Croydon’s largest group of anarchists have expressed outrage that a video they had prepared to celebrate the winter solstice has been removed from a community Facebook page – because Tory councillors claimed that the short movie was “partisan” and “too political”.
The South Norwood Tourist Board prepared the short film to mark yesterday’s shortest day of the year. In the film, SNTB members – masked to avoid the spread of coronavirus, rather than to hide their identities – made a mid-winter sacrifice of… a sack of shit.
“It was done artfully and all in the best possible taste, I thought,” Inside Croydon’s arts critic, Bella Bartock, said today. “And given the circumstances that the council finds itself in, entirely appropriate, too.”
Using Wicker Man-style moody music and expertly-shot images of the sun rising over the hill in South Norwood Country Park, Tourist Board actors read from a prepared script criticism of the Labour-run council’s mismanagement and the Conservative government’s underfunding of local authorities.
“In the dawning light of early morning, strange deeds are afoot…
“A small band of mystics reject the council’s and government’s plans to cut the heart out of Croydon and instead perform their own ceremony of sacrifice so that the sun might rise again on our benighted borough.”
And they added, “We call on the people to come together and defend our communities.”
The South Norwood Tourist Board has a long and proud history of staging publicity stunts to attract attention to their area and support the community.
Hoping to spread their solstice video’s message of community unity and action far and wide, activists posted it on the Facebook page of the Save South Norwood Library campaign. South Norwood is one of five of the borough’s public libraries earmarked for closure under the bankrupt council’s planned cuts.
But according to a source at the Tourist Board, “The moderators took it down after a couple of Tory councillors – Mario Creatura and Scott Roche – complained that the video was political and partisan.
“What’s it got to do with them anyway? They don’t have anything to do with South Norwood. They are not councillors for the ward. They are just trying to play political games over the library issue.”
The Tourist Board source suggested that one of the Save the Library Campaign’s officials is a Conservative Party supporter and may have used their influence with the page moderator.
“How typical of the borough’s politicians to try to close down public discourse with a complaint that something is too… political. They still just don’t get it, do they?”
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