As a sub-editor for more than a decade, I’ve lots of experience reworking copy into a readable form. Sometimes it takes a bit more than fixing the typos and adding proper punctuation, sometimes journalists get things wrong and you have to fix them.
The super-fast radicalisation of the student demonstrations caught everyone by surprise. Direct action is on the agenda again and it’s coming from a group people discounted as being “the children of Thatcher” and dismissed as being fundamentally consumerist and non-radical.
I’ve given a couple of talks to student occupations recently and I’ve reused a line John McDonnell used at an NUJ meeting recently. The trade union movement has been on its knees, the students are showing us how to stand up. They are an inspiration.
Many trade unionists have said similar things – in official statements like the NUJ National Executive did – or in person at events or meetings. But what are we seeing on the ground?
The fight-back against the Tory* government finally started in London yesterday. A large group of people finally recognised that walking down the road and listening to some speeches is no longer enough.
Condemnation has predictably started to flow, not just from the right-wing press, but hand-wringing liberals and many parts of the “leadership” of the student movement. That’s “leadership” in the sense of “people who want to go into politics when they finish” and is about as connected to their membership as the Labour Party was to theirs before they lost most of them.
It looks like I’m off to Riga again this year to support the Pride march. This year it’s Baltic Pride, all three Baltic countries coming together. Last year, and previous years, it was just Riga Pride. I was there last year and saw hatred in the face of many behind the protective police lines.
In the week or so since the G20 demos, report after report of police brutality have emerged, both at the big demo on the Wednesday and at the squats and smaller Bank of England demo on Thursday. The mainstream media is gradually catching up with what’s been up on Indymedia, Libcom and other radical websites for days. The police violently attack the Climate Camp, the police pointed Tasers at non-threatening people on the floor of the squatted convergence centre, the police did lots of bad things and the IPCC is investigating.