A protestor has gone viral for blasting Beastie Boys‘ ‘Fight For Your Right (To Party)’ outside the gates of Downing Street.
A video posted this morning (December 8) by BBC News journalist Vinnie O’Dowd shows a man wearing a top hat and holding a big speaker system playing the classic 1987 single loudly outside of Downing Street.
The track – taken from the trio’s classic 1986 debut album ‘Licensed To Ill’ – features the refrain: “You gotta fight!/ For your right!/ To party!” You can see the clip below.
The protestor’s actions appear to be a reaction to a recent report that alleges a party took place in Downing Street last December while the rest of the country were facing government imposed COVID restrictions. The rules put in place prevented the majority of the pubic from being able to spend time with their loved ones over the festive period.
A video – obtained by ITV News on Tuesday (December 7) – shows a recording of a rehearsal on December 22, 2020, for Downing Street’s proposed media briefings.
In the clip, the Prime Minister’s then-press secretary Allegra Stratton is asked by colleagues about reports of a party. She jokes: “This fictional party was a business meeting and it was not socially distanced.” Stratton has since resigned and said she would “regret the remarks for the rest of my days”.
Downing Street has insisted no party took place and that “COVID rules have been followed at all times”. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “repeatedly assured that the rules were not broken” and has ordered an investigation into exactly what happened.
Outside Downing Street, @beastieboys blares: You’ve gotta fight… for your right… pic.twitter.com/wg90ZDmyPs
— Vinnie O’Dowd (@VinnieoDowd) December 8, 2021
If there was a party at Downing Street it would have breached the government’s guidelines at the time.
Its guidance for the Christmas period specifically said: “Although there are exemptions for work purposes, you must not have a work Christmas lunch or party, where that is a primarily social activity and is not otherwise permitted by the rules in your tier.”
This same line was also tweeted out by the official gov.uk account on December 17, 2020, in response to a question about whether Christmas parties were allowed in the workplace.
London at the time was in Tier 3 (it went into Tier 4 on 21 December) and the law banned gatherings of two or more people indoors unless it was “reasonably necessary” for work.
There was also a specific prohibition on organising an indoor gathering of more than 30 people.
Meanwhile, earlier this year, Beastie Boys‘ Mike D auctioned off a treasure trove of Beasties memorabilia – including gold and platinum records, MTV Video Music Award trophies and more – for charity.
The collection featured RIAA Gold and Platinum Sales Awards for classic albums like ‘Licensed To Ill’ and ‘Paul’s Boutique’, VMA trophies for the band’s ‘Intergalactic’ and ‘Sabotage’ clips, and limited edition action figures.
All money raised via the auction went to Good Eats, an organisation which provides free weekend meals to children experiencing food insecurity.