Margaret Thatcher has died, but not everybody has been hushed into a respectful silence.
Proving well-known journalists such as Martin Bashir are not the only voices of dissent, hundreds of people spent Monday evening celebrating the Iron Lady’s passing in the streets of south London and Glasgow.
The impromptu street parties, many of which were organized through social media, saw revelers celebrate with cans of beer, pints of milk (a reference to Thatcher’s decision to remove free milk rations from elementary schools), and loud music.
London suburb Brixton saw happy residents pour onto the streets in their hundreds; as an area that weathered two outbreaks of rioting during the Thatcher years, there seemed to be little sadness for the former Prime Minister’s passing. As reggae music pumped in the background, those celebrating gleefully toted anti-Thatcher posters.
Speaking to The Guardian, 62-year-old adult education tutor Clive Barger revealed he had attended the celebration of Thatcher’s death to acknowledge the passing of “one of the vilest abominations of social and economic history.”:
“It is a moment to remember. She embodied everything that was so elitist in terms of repressing people who had nothing. She presided over a class war.”
Phil Lewis, 47, a veteran of the 1990 poll tax riots, added:
“She ripped the a**ehole out of this country and we are still suffering the consequences.”
Others told the newspaper that Thatcher’s death should be an occasion to reflect upon Britain’s Thatcherite legacy. Student Ray Thornton, 28, said:
“It is a solemn day. It is important to remember that Thatcherism isn’t dead and it is important that people get out on the street and not allow the government to whitewash what she did.”
Above the Scottish border in Glasgow, meanwhile, more than 300 people assembled for a celebration in the city centre.
Celebrations of Thatcher’s passing have reached the online world. One Facebook group aims to make “Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead” number one in the Official UK Singles Chart following her death; 638 people have signed up to the group so far.
Indeed, there seemed to be little sympathy from some in the music world. Writing on his blog, Former Smiths frontman Morrissey said:
“Thatcher will only be fondly remembered by sentimentalists who did not suffer under her leadership, but the majority of British working people have forgotten her already, and the people of Argentina will be celebrating her death. As a matter of recorded fact, Thatcher was a terror without an atom of humanity.”
How do you feel about the street parties celebrating Margaret Thatcher’s passing? Let us know in the comments!