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Students Took Parliament Square Today -Fucking Nice One! (brief report/analysis)

TheViolentMinority | 19.11.2014 18:52 | Analysis | Education | Public sector cuts | London

Today in Westminster, students marching for free education broke down fences around parliament square and occupied it, before going on a "breakaway" march around London. From the live stream I was watching it looked like the initial group (most of them in Black Bloc) climbed the first barrier unopposed, and then tore down the harris fencing after a struggle with police. They were followed by hundreds of others from the march. Following this, the occupiers went on their own 'breakaway' march around London, redecorating the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills along the way and causing other chaos. This is all despite there being many police present - so breaking their restrictions and taking the protest in a more militant direction is definitely an achievement!

There have been countless trade-union marches against cuts over the past four years, which have failed to do anything much - with at most only a tiny minority even breaking from their pre-ordained route around London. So the student protest today was a breath of fresh air to see. The older generation in the UK still have much to learn from the youth! The main difference seems to be that while most people will, for example, take strike action when mandated by their union, only an isolated minority (for example anarchists) are willing to go the extra mile and do something unofficial. For whatever reason, many school and university students do not have this reliance on authority - when they are let down or betrayed (the NUS dropped support of this march, btw), they are prepared to go for it anyway.

Anyway, enough analysis - I wish I'd been there, and I hope that this time around the student movement maintains its momentum and avoids some of the mistakes we made back in 2010. The fact they aren't pinning their hopes on a vote in parliament will probably help :). Here's a few words of advice for anyone at the demo:

* anyone who was nicked, who saw anyone getting nicked, or who saw police brutality, should contact GBC Legal ASAP!
* your humble author has written a guide to dressing in Black Bloc, for anyone who needs it next time:
* if you're ever in a 'breakaway' protest in London and get lost, the Anarchist Action Network has published a helpful map with many 'interesting' locations drawn in ;)

Last but not least, an action that also deserves a mention - NUS offices in London were recently vandalised and sprayed with graffiti, probably because of them dropping support for the student demo. Or maybe just because they are useless, backstabbing dickheads. The action is supposed to have been claimed by the "militant tendancy of Students Against Boredom and Banality" (TBC - communique anywhere?). A picture of the aftermath can be seen here:

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  1. London rocked by the worst riot in over 200 years! — We did it better in 1990