11 March 2004

This brought a little ray of sunshine to my life.

Firstly, it served to remind me that the Disability Rights movement hasn't died, as they've been much quieter over the last few years. Possibly a good thing, as if they'd been as vocal during my student days as they were when I was in my early teens and stuck in Cambridge... I'd almost certainly have been charged with a string of civil disobedience offences by now. Yes, it would make me seem "interesting", but, it's not like I need a criminal record to hamper my chances of getting a job, after all... I'm already five times as likely to be out of work than the majority of the population, and that's without taking into account how ugly I am, my facial piercings, or my refusal to dress smartly for anyone.

Secondly, and mainly, the following extract from that article entertained me:

At around 8:30am, an accessible police van drove the protestors to nearby Charing Cross police station where they are currently being held on a number of charges after repeatedly failing to unblock the road when requested by police.

Why is that funny you may be wondering?

Well, two days before Christmas last year, my friend had her bag stolen from under the table in a pub in the West End. There were three of us, and we suspect it must've been while the "crime victim" was drunkenly demanding a hug from someone off the telly, as that was the only time all afternoon we were all looking away from the table.

Charing Cross was the police station we were directed to to report the crime, so to Charing Cross police station we went.

At Charing Cross police station we were immediately greeted by a flight of steps. There was the universal "wheelchair symbol" with an ambiguous arrow on it at the bottom of the steps... god knows where it was pointing to. This is where I sniff irony in the article - especially as it stipulates that the police van was accessible.

I somehow managed to climb the steps, despite there not even being a handrail (alcohol is remarkably good for the confidence, taking the pain away, and for making you forget that when you fall you'll end up in A&E), and one of my friends carried my chair in.

Something I'm very glad about. Once inside the reception area, there was no going through any doors to anywhere. They wouldn't even let us pee, despite the length of time they made us wait while the computer generated a crime reference number.

The article on DAN infers that Charing Cross, surely, has access for Crippled Criminals (wouldn't that be an excellent name for a rap group?). Maybe that's where the ambiguous sign was pointing? Straight to the cells?

"No, I don't need a lawyer, I haven't done anything. No, please don't strip search me. There are no drugs up my bum. No, really... I only wanted to report that my cashcard was stolen. No, please......"

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