This piece was written in 1971 and never published. It was an attempt to recollect in something not quite approaching tranquility, the delirium of representations which the actions of the London Street Commune had provoked two years previously. Tagged by the media as ‘hippy squatters’, to distinguish the movement from respectable homeless families, the Commune was a strange and unstable amalgam of beats, student radicals, junkies, teenage runaways and professional dossers, animated by common confusions about how to make the world a more accommodating place. A brief attempt to build an alliance with the ‘New Left’ was met with incomprehension and hostile cries of ‘What do you produce -syringes?’ The Alternative Society of Beautiful People was not much more welcoming! The street communes were, however, a gift for the media, and for pop sociology.
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