Tag Archives: student protests

Student Movement Sparks Back To Life In Fight For #FreeEducation


A copper gets a paint job in response to the violent police attack

In a further sign that resistance to austerity is sparking back to life, students from across the UK marched in central London yesterday demanding the right to free education.  This was the biggest student protest since the spiky demonstrations in 2010 when students smashed their way into the Tory Party headquarters.

As on previous protests, many students were not content to obediently march from A to B and then listen to politicians making boring and insincere speeches.  Instead, when the march arrived at Parliament Square many protesters tore down the fences surrounding the square.  These were erected after the recent Occupy protests and are intended to prevent any unofficial dissent against government policies outside the Houses of Parliament.  So far they havent worked very well.

As hundreds of people occupied the Square, a large group broke away heading towards the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills where they were viciously attacked by police.  This didn’t stop the Department, a local Starbucks and several coppers from being given an impromptu paint job as some demonstrators hurled makeshift paintbombs in resistance to the assault.  Further sit down protests, and minor scuffles continued outside Scotland Yard and the Tory HQ as small groups headed off in different directions occupying roads and bringing traffic chaos to the capital.

11 people were arrested, although all were released without charge*.  Many of those detained suffered injuries.  According to event organisers, the National Coalition Against Fees and Cuts (NCFAC) one person who had been refused medical treatment in custody had to be taken to hospital immediately after being released.  This is how the state now responds to even the most trivial civil disobedience.

There is no doubt that yesterday set the scene for the resurgence of a combative student movement in the run up to the next general election. And it’s not just students who should be pissed off.  Young people now face a terrifying future of shit wages or workfare, inadequate and insecure housing and the healthcare and pensions they will need as they grow older being stripped away.  Not one of the main political parties gives a fuck as an entire generation’s futures are demolished.  So when you hear media commentators complaining about violence at these protests because a copper got his hat kncked off or someone threw a bit of paint at a government building then remember who the real criminals are.

The NUS were also targetted on the morning of the demonstrations, with graffiti accusing them of being scabs for not supporting the march.  The unions pathetic excuse for this decision was concerns about health and safety as if some risk assessment is going to make a difference to a copper who’s decided to kick someone’s head in for not respecting their authority.

The last national student protest was organised by the NUS and featured a dispiriting march through the back streets of South London to a nondescript park in the pouring rain.  It was probably the most depressing political non-event in history.  The students who took action yesterday are better off without them.

More resistance is planned with a day of walk outs, occupations, protests and direct action called for on Wednesday December 3rd.  On the following Saturday 6th December local marches will take place throughout the UK.  Please help spread the word.

*Those arrested have been bailed to re-appear at police stations meaning they are not out of the woods yet.  Activist support group Green and Black Cross have called on anyone who witnessed an arrest, or police violence, to contact them at: gbclegal@riseup.net.

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Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

N9 Day of Action events

Student march & demonstration

Assemble 12 Noon
University of London Union ULU
Malet Street
London WC1E 7HY
» Route of march

The route will take the march from its starting point on Malet Street, through Trafalgar Square and up the Strand, before passing St Pauls’s and rallying at Moorgate Junction. This follows the decision to march on the City, rather than to Parliament, in the midst of fresh financial crises and Occupy LSX.

Website: http://nov9.strikenow.org.uk/
Background information:http://anticuts.com/2011/10/28/november-9th-national-demo-route-confirmed-as-students-prepare-for-the-autumn-of-discontent/

Electricians day of action

Rank and file construction industry workers called for a day of action against the attack on pay and contracts conditions.

1st Demonstration (called by London Rank & File electricians)
The Pinnacle building site
22-24 Bishopsgate
London EC2N 4BQ

2nd Demonstration (UNITE Official event)
The Shard
St Thomas Street
London SE1 9SY

3rd Demonstration
Blackfriars station construction site
Queen Victoria St
London EC4V 4DY

Background information: http://jibelectrician.blogspot.com/
Unite union: https://unitetheunion.org/sectors/construction/unite_for_me_workers/campaign_updates/national_day_of_protest_-_wedn.aspx

Taxi drivers protests

London taxi drivers will be holding a day of protest over attacks on the licensed taxi trade, organised by RMT union:

2:00 – 4:00pm
Headquarters of TFL (Transport For London)
42-50 Victoria Street
London SW1 0TL

followed by general cab drivers demonstration at
Trafalgar Square
London WC2N

Background information: http://www.rmt.org.uk/Templates/Internal.asp?NodeID=151765

