Any idea that you are dealing with Lacan-reading hipsters from Spitalfields on this demo is mistaken.
While a good half of the march was undergraduates from the most militant college occupations - UCL, SOAS, Leeds, Sussex - the really stunning phenomenon, politically, was the presence of youth: bainlieue-style youth from Croydon, Peckam, the council estates of Islington.
Having been very close to the front line of the fighting, on the protesters side, I would say that at its height - again - it broke the media stereotype of being organised by "political groups": there was an anarchist black bloc contingent, there were the socialist left groups - but above all, again, I would say the main offensive actions taken to break through police lines were done by small groups of young men who dressed a lot more like the older brothers of the dubsteppers.
No, if he was a police van he would have been protected by schoolgirls.
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Without the decision to sign THAT pledge, to pose for the photos, to make the now cringeworthy videos saying "it is time for promises to be kept", claiming a unique level of integrity and trustworthiness in politics, this could have been just another u-turn in an everyday tale of Coalition folk...
For didn't the NUS campaign position the LibDems quite beautifully if you take a trip with me to a parallel universe where David Cameron did win a Tory majority of 12?
This issue would give the appearance of outflanking Labour to the left in the universities and on the letters page of The Guardian, yet doing so on an ideal issue to get under the Tories' skins in the affluent south-east and southern marginals where parents and students would see the LibDems on their side.
anigbrowl: Couldn't agree with you more. This is what I say to people who complain about how much the royal family cost. They are of net benefit to this country. Do people really think we'd get so many tourists (from Japan and the US especially) if we were a republic. I don't think so. The Royal Family are by far and away a net contributor to the country.
One hundred and fifty live rounds were fired at police, 167 blast bombs were thrown at police lines, 167 vehicles were hijacked and more than 1,000 petrol bombs were thrown. Police fired 216 impact rounds.
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