The veteran protester has been at the heart of direct action since he was 19 – this week, he is exhibiting his life and a global history of activism for everyone to remember
In a busy London cafe, Pete Phoenix pushes his vegan mash aside and starts producing laminated sheets from his bag. He is talking me excitedly through the past three decades of direct action – the anti-roads protests, Reclaim the Streets, Occupy and much more.
The old photos, flyers and ancient VHS videotapes he and fellow activists have collated form a remarkable social history of the UK and global protest movement, and incidentally tell Phoenix’s own life story. Because whether it was the M11 protests, a gigantic Reclaim the Streets party or the occupation of a landmark building in central London (symbolising for the protesters everything that is wrong with capitalism), Phoenix was there.