Occupy London permanent protest camp

OccupyLSX Teach-out
Russell Square
London WC1B

General Assembly
Occupy London
Steps of St Paul’s Cathedral
London EC4M 8AD

Website: http://occupylondon.org.uk/

(repost from:  http://n9anarchistbloc.wordpress.com/)

Capitalism is dying, let it burn – Report From the Front Line of the London Mob

A London College Student Writes for the void:

Having successfully escaped my college before they attempted to imprison us again, following the events of the 24th, when our tyrant deputy head locked the gates, resulting in many of us just climbing over them anyway, I began my journey to Malet Street.

I got on a bus and sat there for about an hour or two. Drove past Russell Square and saw the sister protest forming at around 12ish. By the time I reached oxford circus, I could already hear the drone of the media helicopters circling in the air, for something new to twist and serve up as propaganda.

By the time I reached Piccadilly Circus, numerous riot vans were making their way to Malet Street. Joining up with a group of boys who had made their way down from Golders Green, I proceeded with the rest of the students who had come down to demonstrate on that day. Rolling up fags, waving black flags and chanting ‘Tory Scum!’ we trooped along quite happily and peacefully down to Malet street. It was only as we came to a standstill that the trouble began.

I personally did not come down and walk from Oxford circus to Malet street to be told by organizers who had struck deals with police, that we could demonstrate and exercise our human right of free movement as long as we stuck to a planned route, and neither had the majority of people who had turned up on that day as well. If I wanted to waste my time, I would have held candles with NUS representatives.

No. We turned the back around and brought down the barricades. So down came the obstructions and out came the beginning of freedom.

After successfully bringing down the ‘safety precautions’, we were able to join up with the protesters on the other side. And together we all marched down to Parliament Square. But of course the officers were not having that. How dare we attempt to reach the dwelling of the precious politicians who are selling us all out? So like good dogs they began to charge back at us with batons and shields. We then in turn, ran back at them with fencing. I have never before seen people so willing to sacrifice their own safety in the hope of freeing others. Anarchists, who the media have portrayed as spawn of the devil, were those who pushed to the front of the crowd, to take the beatings from the police in order to allow the rest of us to push onwards and escape.

We almost broke the line of police at that point, but then the lovely police officers decided to reinforce themselves with horses and charge us. To my delight, I watched later as one of them, fell off his horse and was trampled by it. Is it just me or is it animal cruelty to actually use a horse and bring it to a protest in the first place?

Seeing as we did not fancy on getting stampeded to our deaths that day, we turned around and made our way backwards. We were then faced with even more police, their horses and riot vans. Today was obviously not going to be simple. More charging, more beating. More student resistance, more charging. Stalemate.

At this point I left the front of the kettle to eat my sandwich on a wall.

In a last ditch attempt to actually try and negotiate with these animals, and be allowed to just go home now whilst it was fairly calm, myself and a group of boys who had travelled from outside London, went around the lines and tried to gain some information as to when they would let us out. But alas, I never learn, the police are liars and will always be liars. After getting sick of walking back and forth from pig bloc to pig bloc, we just went to sit back down again on the wall. I remember seeing a guy standing in front of the officers holding a sign reading ‘welcome to pig city’.

The police cannot even claim to receive any respect from the public anymore; they are a joke and quite a bad one at that as well. We are fighting for justice and instead of the officers- whose jobs will also be cut might I add, actually marching with us, they chose to wage war on us instead. So let them have it.

Contrary to reports that some people were allowed out, the only people who actually got ‘let out’ are those who escaped. One of the guys I was with received a phone call from 2 of his friends who had been let out of the kettle by police only to be forced back into it again as they tried to leave.

Pissed off and hungry we sat on the ground and waited for 6 o’clock to just hurry up. Those minutes are what I would describe as the countdown to apocalypse. We knew the vote would be yes, as the government – do not have any care for the average person and we knew that all hell would let loose as soon as it was announced.

And then it began. Back down towards the back of parliament square, it was all kicking off. From where I was sitting I couldn’t really see clearly, but we could hear chants of ‘Who’s kettling who? We’re kettling you!’.

