cooperative café Le temps des cerises, named after a song by Jean-Baptiste Clement which the author later dedicated to a nurse who had been with him on one of the final barricades:

Mais il est bien court, le temps des cerises,
Où l’on s’en va deux cueillir en rêvant
Des pendants d’oreilles.
Cerises d’amour aux robes pareilles
Tombant sous la feuille en gouttes de sang.

(But it is too short, the time of the cherries
When together we gather them while dreaming of earrings
Cherries of love dressed in red robes
Dripping from the leaf in drops of blood)

Louise Michel was not granted her wish by the court, but was instead exiled to New Caledonia, where she supported the indigenous people in their fight against French colonialism, and ran a school with methods that were a century ahead of their time. It was there that she concluded: ‘C’est que le pouvoir est maudit, et c’est pour cela que je suis anarchiste.’ (Power is cursed, and that is why I am an anarchist.)

She was eventually freed and returned to Paris in November 1880, to be welcomed by an immense crowd. She continued her fight for social justice and remained a thorn in the side of the government, spending several stretches in prison. She wrote extensively – poems, pamphlets, an autobiography and a personal history of the Commune. When she died in 1905 some 100,000 people followed her cortège through the streets of Paris.

We continued to wander around the Butte aux Cailles, lingering in particular in the passage Boitton with a Parisiénne who spends her spare time exploring and photographing the backstreets of her beloved city. She told us where we could find the graffiti below.

There is talk that François Hollande may decide to include another woman in the Panthéon, and Michel would seem an ideal candidate – along with Simone de Beauvoir and Olympe de Gouges, who published a Declaration of the rights of women during the revolution of 1789. In the meantime, she retains an alternative commemoration beyond the gift of any of today’s politicians – Victor Hugo dedicated his poem Viro major to her:

Et ceux qui, comme moi, te savent incapable
De tout ce qui n’est pas héroïsme et vertu,
Qui savent que, si l’on te disait: « D’où viens-tu ? »
Tu répondrais: « Je viens de la nuit d’où l’on souffre. »

(And those who, like me, know you to be incapable
Of all that is not heroism and virtue,
Who know that, if you were asked, ‘Where do you come from?”
You would answer: “I come from the night where there is suffering.’)

We walked back along the Avenue des Gobelins and that evening ate in Les Bugnes, a Basque restaurant just off the rue Mouffetard. And here is the video of my song, Rue Mouffetard, with some echoes of the Commune.

For more about Louise Michel you can listen to one of the BBC’s Great Lives radio programmes, read a blog from Pam McAllister or listen to a talk from Paul Foot about her and the Commune.

Thesalonika

Retired policeman: ‘How do you find our country now?’
Zoe: ‘It’s not “our” country, but my country – you were with the Nazis.’

In the days and weeks leading up to the Athens Olympics in 2004 Greece was filled with bands of wandering journalists waiting for the games to start and searching out other stories to fill their time. Daniel Vernet of Le Monde was one of them and he met Zoe Kaltaki, who had fought in the resistance against the nazis in the Kilkis mountains to the north of Thessaloniki. Her story somehow summed up the turbulent twentieth century, and inspired me to write ‘Thesalonika’ – I played the song again recently at Cambridge Folk Club with Tara Westover, and there is a video of it here:

At age 12, Zoe followed her father into the resistance. She refused to lay down her gun after the liberation, and joined the communists who were fighting the right (who were supported by the English and Americans, worried that Greece might follow other Balkan countries into soviet Russia’s influence). She was injured several times and ended up in a hospital in Sofia, Bulgaria. A million people were displaced by the civil war, and 100,000 found exile in Eastern Europe. Zoe herself found a new home in Czechoslovakia, where she made paper flowers for funeral wreaths, married another Greek exile and had four children.

Zoe returned to Greece in 1982 after an official amnesty, to live in Volos with her daughter Olga. Asked whether she regretted her return to her country, she summed up her mixed feelings by saying ‘Wherever I feel at home, that is my country’. Olga added that in Czechoslovakia ‘I didn’t know what stress was. There you just had to work – here you have to fight.’ Zoe had returned several times to the Kilkis mountains, and on one of these visits met an old acquaintance, the retired policeman quoted earlier.

