We know that walking is often used as a tactic of political protest. The image above shows a walk in Bangor, designed to preserve a bus service, so there may be one or two unintentional ironies there, but the principle remains.
There was even a walk of protest in Hollywood last week, to protest police brutality. The walk ended in a “die-in” at the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue (above), where the protestors lay down in the road, which I guess is kind of the opposite of walking, but in any case it all seems to have been peaceful enough. And of course a few celebs got in on the act.
Where I grew up, close to the Peak District in Derbyshire people still talk about the Kinderscout Mass Trespass of 1932 as though it too happened just last week. It was certainly monumental in establishing the right of access to land all over the UK, and it shows the power of walking, especially the power of walking where certain people think you shouldn’t.
And then I saw this oddly moving piece in the LA Times about how things have been going in Hong Kong - not a walk of protest, but a stroll. (The full story has now slunk behind the pay wall and I can’t even find who the writer was, a woman I think and apologies to her for not giving credit, but this opening gives the flavor.)
“For decades, pro-democracy demonstrators here have tried marching. And for more than two months now, they have camped outside government headquarters. In recent days, as they face ouster from their encampments, they’ve begun a new tactic: strolling for democracy.
After dusk, throngs of demonstrators, self-styled shoppers all, pace the thoroughfares across several neighborhoods in the city’s Kowloon district, putting police on edge.
The strolling concept took shape Wednesday in Mong Kok, the bustling shopping district where authorities had just forcibly dismantled long-standing protest encampments.
Hours after the clearance was completed, demonstrators returned to flood major intersections, attempting to build barricades and retake lost territory. When police interceded too quickly for them to succeed, the demonstrators, said they were there to shop …”
Well I suppose shopping can often a highly specialized form of walking. When you can combine it with trespassing, it may be considerably more.