I joined the electricians at the Shard. Amazing how long it’s been to be in the middle of workers taking industrial action – very pasionate speech from some Liverpudlian miltant who all there seemed to know and love! Huge numbers of cops changing into riot gear and being well and truly mocked by construction workers on the Shard. All the cops seemed to have been issued with tons of gadgets and glucose drinks and sweets. I get the impression Hogan Howe is going to be a big hit with rank sand file copper by looking after them.
Watch the march come through Trafalgarsquare surrounded by phalanxes of cops at back and front and led by the mounties…….the mobile kettle refusing to let people leave the march. Most of the march seemed to be university students – there was a noticeable absence of the younger school students who’d made the earlier demonstrations so vibrant. Could be that the EMA issue no longer resonates- they realise it’s not coming back and the other slogans about privatisation of education are too vague to inspire. I think also most school students didn’t even know about the march and little work was done outside universities. I also think it wasn’t the rubber bullets that kept people away but the prospect of getting 18 months – 2 years for violent disorder for just kicking a fence or throwing a piece of placard in the direction of the cops – as happened last week. See the plaintive comment on here from a mum woriied sick about her 17 year old in prison for first time, getting beaten up. Most people will know of someone similar. On a positive side the class content of lots of slogans about Etonian cabinet ministers destroying education maintains my belief that the Eton campaign will resonate next year if we can match it with imaginative tactics.
It’s been a funny year of ups and downs. This was a downer – Hogan Howe won hands down. But happily theres a re-match on November 30th with many more people on our side. I also think Hogan Howe will make sure there are no more occupations leaving St.Pauls isolated and unable to grow. But its still there as some sort of focal point of resistence. I listened to Billy Bragg waffle on about ‘accountability’ and sing the Internationale. I missed Peggy Seeger – shame – and Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine turned up to play. Bianca Jagger cant be far off.
We’ve all got some thinking to do comrades………but old thinking involving surprise, staying mobile and keeping off the main demo didn’t evolve for no reason.