To those who are arguing that people don’t have a right to protest against a government that was “democratically” voted in: Yes we do. This is a government which is waging war on the poor, the homeless, the disabled, the unemployed, immigrants, students, single mums and the unemployed, with devastating consequences. If you think that a party who was voted in by 24% of the electorate should somehow be untouchable to criticism, then you seriously need to reconsider what the hell you think democracy is. Not to mention the fact that some of society’s most vulnerable (e.g many people without citizen status) aren’t even allowed to vote. We need to abolish this ridiculous attitude that the sum total of democracy is a broken, unfair and exclusive voting system, which is headed up by an elitist group of predominantly white men. Representative democracy? Give me a fucking break.
To those who are arguing that high levels of anger are “unnecessary” and an “overreaction”: Fuck you. Do not belittle people’s genuine despair and fear at the general election result. This isn’t just people being mildly annoyed that a party they don’t like won, this is people publically and vocally saying that they cannot and will not take 5 more years of this life-destroying shit. This is people terrified at their future prospects and that of their children. Of course people are fucking angry. We’re talking about a party that has literally driven people to suicide through their brutal cuts to public services. And you want people to calm down? We live in the sixth richest country in the world, yet hundreds of thousands of people can’t even afford to feed themselves. There were 66 active foodbanks when the coalition came to power, and there are now 421. Homelessness has gone up by over 50% in the last 5 years. That’s right; one of the richest countries in the world has thousands of citizens who are starving and/or have nowhere to live. If that doesn’t make you angry, why the fuck not?
To those of you arguing that direct action and protesting “makes no difference”: This is just painfully incorrect. Pretty much no social movement in history has been successful without some form of direct action. To just focus on one relevant example, it was the hugely confrontational poll tax riots of 1990 which played a fundamental role in the demise of Thatcher and her brutal attacks on the working class. These tactics are effective, whether you like it or not. Why do you think politicians are so scared of direct action? Why do you think the new Government is looking, as quickly as possible, to implement a Snooper’s Charter which will require internet and mobile phone companies to keep records of customers’ browsing activity, social media use, emails, voice calls, online gaming and text messages for a year? This insidious idea that the only way people can legitimately strive for change is by spending the next 5 years quietly persuading others to vote differently in the next general election is the worst kind of liberal bullshit. It’s also a really fucking privileged thing to say when there are so many people whose lives will genuinely be in danger over the next 5 years. If you think that our current system of “democracy” will ever adhere to the voices of the people without being forced to by mass collective action, it’s time to wake up.
To those of you who are furious about the “Women of World War II” graffiti: Yes, one person did this, and the vast majority of protesters in no way supported it. But using this act to vilify an entire movement is ignorant and simplistic, and a dirty tactic being used by the Tory-controlled right wing media to draw attention away from the point of yesterday’s protests. Surprise fucking surprise. It’s also absolutely laughable that Tories are crawling out from all corners of social media to condemn this act in the strongest possible terms, claiming that it’s “disrespectful to the women of the past”. Such indignation coming from Tories, who support a party which is inherently anti-woman, is sickening. From a Prime Minister who openly mocks women in the House of Commons, to cuts of 30% to support services for domestic and sexual violence survivors, not to mention the fact that austerity in general disproportionately affects women and particularly single mothers. I’m pretty sure that the women of World War II would have something to say about that. So self-righteous Tories, pipe the fuck down – you don’t have a leg to stand on when it comes to defending women. Furthermore, (and I can’t believe how many times I have had to reiterate this in the last few months), if you’re more angry about someone spray painting on a memorial, than people being physically brutalised by the police, you need to sort your fucking priorities out. If you think that respecting the dead is more important than respecting the living, what do you stand for?
To those who are dismissing yesterday’s protests as nothing more than a “one-off kneejerk reaction”: Sorry, but you’re wrong. Society’s most vulnerable are at breaking point, and this anger and desperation (as history has shown) is certain to manifest itself in the streets as inequality rises and the Tory cuts keep on coming. What we saw yesterday was a new-found sense of fearlessness among protesters, and the Government hadn’t even been in power for 48 hours. Protesters demonstrated what community and solidarity really looks like, as individuals were forcibly freed from arrest and lines of riot police kettling protesters were forced to retreat. The road ahead is by no means easy, and will undoubtedly be full of state violence and repression, but after yesterday, the government will be expecting resistance – let them quake in their shit. Now is not the time for mourning; it’s time for organising. No to 5 more years of austerity, inequality and oppression. Tory scum, here we come.
Reblogged from Warwick for Free Education
Wow. All those protesters managed to get a day off work or out of college to carry out this demonstration!! There are some generous employees out there!
it happened on sunday
Not that important but actually happened on Saturday (when people work) and stopped people like me getting to work on time so I lost pay. Who do I write to and thank?
However, I do wholeheartedly believe in the right to protest and express your disdain in peaceful ways (and who really gives a toss about one dickhead spraying a statue?) but, I do question the effectiveness of modern day protesting. Maybe relevant 20/30 years ago but now? If a million-strong march doesn’t stop us going to war what will?
There must be a more effective way?
Ignorance has no boundaries.
Haha not so cocky and smart now huh!
Also important is their plan to “fix” the electoral system by effectively abolishing Labour constituencies despite the fact that this year the system favoured the Tories anyway.
I presume this blogger is a sixth form student who has just read about the Russian Revolution. Like a mini-Russel Brand but even angrier
I assume you are a cunt.
I hope the next group to violently protest and graffiti statues that represent freedom get a swift batton to the face. More of russell brands morons. You’ve been easily led by a smack head who pretends to be an intellectual. “I want a revolution, but I don’t want to do too much” “profit is a dirty word, but you’re not having any of my millions”. Get off your scrounging asses and work. Youre fit enough to go riot you’re fit enough to go find that job that you probably blame immigrants taking. then you can save for that worthless university course you want to do, you know the one with zero job prospects the other side because every muppet goes to uni now. Anyone would think politics had never existed before this year or that labour are somehow hero’s lol.
