Tag: Police Brutality

When Seeing Isn’t Believing: On Images of Police Brutality

Our TV screens and social media feeds are saturated with images of police brutality towards African Americans; the deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling among the most recent. While visual proof of police violence towards African Americans is not new — as images of the 1935 Harlem race riot reveal — it is now…

The Further Criminalisation of Student Protest

Open Letter to the Registrar of the University of Warwick following excessive police action against student protestors. The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement has served as a reminder of the wider politics of austerity and its beneficiaries in the form of tax cuts and those at its detriment experiencing wage freezes and cuts in services and benefits. It was…

Occupy Policing: The Eviction of Occupy Melbourne

Inspired by the global call for action by the Indignados movement in Spain, the protests and revolutions across the Arab World and the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York City, activists organised to launch Occupy Melbourne in City Square on 15 October 2011. Occupy Melbourne sought to transform City Square into a ‘common’ space…

Kettling and the Fear of Revolution

In November 2010, British students staged a series of demonstrations in several cities of the UK and Northern Ireland. Organised by the National Campaign against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC), thousands marched against spending cuts to further education and an increase of the cap on tuition fees by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government. The 2010 protests have marked something of a turning point in modern British history: the political protest was back. After the 2003 anti-Iraq war protest in London which attracted almost a million people, the 2010 protests showed once more that it is the political protest that shapes the world for the better. But if these protests made dissensus visible, and posited it at the heart of British politics, they also gave police an opportunity to widely use a scare tactic, ensuring that protest against the status quo is effective. The tactic is called ‘kettling’, which so easily turns a legitimate protest into a ‘violent disorder’ […]

Violence at the Edge: Tottenham, Athens, Paris

Few are willing to make comparisons between this past year’s radical political activity – from the student protests to the major TUC demonstration – and the Tottenham riots. The reasons for this are fairly obvious: there is no unifying political goal of these ‘looters’, ‘hooligans’ and ‘thugs’. Theirs instead appears to be a ‘consumerism of…

A Note on Violence

There is a determined constituency within the new student movement who do not rule out the use of physical force in protest. The damage they incur is far from random vandalism. The courage they display in refusing to be intimidated by the increasingly brutal tactics of the police has garnered some recognition from others within the movement. Yet the issue remains controversial and potentially divisive.

The Violent Vocabulary of Policing

Those of us living in the so-called advanced democracies such as the United Kingdom often forget that Police is an integral part of coercive capacity of the state. Yet, what should make a democracy democratic is accountability of the state to the people. People matter. It is not enough that in Britain, there are organizations…