Fuelled by strikers’ braziers and the smoke from burning police cars an old fashioned London fog had descended on the East End. A red glow from bonfires and torches coloured the smog and suffused the shadowy buildings that lined the street with a crimson light. Curling smoke formed sinuous tentacles that writhed outwards through the air above Cable Street, twisted down alleys, curled round chimneys, hung menacingly over the demonic scene.
The anarcho-surrealists in pantomime costumes were dispatched to form a redoubt at the junction of Cable Street with Dock Street. Much in evidence, as with most of the irregulars, was their weapon of choice, the Classic Burp® Gun manufactured by Ack-Ack Inc of East Detroit Michigan. They had strict instructions that theirs was to be a delaying action only, there was to be no last ditch stand. When overrun they were to fall back and melt away, their job then would be to harry and slow the marchers. They were joined at the redoubt by Snowdrop in pink ballet tutu and highwayman’s peacock feathered, tricorn hat, on her unicycle, juggling flaming brands and assuming tenuous command.
In Parliament Square the Royal Marines’ Regimental Brass Band played a medley of Elgar’s more stirring tunes before a high podium and lectern that bristled with microphones. From here the Prime Minister gave yet another rousing speech, though it transpired that he would not personally be accompanying the marchers after all – prevented by an unfortunate prior engagement.
As the pro-government marchers set off, rank upon rank of black clad riot policemen in visored helmets, already rhythmically tapping their truncheons against their shields, formed up behind the band; then came paramilitary cadre units of fundamentalist Young Conservatives and public school boy volunteer brigades, uniformly equipped, at public expense, with Saturator SIG SAUE R 556s; finally the massed irregulars with Burp® guns and assorted cheap water pistols bought, en route, from a branch of Lidl Stiftung and Co. KG.
On arriving at Tower Hill, their ranks swollen by thousands of patriotic peasants with pitchforks, flaming torches and of course, Burp® guns, they encountered the East End fog. Ahead of the column appeared the dark shape of a Metropolitan Police medium range pursuit airship which, forced to fly too high above the fog bank, was to play no significant part in the day’s events. The band struck up once more and the advance into the alien maze of streets that lay beyond the walls of the great city began.
The primary barricade spanning Cable Street, constructed from iron bedsteads, pallets, up turned carts, assorted furniture and the occasional shell of a motor vehicle, being completed and topped with red flags, black flags, red and black flags, the Brick Lane Zapatistas took up their positions. Silhouetted figures armed with STR80-AK47 Aquafire combat water weapons mounted the barricades and presented clenched fisted salutes to the featureless mist. They shall not pass! ¡No pasaran!
Consuella Starcluster with the Spanish Republican flag draped across her bodice and wearing a profondo rosso Phrygian cap with the blood, pus and scab rosette of her spiritual homeland, topped the highest pinnacle.
Kronstadt Sailors under the command of Phoebles, who was wearing a saucepan on his head and which he feared may well be stuck, manned giant rubber catapults (three man bomb launchers), in a line behind the barricade, with a plentiful supply of water bombs and flour bombs.
Track had been removed for some distance north and south of Shadwell station to prevent the Government from deploying its armoured trains. Ex-miners from Wales and Nottinghamshire had come in via the back roads to avoid police roadblocks and they were to guard the sewers and underground tunnels against surprise attack.
Slates were removed from the roof of the Italianate Vestry Hall so that Ginsbergbear could take up a commanding position above the cornice with his powerful Exploderz X Ranger 1075 hydro blaster heavy machine gun. The defences were ready.
There followed a nervous pause in the preparations until, far in the distance, the defenders heard a marching band playing Colonel Bogey. It faltered and was drowned out by the cries and clamour of conflict. The anarcho-surrealists had gone into action.
To the rear, amidst the reserve troops and baggage an ex-colliery brass band responded with the Marseilles and Internationale and a small Welsh choir sang out a baritone rendition of Lloyd George Knew My Father.