Charlie Gilmour, the adopted son of Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour, admitted violent disorder in court today in London, after joining thousands of students demonstrating in London’s Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square last year.
During the riots, Gilmour was seen hanging from a Union Jack flag on the Cenotaph memorial for Britain’s war dead. He was also seen leaping on to the hood of a Jaguar that formed part of a royal escort convoy and throwing a garbage can at the car. Gilmour was one of approximately 100 students who attacked a convoy escorting the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall during last year’s student riots. The Prince and his wife were on their way to the Royal Variety Performance at the London Palladium theater when the mob surrounded their car shouting “off with their heads,” “Tory scum” and “give us some money.”
The Royal vehicle’s back window was smashed and lime green paint was thrown on the car, although there is no evidence that Gilmour had anything to do with that. He was, however, also photographed attempting to start a fire outside the Supreme Court by lighting a bunch of newspapers on fire.
Gilmour, a 21-year-old Cambridge University student, was told he must serve half of his 16-month jail term behind bars. From The Telegraph:
Shouting slogans such as “you broke the moral law, we are going to break all the laws”, the 21-year-old son of the multi-millionaire pop star went on the rampage during a day of extreme violence in central London.
Video captured by police officers outside the Houses of Parliament showed Gilmour, from Billingshurst, West Sussex, waving a red flag and shouting political slogans. The judge watched one clip in which he was shouted: “Let them eat cake, let them eat cake, they say. We won’t eat cake, we will eat fire, ice and destruction, because we are angry, very f———angry.”
As the clip was shown in court on Thursday, Gilmour sat in the dock giggling and covering his face with his hands in embarrassment.
On another occasion he could be seen urging the crowd to “storm Parliament” and shouting “arson”.
In addition to attacking the Royal cars, he was also part of a mob that smashed the windows at Oxford Street’s Top Shop as staff and customers cowered inside.
What most of the reporting on this matter wants to remind you is that young Mr. Gilmour is the son of a multi-millionaire pop star. Fair enough, we wouldn’t be reading about him if he wasn’t, but from reading this article and some of the others—his swinging from the Cenotaph aside—I couldn’t help feel that his actions a) took guts and b) the students were right.
I don’t think Gilmour should feel like he has to hang his head in shame at all. It’s the job of intelligent young people to behave this way from time to time, if you ask me!
Something that’s often getting left out of this story is that Gilmour’s biological father is none other than anarchist poet, actor, playwright and graffiti polemicist, Heathcote Williams. Williams, who once served as the anarchist “Albion free state” of Frestonia’s ambassador to the UK, is a rabble-rouser of the first rank. His grandmother was a Major in Mao’s Red Army. Rebellion is in this kid’s DNA. Although he and his son are supposed to be estranged, given his own past, surely Williams must feel some paternal pride in his son’s anti-establishment hijinks?