December 9th day of action against cuts and fees

Middlesex University.

Tens of thousands of school and university students will walk out of class again today another national day of action against cuts and tuition fees.

Protests have seen demonstrations across the country with occupations at universities, council buildings and political party offices across the UK. More action is predicted to happen as a result of today's day of action.

Reports of police violence and attempted 'kettling' are not expected to put off protesters. Students will likely be joined by others also affected by the austerity measures such as members of the RMT, who are thought to be having a block on the student demonstration on Parliament.

We will update this page regularly as the day develops. Please post local reports in the comments below.

- The day of action on the 9th has had a long run up, with several universities such as Leeds and UCL going into their second or third week of occupation, and new occupations starting at several universities including Goldsmiths. This was also the first time that schools began occupations, with a 24 hour sit-in/teach-in at Camden School for Girls, and another one at Acland Burghley in Camden - mixed reports about what actually happened since the school was apparently closed for the afternoon, but occupiers went in anyway. We have an unconfirmed report of a sit-in at Stoke Newington school, Londonist reported that Islington Sixth Form college was closed all day Wednesday after management heard about student plans for an occupation in advance.

- 12:20pm Several thousand congregating around ULU and Trafalgar Square. Over 1,000 police on duty. 'Rolling kettle forming at ULU, 70 TSG in front' According to @ucloccupation

- 12:30pm Debate starts in parliament, early day motions all ignored by the speaker, so the vote is on in about 5 hours. Hopefully the almost inevitable yes vote may be just the start of the anti cuts movement.

- 12:35pm @directreaction: Police try to stop LSE and Kings students marching over Waterloo bridge. Many break through. Situation already very tense.

- 12:40pm Police have blocked the march at Malet Street according to @ucloccupation

- 12:49pm UCL Occupation has started a live map of the protests with particular attention to police deployments.

- 12:52pm Several people on twitter describe being 'kettled by socialists giving speeches', sounds about right for the Labour left and SWP, let them go!

- 13:13pm @PennyRed "Omg the kids just charged through the line. I can see police beating kids."

- 13:15pm First sighting in the UK of Italian-style literary riot shields http://lsjsn.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/polestyrene-books-13-00.jpg

- 13:25pm @ncloccupation 20 protesters stormed meeting with Newcastle Vice Chancellor.

- 13:26pm - Parliament Square sealed off.

- 13:34pm - Guardian reports that "three protesters have just been ejected from the public gallery in the Commons because they were chanting slogans."

- 13:45pm - LSJSN blog post this youtube video from Trafalgar Square:

- 13:50pm London protest reaches Parliament square.

- 14:23pm Protesters kettled in parliament square, which had previously been declared off limits. Six horses arrived in one corner, fences are being pushed against, six lines deep of riot police behind.[/b]

- 14:35 BBC helicopter shows three metal barriers being carried over the heads of protesters towards police lines.

- 14:45pm People blocking traffic on Vauxhall bridge.

- 14:54 Line of students has formed a human shield to prevent mounted police entering parliament square.

- 14:59 Newcastle Occupation has published photos from the protest there - lots of people, lots of mounted police.

- 15:03 Photo of fences being torn down at parliament square within the past hour.
- 15:33 Police hitting protesters with batons, someone in a wheelchair dragged behind police lines, @PennryRed reports that one of the Guardian's journalists was "beaten bloody" with a baton. Lots of paint thrown at the police. Around Holborn several students with large books trying to push back police lines.

- 15:38pm Horse charge outside Westminster Abbey - caught on BBC News 24.

- 16:30pm Wheelchair user dragged from wheelchair (and then to the ground according to the Guardian) by the police - http://twitpic.com/3ed5tq

- 16:56pm Very large bonfire lit in Parliament square.

- 17:42pm Vote passed, 21 majority.

- 18:09pm What looks like a baton charge by 30-odd police in parliament square visible on the BBC helicopter footage, no mention of it at all in the commentary.

Posted By

Ed
Dec 9 2010 10:00

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Comments

Incubus
Dec 14 2010 22:00

Fact is, the admins of this page have rebuffed many, many questions as to who they are exactly (their ID's keep changing)...They have, more recently, being numpties, actually admitted to being EDL sympathisers, and spew out any number of apologist drivel about their org. The reason the wall is disabled is cos some guy from Sussex Uni (a PhD in computing) has set up a code to bombard the fuckers. It wouls appear that the admins themselves are trolling their own page with anti-left, anti-militant stuff...

