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Bullring Flashmob

Posted in personal, rant, video with tags , , , on March 9, 2008 by Lightborne

I took part in a flashmob yesterday – well Denise did and I dashed around with my camera. The idea was for a large group of people, dispersed throughout out the top floor of the Bullring and seemingly going about their business as normal, to suddenly freeze in motion at an appointed, synchronised time. They would maintain this statuesque pose for five minutes exactly and then all fall back into motion at the same time. The point is not to cause disruption and irritation, but rather wonder and amazement. The security of the Bullring however, seemed to think that the only purpose was to clog up the shopping lanes. Well, that and I think they just didn’t like it. From my own experience and what I’ve heard from others, the security don’t like crowds to gather, things that aren’t shopping to happen, or even people sitting down. As the General Manager explained very vigorously to one of the group afterwards, the Bullring is private property, not public property – so essentially shoppers are their guests and expected to behave in a manner appropriate to the situation. Anything else is just weird and a menace. While momentarily stopped to talk to someone outside of the Bullring (though not yet off of their property) I suddenly felt the muscular, weighty presence of one of the security men compelling my whole body (along with two others) away, explaining all the while that we couldn’t do it out here either. Apparently one must try to remain in constant motion while at the Bullring, otherwise one may unknowingly become a nuisance and a troublemaker.

Anyway, the security men themselves caused the greatest disruption and commotion by clustering around the freezers and shouting a lot. The freezers were intentionally spread out so as not to cause a blockage, but, and you can see this in the many videos many of the event, the security response caused crowds to gather around certain spots to see what was happening, thereby impeding one of the main thoroughfares. One of the funniest things from the whole day was the security men milling around shouting “Move along….. Start moving….”

Here’s the video I made, which unfortunately doesn’t have the biggest group of freezers (who were on the opposite side of the top floor) from the beginning. When I finally get there its difficult to see them for the crowd.

There’s also a BBC news story about the event.

And here’s another article about it.

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