Solidarity, fear, blood, injustice, and a Kodak disposable camera.
I didn’t quite realise the extent of the utter untruth across the media reports until I saw this protest with my own eyes, saw Johann Hari’s bleeding head as protesters helped him wash the blood off, and heard for myself the purposeful misdirection, lies, and contempt the police gave to us – long before any of the so-called “violence.”
My day started off perfectly well as a friend and I marched along Waterloo bridge with a crowd of protesters and a police escort. Vehicles on the other side expressed their support with their horns, we were feeling positive.
But we didn’t feel so positive a few hours later when the police lines had formed around Parliament Square. Not when horses were used to rush us. Not when a policeman told a girl “move, bitch, or I’ll crush you with my horse.” Not when Johann Hari was attacked by an officer for simply asking if he could leave the kettle to receive some medical attention. Not when Alfie Meadows sustained a brain injury.
It was frightfully cold and after a while I was shivering and in pain, so I left at about 16:30 or so. Luckily for me, the police were still intermittently letting people out of the square, but if I’d stayed more than hour longer, I wouldn’t have been leaving until the early hours.
The media talk endlessly of “the violence,” demonizing protesters for smashing a window (not actually violence), for covering their faces, and calling them “anarchists” regardless of any evidence to support this idea, as if anarchism was some kind of anti-window cult, instead of an important political ideology with vast and varied subscribers. The overwhelming violence and aggression I bore witness to came from the uniformed lackeys with truncheons in their hands and sneers on their faces.
For a brilliant and insightful account of the day, please read this