Thessaloniki is a remarkable city. It was home to many of the sephardic jews expelled from Spain in 1492. For several centuries under the Ottoman empire it was one of the great European multicultural cities, home not just to the Jews and Greeks, but also to many Muslims, including the family of one of our friends. As late as 1912 Thessaloniki was 40% Jewish, 30% Greek orthodox and 25% Muslim.

However, following the end of the empire and the population exchange of 1923 when some 1.5 million people in the region were forcibly uprooted, all the Thesalonican Muslims were expelled, and 100,000 refugees arrived in the city from Turkey. Twenty years later the Nazi occupiers deported 95% of the the city’s jews to Auschwitz in 1943 – the majority died in gas chambers within hours of their arrival.  By 1945 the population was almost entirely Greek.

We visited Thessaloniki in 2007 and I even managed to borrow a bazouki to play the song in a restaurant in the market. The city never seemed to sleep – the bars along the waterfront were throbbing with music into the small hours. Although a very modern city, it still drips with history – across the bay is Mount Olympus, home of the gods of ancient Greece, and inland is the cave where Aristotle taught the young Alexander the Great.

Thessaloniki is some way from the mass tourist attractions of Greece, and in consequence people seemed delighted, even surprised, that we had made the effort to visit. In the countryside outside the city people stopped and insisted on giving us lifts. The curator of the Aristotle school called us a taxi and ensured that we were given a private tour of a Macedonian tomb on our way to the station. On the bus to the airport on our day of departure we were even given presents by our fellow passengers, who included a retired teacher of French from the university.

‘Thesalonika’ is about home and exile, about how what binds us together as Europeans and as people is more important than what separates us, and two years ago I had the privilege of singing the song with a French choir in a Welsh chapel.

While in Greece we also visited Volos without realising that it was Zoe’s new home. I would have liked to to meet her and play her her song. Above all, I would have liked her to know that her story had touched a chord with people across the continent.

Where can I go?
Where can I call home?
Oh, my Thesalonika
Where are you now?

If anyone reading this blog can share it with her or her family, please do – and thankyou, Zoe, for the inspiration.

The exchange and the civil war is captured memorably in Theo Angelopoulis’s film The weeping meadow.

A 2010 Europa project Thessaloniki and the European memory explored the memory of the population exchange and the holocaust in Thessaloniki, and you can download their short and highly readable report. The authors are historians Sheer Ganor, Constanze Kolbe, Ozgur Yildrim and Sára Zorándy.

Finally, Victoria Hislop’s novel The thread is set in the city from 1923.

Ten years on from February 15th 2003

On February 15th 2003 – ten years ago last Friday – a million and a half people marched through the streets of London in protest against the invasion of Iraq. I was, and remain, proud to have been one of them. I marched with a woman who had also been present at the anti-Vietnam war protest in Grosvenor Square, and I met people from all walks of life, many of whom had never demonstrated before but who knew that the Blair government had no legal or moral right to lead the country into an unjust war. The numbers of people were so great that for long periods it ground to a halt, and by the time we reached Hyde Park many people were still waiting at the start.

Ten years on it is all too clear that we were right to oppose the war. Just yesterday a series of car bombs ripped through the Shia areas of Baghdad adding yet more innocent lives to the horrendous death toll that has followed the invasion. Last month the bloody attack on an Algerian oil works underlined just how ineffective the war was in making the world a safer place. And those weapons of mass destruction? Well, they turned out to be a figment of Blair’s imagination, as most of us knew at the time.

At the time Blair said that history would prove him right. It seems to have proved right those who claimed he was misleading the country. A new opinion poll shows that a large majority of the population now believe the war was wrong, with twice as many (55%) agreeing that “the London marchers were right”, because “a war sold on a false prospectus delivered little but bloodshed”, than the 28% who now believe the marchers were wrong. ‘Blair is judged to have been on the wrong side of history, right across the political spectrum,’ says a report on the findings. Even the Labour shadow cabinet in now bending over backwards to distance itself from the war – how appalling that at the time so few were prepared to take a stand.

Here’s a demo of a song I wrote after one too many people had told me that it was a futile gesture. I have no plans to release the song properly, but here it is as a tribute to all the people who stood in the cold that day. And thanks also to Dominic Wilson for the black and white photos.