Shell Protesters.

They were thumbing. He had long hair. She had a purple mohawk. They smelled like old clothes and wet grass. There was a protest in Bellmullet.
Against the oil company – SHELL
He talked about Communism and Socialism and revolution.
She read Tolstoy in the back.
They lived in a commune in Wales.
Had hitched over. Didn’t believe in materialism or possessions or living inside.They talked about tents and campfires and living off scraps and what they could find in bins.
Everyone was entitled to everything. There was no property. We all owned everything together. This made me nervous about my wallet and phone. But they were outta reach so I put it fifth and drove on.
They liked to live with gypsies when they could, so I drove passed some halting sites and they were delighted. Told them it was a long spin to Bellmullet but they didn’t mind. They liked being on the road. And it was all part of the mission to destroy capitalist imperialism. Money was evil.  Bellmullet was the new frontier in the ongoing struggle. Did I ever read Marx? The divide between rich and poor was becoming ever more pronounced. Soon we’d have a very poor majority dominated by a rich elite. Faceless corporations were more powerful than governments. Companies could do what they want and there was no one to stop them. Everyone was sedated on food‚ technology and indifference. Political ignorance was rampant.
We got to Ballinrobe and I said I’d drop them at the Castlebar road to help them on their way. They appreciated that.
I said to your man when we stopped – “Is this it? For your whole life? Goin around like this protesting and livin rough?”
He looked out through the windscreen for a second and then said: “No…not really. I’m actually a sound engineer by trade. Used to work in England. Made good money doin DJ in niteclubs and just takin some time out. When I get sick of this I’ll probably go back to it…. good money in it. Thanks for the lift….”

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