Some Advice for Protestors

Can I offer some wisdom?

Tweets and emails are batting back and forth this morning as to who was to blame for the violence yesterday. I have also heard complaints that the police kettled innocent students. For example,

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/latequartet/statuses/13207807952162816″]

Can I therefore suggest the following the next time there is a demo against students having to pay for the privilige of going to University?

  1. If you have agreed a route with the Police, stick to it
  2. If some of the march decide to break down barriers and storm into Parliament Square, don’t follow them but rather walk away on the agreed march route
  3. If some of the march decide to throw bottles and bricks at the police, don’t go and stand next to them but rather walk away on the agreed march route
  4. If some of the march decide to grafitti and urinate on the statue of the man who led this country through the darkest hours of its struggle against fascist racist dictatorship, don’t go and stand next to them but rather walk away on the agreed march route
  5. If some of the march decide to burn down the Christmas tree which is the honoured annual gift of the Norwegian people to this land in gratitude for us defending their freedom, don’t go and stand next to them but rather walk away on the agreed march route
  6. If some of the march decide to swing on and tear down the flags at the cenotaph, a monument which commemorates the ultimate sacrifice of men and women for a century in providing the liberty that permits protest marches like the one you’re on right now, don’t go and stand next to them but rather walk away on the agreed march route
  7. If you see anyone being violent or breaking the law, for heaven’s sake don’t go and stand next to them but rather walk away on the agreed march route

If you do this you will be nowhere near the people who seem to misunderstand the idea of liberal democracy. If you do this you will be in no danger of being kettled because you won’t be anywhere near the people causing the trouble. There is absolutely no danger of you being detained for hours and hours because, given the fact that you’re just carrying on with a peaceful march exactly as agreed, you won’t be anywhere near the people trespassing, throwing missiles at police, urinating and grafitting statues, burning trees or abusing national monuments who, surprise surprise, the police might actually want to hold to account for the crimes they have committed.

If on the other hand you want to hang around them, please don’t come crying to me in the morning when you spent half the evening trapped in Westminster. You already know who’s to blame don’t you?

That is all. Thank you.

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5 Comments on “Some Advice for Protestors

  1. I don't always (or even often) feel the need to say 'Amen' to your posts, Peter, but here I think I'll make an exception : Amen! Yesterday's antics were utterly disgusting and self-defeating. The tuition fee rise will actually enable *more* bursaries for those from poor backgrounds, and, despite my being very much to your political left, I know that it is true that , under Labour, universities very much did not become tools for social mobility.

    Yesterday's squeels and violence of solipsistic, pampered, strange drunken children is enough to make anyone – working class, Boden clad, or otherwise – wonder why they should pay taxes to support 4 years of drinking and (occasional) tutorials.

  2. Excellent advice, the behaviour yesterday showed an appalling lack of history and was as commented above disgusting – I blame mainly the organisers who seem to have had only a one string campaign and not to have offered any guidance to those actually marching on how to deal with the very predictable trouble.

  3. From my perch over here across the pond I was very surprised to see the violence that occurred. It was all over the news and disheartening. I like your post a lot but when a mob mentality takes hold … people get swept up. I bet that will preach somehow.

    Is "kettled" the same thing as clobbered? :)

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