Kettling the kids

Written By: - Date published: 8:46 am, November 27th, 2010 - 22 comments
Categories: education, uk politics - Tags: ,

I’ve been meaning to write about the unrest in the UK for some time – but here’s a great summary from I/S. — r0b

The UK government is currently trying to balance its budget by shifting costs onto the young, through a trebling of university fees. This will prevent many kids from poor families from going to university, and they’re not happy about it. High school and university students walked out of their classes across the UK today in protest, marching in the streets and occupying university buildings (usually with the support of staff). Deputy Prime Minister David Clegg was hung in effigy outside The Guardian offices, where he was due to speak. In London, the students tried to march on Parliament, but the police, having learned nothing from last year’s G20 protests and still locked in a mindset which sees the public as the enemy and protest as sedition which must be violently suppressed, kettled them. Thousands of children were trapped in the freezing cold for hours, denied their freedom of speech and their freedom of movement. The result was entirely predictable: broken windows, fires, a vandalised police van, and more than a dozen arrests for violent disorder.

That’s the thing about kettles: they raise the temperature and pressure. That’s why both the Chief Inspector of Constabulary and the UK’s Independent Police Complaints Commission recommended the tactic be discontinued. The London police have ignored those recommendations. And they have only themselves to blame for the results.

22 comments on “Kettling the kids”

  1. vto 1

    Back in the mid-00’s it was feared the world of debt was unsustainable and that the house of cards would collapse. This wold then lead to governments doing all they could to prop up the system in order to preserve their own power and not get voted out. This would of course fail and the meltdown would continue, leading to political unrest. (this was my own view anyway).

    It has pretty much panned out exactly like this, with this UK turmoil fitting the last part of the pattern.

    What would happen next was a little uncertain in my mind except that the unrest would lead to ruptures and changes in the geopolitics world etc.

    The last part is being played out now. The world is changing beneath our feet. Pack the sandbags, load the stores, keep the ammo at hand. Or a version thereof.

  2. Carol 2

    It was the belief amongst my friends who experienced kettling back in Thatcher’s time, that it wasn’t a strategy to contain violent protest as claimed, but a strategy of provocative policing. After significant violent retaliation by the protesters, the Tory politicians can use the media images of it to demonise the protesters.

    But on the video of the protest that I watched on The Guardian site, there were differences of opinion amongst the demonstrators as to whether they should be trashing the police van, left aboandoned in the middle of the protest. One protester said, that the police van was rusty and had been left there deliberately so the protesters would trash it. The aim of this being to produce negative images of the protest for the media.

    Some young students will be put off by the violence and buckle to the Tory will. But many of these young people are being politicised, and will be developing a cynical and critical attitude towards the way the police and media support the might of the Tory establishment.

    • ianmac 2.1

      The news report that I saw focussed on the one or two who were trashing the van and the smashing of windows. Clearly students are just a bunch of whining vandals! They deserve nothing! Funny how in NZ unions and beneficiaries are portrayed in the same tone. A conservative strategy?

      • Bill 2.1.1

        The Hun, the Yellow Peril and the Red Under the Bed, the Muslim as extremist, the feminist as man-hating lesbian, anarchism as chaos…maybe a conservative strategy, but not one limited to the Conservatives.

    • M 2.2

      At G20 police provocateurs mingled with the protestors to ramp things up but were busted because of their police issue boots:

      http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=19928

  3. freedom 3

    I am not going to get into any dialogue on this today as there is a lot to do, but simply remind everyone that this is an engineered collapse of our society by an unelected authority .

    Government or Public? it does not matter to which you belong. We both get our orders and have dutifully carried out our naive and ignorant roles. As Mr Zimmerman says, ‘you gonna serve somebody’ .

    History is overflowing with lessons we choose to forget or for some reason actually ignore.
    It is time to wake up and stop the unnecessary annihilation of our liberty.

  4. Jenny 4

    .
    The Wall Street Journal’s take on the London protests is that they were “mild” in comparison with other European anti-austerity protests.

    UK student protest “mild” according to the WSJ.

    “Though the violence was mild by the standards of recent protests in European countries such as France and Greece, the day marked the first major round of what is expected to be a period of large-scale protests against the Conservative-led coalition government’s budget cuts.”

    capcha – “continuation”
    .

  5. Jenny 6

    .
    Particularly interesting and worthwhile is the following link to the New Statesman;

    Young and Scared

    This link is valuable as is it from the front line of the student protests, by a young woman writer laurie Penny.

    capcha – “principles”
    .

  6. Jenny 7

    NUS Exec. split over Millbank occupation

    While the media has given huge coverage to the few student leaders who have condemned the Millbank occupation as violent and the work of a few outsiders ie non-student extremists.

    Other student union leaders have signed a statement in support of the Millbank protests.

