Two men tied up downtown traffic, and caused stiff necks for on-lookers, when they climbed the one hundred and forty-five feet (44 metres) Nelson's Column in London's Trafalgar Square on Friday (20 October).
Two men tied up downtown traffic, and caused stiff necks for on-lookers, when they climbed the one hundred and forty-five feet (44 metres) Nelson's Column in London's Trafalgar Square on Friday (20 October). They were protesting against apartheid and continued foreign investment in South Africa, whose embassy flanks one side of the square.
SYNOPSIS: The protesters had been well up the column when first noticed at daybreak. Apart from trained steeplejacks, no one has climbed the column since it was built in 1842. They used pitons and grappling hooks on their way up. They had caused traffic chaos both in the square and around London's West End.
One of the urban alpinists comes party-way down again to collect some equipment. Police waiting below were content not to do anything until the men finally came back to earth.
To the delight of the cameramen the caper was not yet done. The men hauled up a bag containing a second banner, criticising one of Britain's largest clearing banks, which has large investments and business in South Africa. The men claimed in a better they tossed from their perch at Lord Nelson's feet that the bank was exploiting black South Africans.
The two men, Edwin Drummond and Colin Rowe, are both English, though Rowe, are both English, though Rowe runs a steeplejack firm in San Francisco.
Then the police pounced. The pair were taken away to be charged with causing five hundred ponds worth (1,000 dollars) of criminal damage to the column's lighting conductor. Drummond had come back to England a month ago. Last year, police stopped him when he tried to scale a forty-eight storey skyscraper in San Francisco. It cost another five hundred pounds to bring a telescopic crane to remove the banners.