Aww, the poor police were hiding being their shields and shaking as they experienced the ‘safety measures’ that they dished out on us being used on them.  As we watched students break into the Treasury, I can say proudly that I have never witnessed anything so beautiful. As they broke in and blacked out the windows, it was pure symbolism that we the oppressed, would not tolerate being robbed of our rights in order to fund these buildings that represent the beliefs of the minority elitists who scrounge off us.  In a nation where the state values money over the welfare of its people, may the black flag be hung everywhere. May the brick walls be smashed.

After receiving news that some people were being let out of the kettle, stupidly again we chose to believe that the police have souls, and attempted to find an exit. Once again we did a tour of the police blocks, and after being ignored every time we tried to gain information we settled for standing with the rest of the crowd.  After waiting for about an hour, we returned to our beloved wall. At about quarter to 9, I made my way back to the bottom of parliament square and waited to be let out at 9.

Foolishly, we smiled as the police bunched us up together and marched us as if we were goats down to Westminster Bridge. As I witnessed on officer confiscate a boys Oyster card and remove someone’s hat, it was pretty clear that as we were being marched down, we probably were not going to go home at 9. The law had pretty much gone out of the window.

I am still waiting for an explanation as to why at 10:30 I was still being held illegally on Westminster Bridge.

On a fucking bridge above water. What would have happened if someone had fallen off?

Between 9 o’clock and the time I was actually released, I can honestly say this was the only time I began to panic. On top of Westminster bridge, another riot was beginning. As the police beat us whilst detaining us illegally, without any explanation we had no choice but to push back. After repeatedly asking officers why we were actually being kept here, the only answer we received was ‘You were told before’ –  I guess legally this qualifies as an announcement? A woman next to me came to the front and literally began to beg the officer to let her go as her son, who was about 7 or 8, was about to faint due to the fact he needed an injection. Even with all of us shouting ‘let him go’ and the boy standing in the clear view of the officers, she was ignored and pushed back into the crowd. Another lady attempted to appeal to the better side of the officers (ha!) and explained to one of the more ‘humane’ looking ones that she was about to faint and could she please be allowed to go home, the officer promptly boxed her in the face with a shield. At this point I decided to phone home as I knew I was not going anywhere anytime soon.

Having being patient enough and whilst having our democratic rights being shat on, we then began to retaliate. The only way we were getting off this bridge was to fight our way off it. As we pushed forward the police responding by whacking us. As people began to lean over the side of the bridge, the police responded by attempting to squeeze us even tighter together. A boy in front of me attempted to explain to the officer at the front, that by them keeping us here they are only worsening the situation, if they had let us go home when we were calm this would not be occurring, besides the officers weren’t receiving overtime for this anyway, were they?

At about 1030–ish, we began to move forward off Westminster bridge, only to be stopped again. As we waited for the officer to allow us one by one out of the kettle and into the ‘walk of shame’. As we walked out individually we were faced with two blocks of officers on either side. The joy on their faces as they watched citizens limp home. Some even insulting us as we walked past. Maybe this is part of their job description as well, I don’t know.

All I can say is that, seeing as the government and the fools that “uphold” the law for their benefit, have introduced this modern day style of warfare against UNARMED protesters, we will uphold our dignity and strike right back. We do not care if they charge us, beat us, kettle us, deprive us of toilets, food and medication, we will not give in and we will not beg. We will fight.

It doesn’t matter that the Con-dems won by about 21 votes, we were not defeated. It doesn’t matter that I walked home barefoot and injured. It doesn’t matter that officers followed us onto the trains on the way home. The 9th December 2010 will be remembered as a victory in my eyes. When you have watched those who have been repeatedly beaten, go back to try and ensure our escape, sacrificing their safety and you watch thousands of ordinary people around you linking arms and pushing together, you begin to appreciate the meaning of solidarity. We are no longer afraid to stand up to these criminals.

I do not know how many people were arrested and I do not care how many officers were injured. May all your horses trample you. I send out my sympathies to all those who were injured, especially Alfie Meadow. I send out my solidarity to any of those who have been arrested in this fight for REAL freedom.

As long as police and the government have the right to legally kill and maim, we will never have any rights. We will live in fear. I do not intend to roll over and give in. I will fight for my rights and the rights of the future generation.

We will be back.

J from London

Benefit Claimant Fightback Begins – December 15th 2010

It’s starting small, embryonic even (as in going to get a lot fucking bigger) but the fight back against benefits cuts has begun.

A group of autonomous benefit claimants from around the country have called for a National Day of Protest Against Welfare & Housing Benefit Cuts on December 15th.  They call on all claimants, unemployed action groups, service users and service providers to organise protests in their area.

