She Speaks – Protester Girl

1 January 2011

Considered by Johnny Marr to be a highlight of the past year, the subject of the iconic photo, a student wearing a Smiths tee-shirt standing defiantly over riot police in Parliament Square on the day the British Government voted to increase tuition fees threefold, spoke to blogger Kevin Marinan. He asked her about the protest and her choice of shirt that day.

I wore that tee-shirt outside of my jumper as a nod to Morrissey and Marr’s par to David Cameron… his being a ‘fan’ has been vaguely annoying me for the past few years … and also because I feel the country is spiralling backwards into hopelessness, etc, etc. I am just like millions of other people who love The Smiths. I don’t want cheap fame off wearing a tee-shirt for something great that someone else has done and I don’t want to contribute to the over saturated analysis which to me only weakens the importance of what is going on, as well as individual things about it, like the photograph itself for instance. The world has very little mystery and romance left in it now that everything is explained, analysed and commercialised as soon as it comes into existence.

Kevin Marinan, 2011

Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images

I’m excited, really. We should never underestimate the vigour of youth, and their ability to remake the world. We’ve got a lot to learn from them – their ability to join things up, take the initiative, not hang around and see what Marx would have said. The old men can sit and shake their heads, you know. Or they can follow the students to the barricades. I know where I’ll be.

Billy Bragg The Guardian, 1 January 2011

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