All photos Ki Price
Legendary Happy Mondays dancer, percussionist, Reality Party founder, and all- round ace-face, Mark ‘Bez’ Berry, has begun his ‘Bed-In’ demonstration at a central London hotel. Together with girlfriend Firouzeh, the couple will emulate John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s 1969 protest for world peace – but from a slightly different perspective.
The protest – where the couple will remain in bed for a week – is to raise awareness and challenge the development of Fracking in the UK, the introduction of Bedroom Tax, TTIP, and more.
Working class hero and people’s champion Bez has long been disillusioned with the power structure. In recent months, he has spoken openly highlighting evasive government measures regarding the dismantling of the NHS, and has amplified awareness concerning corporate tax evasion.
Bez, along with millions of other people nationwide, feels cheated by the government who are harboring corporations in their criminality. They avoid paying millions in tax revenue – which the government is ignoring – while ordinary people become more and more disenfranchised, powerless and many are living below the poverty line.
Despite the seriousness of these issues, the ambience in the room is relaxed. Bez still exerts the ability to express his humorous nature. When we ask him if he and Firouzeh are allowed to leave the room at any point during the week, he tells us: ‘Well, we’ll have to see what happens wont we. I’m sure we can break the rules a bit. As long as we don’t go creeping down the corridors at four in the morning we should be alright I reckon.’ He then adds, ‘It aint all bad is it? In bed for a week with a full English thrown in.’ A few minutes later, one of the team shouts across the room: ‘give her a kiss Bez, while another complains, ‘oh no, now you’re going to make me feel sick.’
During a climate where people are disheartened and believe political parties aren’t representing them, Bez and his Reality Party are speaking on behalf of the many. Countercultural icons are hard to come by in the 21st century, but in Bez we have an authentic, endearing soul.