justifying student riot

12/11/2010

i feel i have to explain why i support what happened seeing as there are many people calling the situation counterproductive.

shadow home secretary ed balls described the vandalism as “completely unacceptable”, saying “it was perpetrated by a small minority of thugs who hijacked what was planned to be a legitimate and peaceful demonstration, + in so doing denied tens of thousands of students + lecturers the right to have their voices properly heard.”
this sounds like a mature + sensible view, but let’s compare the situation with a recent series of protests that weren’t about money, but lives. the iraq war.

the pre-iraq war protests formed the largest peace movement in the world, even bigger than the peace movement for the vietnam war. here is a greatly shortened list including only a few major protests. the actual list is almost endless.

september.
nearly 400,000 protesters at tony blairs release of the document regarding the UKs case for the war.
october.
over 150 protests across the UK in a single day.
january.
worldwide protests including non-eu countries.
february 15th.
the largest world protest in recorded history, with millions of people in approx 800 cities around the world all protesting together. the largest of the protests (also the largest single protest in recorded history) took place in londons hyde park, where over 2,000,000 people gathered, or 1 in 30 of the UKs total population.
march.
10,000 in UKs manchester. 400,000 in milan. 300,000 in barcelona. 120,000 in madrid. 200,000 in montreal. 15,000 in quebec. 55,000 in paris. 10,000 in marseilles. 100,000 in berlin. 20,000 in athens. 10,000 in tokyo + many thousands more in over 40 other cities where figures cannot be cited.
on march the 19th across the UK, tens of thousands of students walked out in protest. over 4,000 in birmingham, + 300 secondary school children in central london who blocked traffic for over an hour + were joined by over 1,000 other protesters.
march post-war.
protesters begin to attempt to shut down major cities, in london a massive demonstration was held outside the houses of parliament.
up to 1,000,000 in barcelona. up to 500,000 in london. up to 250,000 in new york.
in one day across the UK hundreds of students marched upon the US embassy, hundreds of people brought cardiff traffic to a standstill, + a dozen stormed the raytheon defense technologies company building + staged a sit-in until removed by police. thousands protested in manchester.
the next day in the UK up to 10,000 people protested in oxford + edinburgh leading to multiple arrests.

i’m not even halfway through the list yet + have only included a fragment of figures, but i think that this is enough evidence to make my point.

now i can’t say i like seeing violent protesting, or our police force getting injured. i can’t say i condone rioting + looting of businesses, or the harassment of any individuals, bankers or not. but of all the protests in recent years, which ones do you remember seeing in the news the most? the bank crisis riot where the bank of england was raided? the environmental summit break ins in brussels? the student riots at tory hq? or any of those iraq-war protests?

governments won’t listen unless they’re given a good reason to.

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3 Responses to “justifying student riot”

  1. Taran Says:

    Jarvis Cocker put it well;

    “And if you don’t like it? Then leave.
    Or use your right to protest on the street,
    Yeah, use your rights but don’t imagine that it’s heard,
    Cunts are still running the world”

    Peaceful protests do little more than show solidarity of a group of people, but no matter how big that group, if they pose no threat to the status-quo then nobody feels pressured to change anything.

    the minority set to benefit from these changes to our educational system will not reap any loss through the actions of peaceful protesters so why would they bother U-turning? crack out the guillotines and angry mobs and just see how fast changes are made.


  2. Demonstrating is the best thing we can do it seems, we have every right. If the good people do nothing, then evil will flourish. If we stay silent we are giving support for the actions of the government in our name. Our government represent us to the rest of the world and if the nation are not happy, we are misrepresented if we just stand back.
    Ed Ball’s description of the vandalism is an attempt to covert the problem to the protesters, ignoring the real issues of why the demonstration took place


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