Tourist: “What’s going on?”
Police Officer: “It’s an anti-democracy protest.”
Such is the grasp of politics of the average cop.
On Saturday I knew where I wanted to be: on the streets of London rejecting the notion of another 5 years of Tory rule. I got to Whitehall in the early afternoon and was pretty disappointed to see about a dozen people parading up and down chanting the usual and completely pointless slogans normally associated with Trot groups. They seemed buoyed when we turned up and handed them Class War material.
With many people on the far left at the counter-demo against the EDL in Walthamstow I suspected that this was simply the way the protest would go. Endless marching around and chanting. The last thing I expected was headline news about a “Hateful mob in No10 Rampage”. We did march around for far too long but when we finally settled on Downing Street (and this is important because the original call from the ‘leaders’ on this spontaneous protest was to go to Buckingham Palace).
Frankly most of us were knackered from marching between Parliament Square, Downing Street, Trafalgar Square and Tory campaign HQ. At Downing Street we could group as more and more joined the protest. The police were out in force. As people became more agitated I saw scuffles close to the gates to Downing Street and then the smoke bombs were set off and the police mobilised into formations designed to move the protesters.
I was attacked several times by the them. We all were. They were there to deny us our democratic rights to protest. This first video shows them pushing some of us back towards Downing Street.
Once we got there they pushed us back the other way. By this time they were raising their batons ready to hit people, like Officer Dibble from Top Cat.
The cops had kettled a small group of people and gradually reduced their numbers. Thinking it was quiet enough to see how the people inside the kettle were was a mistake. We were suddenly surrounded and in the melee that ensued a few of us got shoved to the floor.
We can expect more police action in the months and years to come. It is likely to get much worse than these minor scuffles as the Tories insist of ruling over us, waging a brutal class war.
Next stop: The Illegitimate State Opening of Parliament – disrupt their pomp and circumstance!