Monday, June 16, 2008
No to George Terrorism
Of all people Brian Eno was delivering a speach about the failure the press and television to bother reporting what's going on when the PA system cut out. There were maybe 2500 people on Parliament Square most of whom moved toward the blocked entrance to Whitehall, where President Bush was apparently taking tea with Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Some of the pictures in the press suggest a seething mob, really this was a fairly restrained cross section of the British public, even the British intelligentsia were represented by Owen Hatherley. The Metropolitan Police seemed to have left the defence of Whitehall to a couple of dozen nervy local coppers positioned behind two lines of flimsy steel barriers, some of which were held together with cable ties. One guy went over the barrier and was robustly subdued by the cops. As the crowd started shifting the barrier forward (it was dismantled or fell apart at one place), the police engaged in clubbing protestors with their batons. A standoff of sorts ensued. The police tactic to deal with this was put into effect a while later when the riot police consented to appear. This involved the heavy duty cops selecting protesters, seemingly at random, to be carted off at Her Majesty's pleasure. This is supposed to be "intelligence based" policing, signposted by a special cop taking pictures with an oversized victorian camera. If so it's intelligence that noticeably approximates randomness. It should be stressed that these tactics were possible because the police were in no danger whatsover, 99% plus of the people there having done nothing to threaten them.
There are hundreds of good reasons to oppose G W Bush's corporato-militarist campaigns, as detailed elsewhere.