Ahh someone else who entirely misses the point and just focuses on one or two points plus name calling to get their point across. A bit like the Sun, or the Mail, funny that isnt it?
Its a simple fact that the coalition government have implemented a series of fairly bad economic choices that have negatively impacted growth. Our GDP is growing despite this, not because of it, we could have a GDP on par with Germany if austerity wasnt implemented.
Its also fact that under the coalition government a large number of people have seen their living standards fall.
The future will see living standards continue to fall, dissolution of what we now call the NHS, continued assault on teachers, nurses, firemen and the people that look after us.
But perhaps, with so many people in this country of youre attitude, this is what we deserve. Hate-filled unfair politics for hate-filled unfair people.
I’m not resorting to name calling I’m just sick of hearing about this. Everyone making out like our government controls the global economy. And for the record, I’m pretty sure people’s living standards have not dropped since the recession. Whats wrong with this country is not the government as it wouldn’t make a difference whichever silver spoon pricks were in. No the problem is that people feel like the country owes them something, or that they are entitled to something for nothing. People in Britain (even from the poorest of backgrounds) are lucky enough that they were born in a country with every opportunity in life available to them. Hence floods of immigrants willing to risk thier lives for the same chances. But no they would rather fuck up thier education, feel they have the right to pop out kids they can’t support without benifits and sit on the doll complaining that it doesn’t pay enough when the rest of the country work thier asses of to male something of themselves out of nothing struggle with the same bills, lose half our wages to taxes and then have to listen to this shite everywhere we look. Privatising the NHS? Change the record it’s bullshit, the nhs was still fucked under blair. I’m not hate filled in the slightest I just think people should feel lucky with what they’ve got. Lads in the forces who comeback with serious injuries and low income complain and want for nothing and you have teens spray painting memorial statues because they can’t have tuition fee cuts? I wonder which one is more unfair
Not everyone has the same experience that you had in life. Sorry but not every opportunity is available to everyone and to assume so is incredibly stupid and ignorant. People don’t choose to ‘laze around’ on benefits. Many of these people you see on programmes like Benefits Street never really had a chance in life. People come difficult backgrounds and families that don’t value education, they don’t literally make a decision between university and the dole and pick the dole, they never really had a choice in the first place. Nobody ‘fucks up’ their education on purpose, the state education system has failed them and let them slip through the net. If your parents don’t make you go to school, then who will? The country absolutely owes these people, taking benefits away from them is never going to help, you need to address the root of the problem and it certainly isn’t ‘laziness’. Let’s not forget that only 3% of welfare is spent on the unemployed and the majority of people on JSA are on it for no longer than 6 months. The media is desperate to paint poor people as evil and everything that’s wrong with the country and the fact that they have clearly succeeded is quite sad.
I think you took that the wrong way. It’s nothing to do with university or the dole. Its those in educations whole attitude. And I should know I was one of those little shit’s. I came from a council estate and my parents had nothing. Anyone who blames thier back ground or behavioural problems on not making something of themselves are pathetic. I spent six years in the military gained experiences did everything I could to better myself. Some of the brightest engineers I know now in my industry come from real poverty in the far east. Pretty sure they never blamed thier government and education systems for everything. Generally those who can’t afford to go to university are awarded at least partial scholarships at the least and other benifits. When you say this country owes these people. What you really mean is the tax payer should pay because thier education and lack of common sense was probably gained from Facebook. I don’t believe what the media tell me but I know being stuck under the poverty line again would make me hungry not greedy
First things first, I voted Labour and will continue to do so. However we are not going to overthrow a Tory government that was fairly elected. The only tangible way to get the conservatives out is for people to stop voting for them. Angry articles and violent protests will only serve to push marginal Tory voters further into Tory territory as they just cannot relate to this way of thinking. Even I have reacted badly to the recent protests and articles like this one. I am not saying this is right but I am just saying it is true, even when I am Labour through and through. What we need to do is concentrate on getting people to vote Labour (Or Lib Demi/Green)not making these ‘marginal Tory’s’ feel like villains. People should be angry, people are free to protest but they should also sit back and think what is the most effective way to get people to move their votes away from the conservatives…and this is not it.
Well said. People wanted change and they got it. They showed massive support for smaller party’s from the far left and the far right. This scared the shit out of the main party’s, they changed thier manifestos to regain support. The sysyem though flawed, worked but people still are not happy. Rioting solves fuck all. If you want change and this somehow effects you so badly in the next 5 years (even though no change will be noticed) then get involved in politics. If you cannot be bothered to do that (sorry to quote russell brand again “because I’m scared I’ll become one”) then shut up and stop causing the country more problems spreading hate and Rioting. Like how much strikes cost the economy. I agree those who deserve benifits should be given them but the truth is people know the system like the back of thier hand and play it. You may think I’m very right wing but I’m not I just believe in hard work. Britain wasn’t made great on cups of tea and benifits. People on benifits shouldn’t be able to afford sky, the newest big tv, holiday abroad every year or earn more than alot of skilled tradesmen. It’s there as a means of support. All Immagrants should be allowed in britain if they integrate and benifit us. My girlfriend is moroccan and I would love someone racist to come up and tell me she doesn’t belong here. But there is no place in our modern society to be building mosques (or churches and synagogues or church of scientology or any other bullshit cult), having regions that are no go zones and those that died recently was horrible but if we did let every immigrant that risked lives into the country and supported another entire country what do you think would happen? I don’t think I’m better than anyone else, race, background, or whatever vote you decide to give. I just don’t live in a dream world