Following a high court decision to evict the Occupy London protesters from outside St Paul’s Cathedral, media outlets were surprised when residents of the Bedfordshire town of Luton vowed to continue their centuries-long protest which had somehow led many to believe that the settlement was a legitimate urban dwelling.
‘When our ancestors first pitched their tents here all those years ago, they were striking a blow against corporate greed and political indifference,’ said Hazel Simmons, leader of a shadowy group claiming to oversee the protest and calling itself Luton Borough Council. ‘And countless generations later, Luton continues to be a living demonstration of the evils of capitalism and the inequality it breeds. Admittedly some things have changed since then – some of us now have our own shacks, and a few even have running water.’
Liberal commentators are now kicking themselves that they had not before noticed the Luton protest. ‘To be honest, I’d always assumed it was a quirk that the disenfranchised and socially outcast naturally gravitated towards Luton, but I really ought to have spotted the signs,’ said George Monbiot. ‘I mean, why would anyone live in conditions like that unless they were trying to make a point? And in hindsight, the 27 branches of Millets in the town centre was a bit of a giveaway.’
However, the revelation that Luton is not a town but a protest camp has led many to question the right of the protesters to occupy the land. ‘It’s not that I object to the principle of lawful and peaceful protest,’ said a resident of nearby Dunstable, ‘it’s just that it’s such an eyesore,’ he commented of the 200,000-strong demonstration. ‘Just look at the type of people it has attracted – some of them probably don’t even know what soap is. And the Lidls, KFCs and Poundlands that have sprung up are really lowering the tone of the whole county.’
Following the unmasking of Luton, difficult questions are now being asked of Croydon, Salford and Glasgow. But suspicions are also falling on establishments claiming to be universities. 'We're pretty sure most of them are protest camps. The residents exhibit the same reluctance to change their clothes and, despite what they say, half the time they're not there.'