1. Start of the March - Josh Towers
2. Burnin' Dave - Ahmed Peerbux
3. Bonfire at Millbank - Josh Towers
4. Grandad in Protest - Richard Jones
Background from The Graun:
Extracts from an opinion piece by Arthur Baker:
As much as the Tory press (and for that matter Aaron Porter [NUS President], the BBC, and The Guardian) are keen to give the impression that a tiny minority of nutters who “probably weren’t even students” were ruining the march for everyone else, this is simply not true. There were thousands of students in front of the Millbank Building, cheering as windows were smashed, adding their placards to the bonfire.
Perhaps the press simply do not want to believe that any significant proportion of students are angry enough to engage in more than a bit of banner-waving, but unfortunately this is no longer the case. The only moment when the crowd in the square was unhappy with the actions of protesters was when they loudly booed and jeered as a fire extinguisher was dropped (quite possibly accidentally) from the roof, and the crowd chanted “stop throwing shit”
.....As much as the press go on about ‘violence‘, the violence was very minimal. Like every protest I’ve ever been to, thousands of people pushing one way, police trying to stop them and inevitably a few people in the middle getting hurt. I saw people lobbing bits of placards and one or two throwing punches at police, and I saw police clobbering innocent teenagers with batons.
I talked to some students who told me that after smashing into another building they were trapped in by police and – despite not fighting back – battered with battons.
All of them should face justice, but for the record, putting a placard or an effigy of David Cameron on a bonfire is not violence, writing on walls is not violence, smashing windows is not violence and dancing on roves is not violence. Even throwing bits of cardboard placard at police clad in bullet proof jackets and helmets, armed with sheilds and battons hardly seems “thugish”.
The ‘occupation’ may not be justifiable, that’s a matter of opinion, but it should have been expected, and circumvented: 20 police lining that part of the road would have been enough to dissuade protesters.
Finally the question of whether the incident at Milbank furthered our cause or damaged it. One thing missing from the news coverage was footage of the building being stormed by protesters in the first place, why? Surely protesters forcing the doors and surging in would make incredible footage? The answer is that the press simply weren’t there. In fact, the cameras only arrived half an hour after the protesters. On a march of 50,000, until the vandalism started, the only cameras I saw were from LSTV (Leeds student television).
In October thousands of students and trade unionists marched peacefully on downing street, and they did not make the news. Peaceful protests make boring news, without causing a bit of trouble we wouldn’t have been as big news, never mind having almost uninterrupted coverage on every TV news channel and dominating every front page.
What’s more, what cause did protesters ‘damage?’ protesters don’t want public sympathy, they want to create a feeling of unrest, and show that the Coalition are unpopular with the eventual aim of taking their votes, and this protest can only have furthered this aim.
Of course Aaron Porter and any elected representative has to denounce any vandalism, but yesterday students sent a clear message that they are furious with the government, that you can’t deprive people of an education or saddle them with life-long debts without some reprocussions, and people are listening. Who cares if it made them unpopular?
full article: http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/11/11/the-occupation-of-milbank-what-the-press-missed/