Ever get the feeling that all of life seems to now be controlled in a web of corporations, social networking, government control and money? Why should peoples social interactions be forced into the non-choice between online networking sites, corporate sponsored events, government regulated drinking establishments or pop culture driven night clubs? We're fed up to the eyeballs with it. If I want to play in my city, I don't want to be spoon fed database targeted advertising campaigns, be monitored as a focus group or be judged in comparison to this months glossy style bibles.
The Hijackers are committed to promoting alternatives to corporate led, government controlled life, This is our city as much as anyone else's and we intend to turn it into the city of our dreams.
The Greenwich foot tunnel Pirate Party had been an idea brewing in our collective conscience for some time. The government have now banned drinking on the tube trains, and have been actively clamping down on any non licensed events for years. In an age where Facebook is seen as a social life something has to be done!
So it was with great excitement (and not a little rum in our bellies) that in our September meeting we decided to take our parties back into the public realm. The plan was hatched on a Thursday evening and the party called for Saturday night, on the stroke of midnight! Stretching underneath the Thames river from the bottom of the Isle of dogs across to Greenwich, the foot tunnel is a 24hr public footpath. A perfect location under the sea for a band of scurvy dogs to host a party and stick two fingers up at the ever more controlling culture we find ourselves in.
Meeting up at Hijacker HQ early in the evening our team of Pirates checked over our sound system, playlists, rum supplies and eye patches. Then hopping onto bicycles and into taxi's (sound systems don't carry themselves) we arrived at the northern end of the tunnel at ten to twelve. Agent Unbuckled called to inform us that the area was remarkably Police and Security free (seriously, don't you guys read our emails anymore???) and so we began the descent down the lift shaft and to the start of the tunnel.
Approaching from the north our band of about 10 headed to the centre of the tunnel, stopping right underneath the ever present security cameras. Fingers crossed that they were only recording and not live, we plugged in the sound system and our sea shanty play list began to reverberate along the iron tunnel.
By the second song, we'd cracked open the rum and started a merry jig, however it was now gone midnight and there was little sign of other pirates. Oh well, I guess the email had only gone out the day before.
The slowly, and quite magically they began to emerge, one by one, on bicycle and foot the tunnel began to fill. Before long we were fifty and the tunes on the sound system began to slip from sea shanties to disco. A little longer and our numbers had swelled to over a hundred. By this point the party was beginning to rock, and the pirates were dancing many a merry jig.
As mentioned before, the foot tunnel is a public right of way, and even late at night a variety of characters stumble their way home and through the tunnel. Most joined us for a dance before heading home, others with traditional stiff upper lip marched through as if nothing was going on. However our most energetic visitors were a gang of angry ASBO youth. The mob stormed through the party pushing and threatening people as they went. Then as they burst out the other side one turned and flashed his penis at the crowd. A huge cheer and "aarrrrrr" went up from the partying pirates, finally some modern day pirates had arrived. Before long the yoof had come back to the party and started dancing along. The aggro levels dropped and we all began to get on with some serious partying.
By 2am our numbers had reached nearly two hundred and the dancefloor was stomping. Changing tempo we faded out the sound system and the Pirate Samba band started thumping. Although small in number, the noise they produced in the small tunnel was immense, cutlasses were waved and the Pirates roared with appreciation. Booom boom boom.
Later we switched back to the sound system as Pirates were jumping under the sea. However by about 4am the batteries began to fade, and our samba crew were growing tired. Shipmates began to slip off back to their quarters and it was decided to call the event to a finale. Rubbish was picked up, and aside from a memory left in the minds of the participants, the reverberations of the iron tunnel and the cold eye of the CCTV no-one would have known we had been there.