Friday, December 10, 2010

americans will violently protest $5.00/gallon gasoline...,


Video - Students in London shout "off with their heads" at Charles and Camilla.

NYTimes | According to the French writer Agnès Poirier, “It is not in the British DNA to demonstrate. The British simply don’t believe in it.” Early last month, when Ms. Poirier, who lives in London, made her comparison between the revolutionary tradition of her native country and the stiff-upper-lip stoicism that seemed to characterize the British response to the financial crisis, there appeared little reason to argue.

But on Nov. 10 tens of thousands of students took to the streets to protest government plans to cut the education budget while sharply increasing tuition fees. Two weeks later, the students were out again, this time in even greater numbers, though the police — stung by criticism for allowing a few demonstrators to vandalize Conservative Party headquarters — responded by herding many protesters into improvised enclosures where they were kept for several hours, a tactic known as “kettling.”

Last Tuesday saw yet another twist, as students, anxious to avoid kettling, played a cat-and-mouse game with police all through central London. Instead of marching from Trafalgar Square to Westminster as planned — and where massed ranks of police, some on horseback, were prepared to turn protesters away from Parliament, which was debating a Labour Party motion opposing the government’s proposals — groups of chanting students ran through Whitehall and around Buckingham Palace while helmet-clad riot police gave chase. Smaller groups of students marched down Oxford Street and Regent Street shouting slogans at bemused Christmas shoppers.

There were simultaneous demonstrations in Brighton, Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Manchester, Newcastle and Oxford. Although the police in London arrested 146 people who refused to leave Trafalgar Square, for the most part this third wave of protests ended peacefully. The British protests are expected to continue at least until Parliament votes Thursday on the proposed changes.

“Nonviolence is essential — once we resort to violence it’s the only thing the media picks up,” said Milaad Rajai, co-president of the Student Union at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, where protesters have been peacefully occupying the Brunei Gallery since Nov. 21. Students have also taken over buildings at University College London, Manchester Metropolitan University, Bristol and Cambridge.