    We need unity to break the Con Dems’ attacks – Stand with protesters against victimisation.

    Says the statement.

    As part of a deliberate policy to demonise, isolate and victimise the students who who made it into the Millbank building, the Main Stream Media has ignored this official statement from NUS leaders supporting the MIllbank occupation.

    The statement goes on to say:

    “We reject any attempt to characterise the Millbank protest as small, “extremist” or unrepresentative of our movement.”

    The statement was produced by Mark Bergfeld, who sits on the NUS NEC.

    As well as being signed by student union leaders the statement has also been signed by Alex Callinicos, a professor at King’s College London.

    The statement accuses the authorities of indulging in a witch hunt and calls for solidarity with those arrested, and states that the charges of violence are overstated.

    “A great deal is being made of a few windows smashed during the protest, but the real vandals are those waging a war on our education system.” says the statement.

    Union Representatives Signed Statement in Support of Millbank Protests

    capcha – “usually”
    .

  7. Pascal's bookie 8

    Good write up at Lenin’s tomb

    http://leninology.blogspot.com/2010/11/spontaneous-massive-and-militant.html

    with a nice compile of footage from the Groaniad.

  8. Jeremy Harris 9

    I’m still waiting for I/S to respond to LS who says he pretty much made the post up:

    http://libertyscott.blogspot.com/2010/11/idiot-savant-wrong-about-london-student.html#links

    • Carol 9.1

      LOL, LS doing a selective, ideologically driven blog criticising I/S for a selective ideology-driven blog. I/S’s views aren’t just those of the SWP, but of many journalists who were present, including those of some Guardian and Independent articles I have read, and letters from parents, lecturers and students to the papers, not to mention first hand reports in publications like the New Statesman.
      http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/laurie-penny/2010/11/children-police-kettle-protest

      The students were protesting, not just against rises in tuition fees, but cuts to things like disadvantaged student maintenance grants. Also there is concern about plans to access, many social science, arts & humanities courses, and in a context where it’s going to be increasingly harder to get jobs.

      This Guardian article puts the protests in context:

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/nov/24/students-and-markets-undermine-case-for-cuts

      Naturally, it suits ministers and the coalition-supporting media to portray the student protests that kicked off a fortnight ago with a 50,000-strong march in London as either spasms of mob violence or the self-indulgence of privileged youth. Nick Clegg tried it on again on Tuesday night, claiming the mantle of social justice and telling protesters to “listen and look” at the government’s student loan package “before you march and shout”.

      But not many students are going to listen to a man who has done a 180-degree about-turn on his pledge to oppose any increase in tuition fees – or take seriously his boasts about social mobility, when the wealthiest will pay less and polling already shows the new fees discouraging most would-be students from deprived backgrounds from going to university at all. Nor are many people who saw today’s images of London school pupils protecting a damaged police van likely to be taken in by attempts to portray the mass of protesters as hooligans.

      Instead the students have offered an inspiration to a public largely stunned into passivity by the scale of government plans to dismantle Britain’s welfare system and public services. Drawing on the experience of school walkouts and student occupations during the Iraq and Gaza wars, the new student activists have also focused on issues that bring together working class and middle class – just as the ongoing street campaign about Vodafone’s tax avoidance has helped dramatise the hollowness of the government’s insistence that its deficit can only be closed with job-destroying cuts in services.

      Regardless of fringe rucks, these protests are more likely to lay the ground for wider public and industrial campaigns than frighten them off. And they come at a time when the resurgent international crisis is cutting the ground from beneath the coalition’s own argument for deep cuts – and strengthening the case for a change of direction.

  9. Tigger 10

    You vote for nasty, brutish government, you get nasty, brutish policies… Honestly England, did you learn nothing from watching us for the past two years?

    • AlbatrossNZ 10.1

      That’s not completely fair. The UK has been stuck with FPP and it’s people have had to bear it. There were more people that voted labour and libs than conservatives. But the way FPP panned out the conservatives held the power balance.

  10. anarcho 11

    Great pics here:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1332811/TUITION-FEES-PROTEST-Students-streets-girls-leading-charge.html

    …although the article is unsuprisingly shite. The revolution is going to be fashionable at least!

  11. anarcho 12

    for those with a particular interest in this fight, this site seems to be the focus point for organinsing/announcing etc:

    http://educationactivistnetwork.wordpress.com/

  12. Gotham 13

    “Scotland Yard is under pressure after video footage emerged of police officers on horseback charging a crowd of protesters during a demonstration against increases in university tuition fees, 24 hours after they denied that horses charged the crowd.”

    Here’s The Guardian link with the footage of the charging mounted police. Totally sickening.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/nov/26/student-protests-police-under-fire

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      You cannot trust the statements that the authorities release.

      Now when you look at the sentence I just wrote above, you know we are all in deep shit.

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    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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