Home > Uncategorized > Protesters V Police – An Embedded View

Protesters V Police – An Embedded View

Despite extreme cold and constant snow,  students as young as 13 continued their protest against tuition fee rises across London yesterday.   Whitehall was closed down and lined with a large contingent of police guarding parliament against protesters who never arrived.

According to Simon Hardy of the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts,  the protests split up due to “some attempts at kettling.  Some people ran off in different directions”, tailed by the police officers in distinctive blue baseball caps and hi-vis jackets.

He blamed the police for the change in plans, saying that it was “going OK” before then.

One group moved up from Piccadilly Circus to Oxford Circus, where they stopped traffic at the intersection.  Police charged the line, forcing a brief sit-down.  After the sit-down they moved on, losing their tails in London’s back streets.

Police chase down students in Oxford Circus.

The subsequent sit-down.

Once the protesters emerged at Trafalgar square the police moved in, blocking off all exits with vans and lines of officers.

Organisers try to move students away from police cordons

A firework was thrown at the police line and the culprit instantly rebuked by the crowd.  Students encouraged each other to “stay calm” and not to “encourage violence”, despite being hemmed in and bitterly cold.  They even managed a little crowd surfing and dancing.  As the temperature plunged after sundown, banners were sacrificed to keep people warm.  A hot drinks stand was set up under Napier’s statue.

Simon Hardy, of the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts praised claimed the police had arrested someone “quite violently and now there’s been a sort of reaction by the crowd on the police”.

Bernard Goyder occupying the School of Oriental and African Studies at University of London spoke to Vince Cable on Radio 5 Live “every single caller was against the policy, basically.  I think it hammered home just how wrong the government’s policy is”.

One group not in evidence was the National Union of Students.  Henry Parker-Smith of the group Counterfire criticised Porter as a “Trade Union bureaucrat”, saying that he had to be “pushed quite hard” to support direct action in the first place.

Simon Hardy said that the NUS needed to “turn their words into deeds, to actually get people organised” for Day X, when Parliament will vote on the fee increases.   Hardy promised not only a Winter of Discontent, but also a “Spring and a Summer and whatever else it takes to stop the government”.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. December 2, 2010 at 12:26 am

    Class. Must have been fun. Good that protesters managed the violence; it proves effeciency and drives to get the message across. Reminds me of the G20 where ‘alleged’ journalists took part in throwing things around.

  2. December 2, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    I heard there was another empty police van left out to be defaced. Apparently it’s a tactic from Vancouver’s G20, used as bait for protesters to vent their fury on and look bad.

  1. December 2, 2010 at 3:04 pm

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