Now then, there have been reports on the EDL on the demo last week threatening and attacking students, (reported as being 'in-fighting amongst students') and then the EDL report on their own chatroom, as having turned up after the demo to wash off the graffito and piss from the 'Holy' Churchill statue...Then too there is the video posted by WAG of the EDL's Tommy Robinson doing his full-on demagogue act over the student demo ("we're patriots blah..."-plus hilarious pro-police rhetoric!) Here-

http://whitechapelanarchistgroup.wordpress.com/2010/12/13/church-and-king-mob/

It would seem they are trying to gain legitimacy by having that 'anti-Stalinist'/ NFAFC article posted on Indymedia...But then would Indymedia really support an event organised by people who run a 'Spot' em and Shop 'em link?

My view is that this stinks to high fuck- I think it is both an intelligence gathering exercise, and an attempt to lure pretty innocent and naive students into the heart of London to kick the shit out of them as 'Anti-Royal Reds', UAF'ers and unpatriotic copper-bashers....The Police would probably let the EDL have their jollies and cause mayhem within the demo before moving in to kettle the students, and naturally let the EDL disperse. Alternatively, if the EDL make anti-student activity a regular thing, we could see the corralling of protesters, as happens with the UAF/EDL face-offs...Speculating here, I know...

To my mind, this is classical state-backed fascist activity, as the Government knows the limits of using overt repression against such young people in the age of the mobile camera, water cannon might be acceptable in the ritualised riots in Belfast, but are useless for fast moving, wild demos. The Met knows this, and are simply not happy about employing a weapon that wins votes, but is tactically crap (and politically a nightmare for Police Commanders) Kettling is becoming more and more problematic too... Baton rounds? Fat chance.

Dirty tricks are what the Tories have always excelled at- Think of the CW/ Searchlight smears, the fascist infiltration of the Green @ scene in the Nineties...Think of the Basij in Iran, how Ceaucesceu used the miners against mass demonstrations... I'm not drawing direct parallels, but you get my drift? If it stinks, then I'm afraid it's shit.

Jason Cortez
Dec 14 2010 22:10
Quote:
My view is that this stinks to high fuck- I think it is both an intelligence gathering exercise, and an attempt to lure pretty innocent and naive students into the heart of London to kick the shit out of them as 'Anti-Royal Reds', UAF'ers and unpatriotic copper-bashers....The Police would probably let the EDL have their jollies and cause mayhem within the demo before moving in to kettle the students, and naturally let the EDL disperse. Alternatively, if the EDL make anti-student activity a regular thing, we could see the corralling of protesters, as happens with the UAF/EDL face-offs...Speculating here, I know...

What intelligence gathering is being done that can't be done from the joining the other events pages? If it is the state they can just request facebook provide the data and facebook will be more than happy to oblige. If it the fash what will they gain? And they seems little chance that they will beat up people in Trafalgar Square, as the police need to be seen to be in control at present. it is more likely that this page was set up by a loon and his mates, a common enough occurrence on facebook.

Auto
Dec 15 2010 13:30

Just heard on Twitter that the BBC have recieved 5,000 complaints about Ben Brown's interview with Jody McIntyre.

Not surprised, really.

Entdinglichung
Dec 15 2010 14:17
Incubus wrote:
Quote:
Call on facebook for 'March of Resistance to Education Cuts, London 20 December 2010'

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=179218858770566

No idea who, if anyone, is backing this

ALERT! Seems this is a false flag demo! Check FB page for comments!

NCAFC statement: http://anticuts.com/2010/12/15/ncafc-warns-supporters-not-to-attend-2012-march-of-resistance/

Ed
Dec 15 2010 16:01

Sorry if this sounds cliche but that Ben Browne is a complete and utter muppet..

Browne: 'So, uh, were you acting aggressively against the police?'
McIntyre: 'No, I have cerebal palsy, I can't even push my own wheelchair..'

Fuck me, what a dense twat.. roll eyes

Auto
Dec 15 2010 19:46

http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2010/12/470784.html

Okay, I think it's pretty certain now that the callout on the 20th is bullshit. A post has just appeared on Indymedia claiming to be from a french student showing solidarity to the British - It then wishes students luck on their next event, proceeding to list the date and location of the 20th callout. Remarkably specific for a solidarity statement, don't you think?