Suggestions have included sit ins at Civic Centres, Town Halls and MP constituency offices, mass sign ups to the housing register or why not call a Christmas party in your local Housing Benefit office.

London claimants will be attending the Housing Emergency Demonstration at Downing Street at 12.30pm, organised by newly formed Housing Emergency Coalition.  Bring cardboard and sleeping bags to create a cardboard city and then onto Trafalgar Square at 3pm for Christmas fun under the tree.

Rumours abound of events already being plotted in Edinburgh and possibly Brighton.  Please join the event page on facebook and help spread the word far and wide.  This is our first chance to say no to these cuts and warn we won’t pay for their crisis.

The students have shown the way, now it’s our turn.

Talking of students, they’ll be getting up close and personal with Lib Demmers at their London conference on Saturday whilst elsewhere activists will be visiting Top Shop’s flagship store at Oxford Circus.

Stop the Fees Rise – protest at London Lib Dem conference– 4th December

Round 4?

Protest outside London Lib Dem Conference – Saturday 4th December
Assemble 12noon
Haverstock School, Haverstock Hill, London NW3 2BQ
Nearest tube Chalk Farm
MAP: http://bit.ly/ejufKa

Before the General Election all Lib Dem MPs promised to vote against any attempt to increase tuition fees.

They now plan to break their promise. There is still time to make them keep their promise.

We are calling this peaceful protest outside the Lib Dem London Conference to demand that all London Lib Dem MPs vote against higher fees:
• Vince Cable
• Simon Hughes
• Sarah Teather
• Paul Burstow
• Tom Brake
• Edward Davey
• Lynne Featherstone

You can also write to your MP directly at www.stopfees.org – we have provided a model letter to get you started.

The vote on fees will be taking place within the next three weeks – this is a key opportunity to put pressure on the Lib Dems – please invite all your friends to this event.

I Punched Somebody lol

Laughing boy here can be heard gloating about punching someone in this video. Towards the end of the video (at 9.13 but is worth watching in its entirity) he can be seen grinning to colleagues as he says “I punched somebody”.

With all the talk of violence versus non violence it’s worth remembering that it’s donut munchers like fatboy here who are the ones who turn up tooled up and looking for a fight. Perhaps he was bullied at school. Perhaps he was trying to finally get laid. Why else would a grown man, even an over-grown man, get such a kick out of hitting a kid.

The London Mob Is Back!

London is at last punching above it’s weight again and the youth have shown the way. The demonstrations last Wednesday showed the previous storming of Millbank was not just a flash in the pan. In fact it looks like things are just warming up.

It’s true that Wednesday’s march was good natured and largely peaceful as it left Trafalgar Square. It’s also true that the filth formed a line at Whitehall, abandoning a van in the process, and kettled many of the demonstrators before so much as a placard was ripped up and chucked at the cops.

More important though were London’s teenagers who weren’t prepared to be pushed around by police and fought fiercely to break through police lines more than once. This time many of the kids were masked up and organised. Anarchists may be blamed, and we were certainly there, but we can’t take the credit. This was our children rising up and saying will not tolerate a bunch of chinless twats smashing up our lives. Every last one of them deserves a fucking medal.

As ever the police couldn’t resist escalating a little property damage into broken bones and scared teenagers. For once though the kids gave as good as they got. Panicked coppers were still chasing the kids round the West End late into the evening as horses were repeatedly used in an attempt to disperse protesters.

Suddenly fighting the police was cool again. When police tried to form a second kettle with riot cops and horses, hundreds streamed over fences into an MOD building complex, jumping across ventilation units and fences to escape. Emergency alarms were heard ringing inside the buildings. The fuckers are scared.

Protests are set to continue this Tuesday, with thousands all around the country already signed up. Word is the school and university students were repeatedly cheered at Saturday’s Coalition of Resistance conference. A parents group has been set up on facebook to support them. Old fogies everywhere are heartened and organising. Even the Unions look like finally waking up.

One lesson learnt from Wednesday is that Whitehall is not the best place to end up. Another is to bring warm clothes, provisions and hard liquor just in case. Momentum is ours. Let’s have Cameron’s head on a spike by Crimbo.

Fitwatch Is Back!

Fitwatch is back online despite the best efforts of the police to silence them!  Whilst not yet available to everyone on all browsers due to some technical shit we don’t understand you can see it at: http://www.fitwatch.org.uk/ and if that don’t work go to: which should.