On Friday evening, Alfa Romeo was proudly unveiling the new pounds 15,000 high- performance car, capable of 133mph, when a 15-strong group of pedestrians moved in, read the Government's latest accident statistics to the assembled crowd, and vowed to wage a non-violent and unremitting war against the vehicle.
A spokesman for the group said the marketing team from the company was "quite shocked" by the declaration. "They were all terribly proud of how fast it goes, its deep red colour and what an amazing penis extension it was when we marched in," he said.
Security guards quickly moved in to break up the protest at a showroom in Baker Street, London. During the resulting scuffles flour and stink bombs were thrown and a tin of yellow paint burst across the top of the car. Soon afterwards the police arrived and made four arrests. Two of those arrested were photographers, one from Small World, a video production company, the other from Squall, an underground magazine.
The action is part of a wider campaign against car culture by a diverse range of groups that have their roots in the anti-roads movement. The first anti-car culture action was held last month, when a group called Reclaim the Streets blocked Camden High Street, north London, for a day. Since then Shell's annual general meeting has also been disrupted.
The campaigners hope to escalate the battle against the cult of the motor car by holding small impromptu actions. Their aim is to "reclaim the streets'' for pedestrians and cyclists, improve public transport and sideline the motor car. They are hoping to encourage local groups to campaign for themselves rather than trying to build a mass movement behind a single organisation.
The dealership, Alfa Romeo Central London, declined to comment yesterday.Reuse content