International Pillow Fight Day – Kennington Park, London – 2 April 2016

International Pillow Fight Day is a global event taking place in many capital cities around the world. London’s has become an annual event and is organised by Focal Local, a group aiming to promote positive social action in the community through encouraging total strangers to interact with each other and participate in such events. Originally planned to take place in Trafalgar Square as it has for many years, that location was ‘double-booked’ by the council with the London Games Festival. Green Park was initially chosen as an alternative venue, but that too had to be scrubbed after intervention by the Royal Parks. Kennington Park was chosen as a final alternative but the authorities were clearly out to stop the event as there was a large police presence, with pillow-wielding people being spoken to. Unfortunately the messages didn’t get through, so there were small groups having their own pillow fights in both of those canceled locations. The planned ‘kick-off’ time in Kennington had passed and it did look as if the main London event wouldn’t go ahead, but eventually the numbers had reached a size that gave enough confidence for a few people to defy the heavy-handed tactics and soon hundreds of people were joining in. The people pictured below are total strangers meeting for the first time and having enormous, harmless fun. The reasoning behind the attempts to stop it remain unclear.