Lady Gaga lookalikes in Parliament protest on Smithfield
Opponents tell Pickles: ‘You’d have to be Gaga to rip the heart out of Smithfield’
One hundred Lady Gaga lookalikes descended on Parliament this morning to protest about Henderson’s plans for Smithfield market.
The stunt was organised by Cathedral Group and Save Britain’s Heritage whose staff and supporters as well as hired actors waved placards declaring: “You’d have to be Gaga to rip the heart out of Smithfield Market.”
A proposal for the site, designed by John McAslan & Partners, went to public inquiry earlier this year and communities secretary Eric Pickles is due to make a decision in August.
Cathedral, working with Eric Reynolds of Urban Space Management, came up with an alternative proposal that was also presented to the inquiry which would retain more of the historic fabric.
Martyn Evans, creative director at the developer, said: “We wanted to make a bit of a splash. Pickles makes his decision before August 12 so we figured we have the month of July to persuade him to make the right decision. We decided to launch July today with 100 Lady Gaga lookalikes.
“I mean no criticism of John McAslan – and Henderson are perfectly good developers – but this is just another glass and steel office building and it’s in the wrong place.
“There’s been a market on this site for 1,000 years and it’s still a lively and vibrant area. We’ve shown there’s a viable alternative to ripping the guts out of the buildings which would put a market back at the heart of the scheme.”
The campaigners also set up a costermonger’s stall by Farringdon station to hand out free apples and flyers to commuters.
Update: The real Lady Gaga retweeted a couple of the participants’ tweets to her 42 million followers. Martyn Evans described it as a “life highlight”.