Thursday, 11 November 2010

Wednesdays Fun Little Rebellion

This week I had the pleasure of attending a large protest in London opposing the ConDem tuition fee 
increases with my boyfriend. My arrival was hampered due to the coach getting caught in heavy traffic. This resulted in a premature disembarking somewhere in the middle of London. 

Dazed and confused we eventually we worked our way to the protest on foot (After an initial detour) and we arrived at the back of the protest where I initially believed we was likely to stay. Fortunately my boyfriend didn't seem happy with that idea and began to racing though the crowd leaving me struggling to keep up. As we approached Big Ben he loudly cried out "Oh that's Carole from big brother!" to which as a non big brother viewer I replied "Who? Which one..." not expecting it to be the little middle aged lady next to me giving me a funny look. After weaving though countless people for what seemed like some considerable time, the crowed began to thin, I Presumed this was due to us getting passed a large blockage of people, many of whom had decided, inexplicably, to sit down in large circles. I have no way of knowing for sure but I felt we was getting near the front.

As we passed the Tory hq's we came across a few people dress in student union tops telling people how the building across the street was in fact "Tory headquarters and we're all going to protest over there". Other people was telling us that they was fake student union and not to listen to them. But we followed the flow of the crowd. I can't be sure but this whole Tory hq incident, that got so much attention in the news, may have been engineered by as little as 3 people.

You have to march protesters. If you have them standing around a building to long things happen. I don't believe these 3 people necessarily fully understood the consequences of their interference and I certainly don't believe the message many in the press gave about how it was 'Rouge elements who have infiltrated the march' who are responsible for the violence. They seem more interested in peddling simple answers and rhetoric we seem to hear after all protests.

In the Tory hq's courtyard, Despite being only meters from the action, I really didn't have a clue to the events
 other than a lot of shouting and a fire. I just couldn't see through the crowd. The biggest incident I was aware of at first was some idiot throwing a can of deodorant on the fire making a loud bang and causing the crowd to ripple back.

Early on some Tory HQ staff climbed to the roof and started making fake/joky fighting gestures at the students below. My fellow protesters, meanwhile, seemed to have invented a game out of looking for a man in suit standing at window then all pointing and chanting "Tory scum" at them. A bit later when the students got to the roof I remember saying how on earth did they get up their ( I'd still no idea they'd broken there way in at this point). Soon afterwards we started seeing the odd riot police turning up and we started to leave and make our way the the coach pick up spot.

Overall I have to say I enjoyed the protest and am glad to have gone. The coach trips both there and back, however, were an utter nightmare. 

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