The revolution will not be organised
A tense few minutes followed – possibly the tensest of my life, and certainly the tensest since meeting representatives of the Islamic State’s viral content team in Tower Hamlets last year.
The pig-headed protestor tried to open the door, but unable to find the handle because his costume completely obscured his vision, he gave up. Then I noticed something strange.
Unable to breach the Cereal Cafe's barricades, arguments were breaking out.
“Althusser was just as critical of the dialectic," spat out one, contemptuously.
“A typically ahistorical analysis. Just what I’d expect,” his adversary sneered back.
Two protestors holding a torch turned and marched off, the first schism of the evening.
I was seized with an idea.
“Jedwards, is there a back way on to the roof from here?"
“Up the stairs, but be careful,” they replied, looking puzzled.
I gave my assistant a sober look.
“มาลัย, you have saved my skin so many times. Now I will try to save yours. If you do not see me again, just remember these three words: ‘Avenge My Death’."
Once on the roof, I had a unique vantage point on the fractious mob below.
This would be a long shot. My only shot. But I had to make it work.
“COMRADES!” I yelled, which surprised them.
Now I had their attention.
And pointing towards West London, and as loudly as I could, I bellowed the word that could seal the fate of the whimsical cereal aficionados trapped below. And mine too.
Slowly I realised that, yes, I was still alive. They’d heard me.
The protestors turned to each other, and out of the silence grew the low buzz of earnest conversation. Lowering myself to the parapet, I began to pick out words
“...We could just make it if we get an Uber.”
“...No, watch it at Zapatos wine bar. Love their gluten-free sides...”.
“...Perky, dry organic Pouilly-Fumé in there. Liked it so much I got a case for myself last week."
And then almost at once, the street was empty. The mob had dispersed.
I’d had my first brush with the anti-gentrification movement. And I’d survived.
I, too, shared their disgust for high sugar treats that frankly, should be taxed so highly the poor can't afford them. Like them, I was appalled and angry at the callous lack of gluten free and vegan cereals.
I spoke their language. ®
Steve Bong (official title: Lord Bong of #businessmodel) is the founder of Bong Ventures, an early stage investor and incubator focusing on innovative new technology startups based in Shoreditch, London. When he's not helping rear the next generation of business models, Steve enjoys parties and foreign travel, extreme cuisine, Open Data and draws his inspiration from Ayn Rand and His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. He advised (then hired) No.10 policy guru Rohan Silva on mindfulness and innovation, Lily Cole on innovation in giving, Mark Zuckerberg on the Perfect IPO, the Republic of Kazakhstan on emergent social media strategies, LOCOG on brand enforcement, and imagineered the Olympic Opening Ceremony with Danny Boyle, Shoreditch's #guardian coffee coffee shop with Jemima Kiss, and was the social media consultant for Edward Snowden and Lady Thatcher’s Funeral. A recent attempt to arm the Syrian rebels with iOS7 sadly failed, however. He emphatically declined to assist the Islamic Caliphate in creating viral and engaging content. He recently resigned from GDS and weathered a storm of factually inaccurate reporting about Bong LLC's office culture, and is currently designing MINSOCK (the Ministry of Socks) for Britain's next Prime Minister, Jeremy Corbyn.