In September 2013, I was reading an extract of Bloody Nasty People a book by Daniel Trilling that examines the rise of The British National Party in East London. In the extract, Trilling made a passing reference to a protest that happened on The Isle of Dogs in 1986:
"In July 1986, protesters from the Association of Island Communities released thousands of bees and a flock of sheep into a tent where the cream of the world’s finance industry had gathered to watch the Governor of the Bank of England turn the first sod of earth to mark the beginning of construction work at Canary Wharf. Beyond a few colourful headlines, their protest was ignored."
I couldn’t believe what I was reading. Who were these protesters? How had they decided on such an unusual mode of protest? And where were they now? The protest seemed to be a unique starting point to explore the impact of globalisation on a community. Where better place for this exploration to happen than in the shadows of Canary Wharf, the ‘monument on the marsh’?