Policing politics?

This is a slightly longer version of an article which appeared yesterday in Edinburgh University’s Student newspaper. It hopefully has some utility for others who are working towards social change in radical or leftist ways and wondering about engagement with the police therein. The independence of policing and politics is a fundamental principle of democracy. [...]

Fifth Edinburgh Uncut Activist Arrested

A UK Uncut activist was arrested in Edinburgh at around 12.30pm on Saturday for breach of the peace and obstructing the pavement. Under Scots Law, breach of the peace is a specific criminal offence, which can be prosecuted in the courts, and rare cases can lead to a custodial sentence. The action had attracted a [...]

Lib Dem conference protester remanded in custody after banner drop

The three men remanded in custody for three days over the weekend, after a banner drop at the Liberal Democrat conference, appeared in court today. The men were remanded as their membership of an “organization” showed that they could not be trusted not to cause danger to the public. At court all three men pleaded [...]

The rise of the Far-Right after the riots

I wish we could ignore that petition. You know which one. The one that would have innocent people thrown out into the street because of what someone in their family might have done. I wish we could ignore the fact that Nick Griffin has been gaining thousands of Twitter followers (including 2000 in just one day). [...]

Call in the army? Remember Northern Ireland…

At the time of writing, it’s difficult to comprehend the scale of the trouble in London, not to mention Birmingham, Leeds or Liverpool. One thing is for sure though: the notable impotence of the Metropolitan police in tackling a roving, leaderless wave of theft, intimidation, assault and petty vandalism. With much of the grand expanse [...]

London riots: of course they are political

The most surprising thing about these riots is that anyone is surprised. Here in Oxfordshire, youth workers have been predicting for months that things would kick off this summer. Of course there are riots. Of course there is looting. What else did they expect? Some say that these are not political riots. What does that [...]

Will these political sentences backfire?

Two weeks ago a friend of mine went into York town centre to help collect petition signatures for Frank Fernie. He said it was a tough sell. Yorkies were sceptical. Yesterday, I joined him on the first demonstration proper for Frank, and helped him with the petition. This time support came fast and easily. Things [...]

Riots in Tottenham

By Mike Williamson Whenever a big protest happens when property is damaged, I always find myself in a curious situation where I wonder whether I agree with it or not. There are always people who will support any riot regardless of what it’s about, because it represents some kind of rebellion against the state, and [...]

Solidarity with the police

Over 2000 police officers today demonstrated their opposition to cuts to their pay. Their press release is below. Some don’t feel it’s appropriate to express solidarity with the police. Many of us have ended up on the rough end of their oppression. But as I see it, such oppression is another expression of alienation. And [...]

SOAS arrests: Where are the Lib Dems on protest rights?

“I was personally punched and thrown down the stairs by officers.” Meet Alex. He’s a postgrad student at UCL. On Monday he joined a peaceful demonstration at SOAS against Higher Education Minister David Willetts. This is how the police responded. There were accounts of officers and security guards forcing protesters onto the ground and repeatedly [...]

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