It's clearly an attempt at 'pushing' the date, but an incredibly bad one. There is no actual link to any statement from French students and a link at the bottom claiming to be a French 'song of resistance' actually goes to the facebook event.

Whoever is behind this is spectacularly thick.

EDIT: Aaaaaand it's been deleted. Possibly by an editor, but more likely by the poster when they realised they'd been rumbled.

Something very fucking shifty is going on. I'm no huge fan of the NCAFC (who can be proprietorial with regards to dates on occasion) but I think they've made the right call in warning people to stay away from this one - not because it's 'unofficial' but because the behaviour of whoever's involved (Hardselling the event near-constantly even through fake posts on Indymedia, trying to couch it in the language of Libertarianism, refusing to answer even the most basic questions on who their group is) makes it seem like something people should be very wary about getting involved in.

It just makes me wonder what the deal is.

Incubus
Dec 15 2010 21:46
Quote:
refusing to answer even the most basic questions on who their group is

It's also worth noting that the organisers can only be contacted by email-it's only recently that they have been 'replying' (if you can call it that) on the FB page, but only under the name 'UK peoples initiative'.

And...they have removed the graphic that displays people who are Not Attending- thereby giving a false picture of their popularity...

This discussion continues on Auto's thread "20 Dec. Dodgy as fuck"

Mike Harman
Dec 16 2010 13:21

Not sure if people are following it, but there's been a tonne of complaints to the BBC regarding the Jody McIntyre interview, then one of the editors posted a blog post about it defending the interview and dismissing the complaints as via an internet campaign, which in turn has led to nearly 1,000 comments on that blog post, and now people are complaining to the BBC/OfCom about the blog post/complaints process. http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2010/12/interview_with_jody_mcintyre.html

On the one hand this is a side issue, on the other it feels like the BBC and other media sources, at least in the UK where people are paying attention, are in a much tighter spot than they'd usually be when doing their routine on protests.

There's plenty of video footage and photos to balance against the official broadcasts, things which are quickly on 24 hour news then forgotten are being recorded by people for posterity (like that interview itself). I don't think I've seen it happen on this scale where the official line is pored over and deconstructed within an hour or so of being put out there, and with so much more or less unrefutable stuff to back it up (as opposed to just pointing out general bias or the odd factual smudge which is often the limit usually). Feels like at least a little bit that the coverage is seriously backfiring and creating even more anger and opposition, and starting to poke holes in the constant repetition of 'peaceful protest' that was everywhere a month ago.

Auto
Dec 16 2010 14:31

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=150548608327106&ref=mf

A campaign has appeared to try and get as many people to run for NUS president as possible. They are trying to get 100 people to run as part of a 'Confusion Slate'.

Quote:
Ok, so we need about 100 people to run for NUS President as part of the CONFUSION SLATE. Each candidate will get 7 minutes to speak freely in which time they can thoroughly baffle conference, give them a speech on the benefits of situationist politics, or just rant about how shit the NUS have been over the last year. Between us we will have over 700 minutes of speaking time. Think about how much amazing shit we can say in 700 minutes! Please join us in our mission to confuse.
Mark.
Dec 17 2010 11:54

Article by an academic at Kingston University

Quote:
Peter Hallward describes why he joined the demonstration on 9 December, and gives his personal account of how events unfolded that day
Mike Harman
Jan 7 2011 13:44

Good video interview of two 14 year olds who were caught up in the baton charge against the Treasury

Luther Blissett
Feb 18 2011 14:52
Wellclose Square, page 5 wrote:
"someone calling himself Luther Blissett, in particular - who should not in any way be confused with the various post-situ incarnations: he's some kind of proprietorial trot who has Ho Chi Minh as his avatar),"

It's Charlie Flowers who is working with ex-EDL neocon Matthew Kaplan in a facebook group called 'NiceOnesUK' http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=225636574209 set up with most of his Cheerleader 'group' members.

I don't know why he took the name. Possibly to cause confusion. I was prominently posting EDL info last June/July in the run-up to their Bradford demo (via twitpic as LutherBlissetts http://twitpic.com/2eqp38 and via twitter.com/LutherBlissetts)

Flowers has taken the name for himself.
He has a thing about Vietnam and his facebook page http://www.facebook.com/lutherblissett2000 has this address:
11 Xuan Dieu Rd., K5 Nghi Tam
Hanoi, Vietnam

Luther Blissett
Mar 9 2013 10:54

Got url of Flower's alterego on facebook incorrect it's http://www.facebook.com/lutherblisset2000