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Anorak News | How Media Hijacked The Student Violence To Mute The Message: Photos

How Media Hijacked The Student Violence To Mute The Message: Photos

by | 11th, November 2010

MEET Luke Cooper. He’s 26. The London Standard says he’s a University of Sussex academic who was a “ring leader” of a plot to occupy Millbank Tower and the Tory headquarters. He is presented as the face of the minority who ruined a polite day out for the masses – and gave the media great photos. But the masses didn’t seem to mind the occupation. The chucking of stuff from a roof was not universally popular. But lots of people stayed to watch.

A statement from the National Campaign Against Fees And Cuts says:

We reject any attempt to characterise the Millbank protest as small, “extremist” or unrepresentative of our movement.

The About Us page on the NCAFC site ends:

OCCUPY! STRIKE! RESIST!

So. All the proactive students are in it together. But what of the plot to occupy buildings? Well, it was the plot the police were too blinkered and deaf to notice being hatched online. (See the slogan above.)

And we have heard one student say:

This has been arranged for ages and I’m surprised the police didn’t do their homework.”

Come on. You’re not really surprised are you?

And if you thought the police were looking out of touch, get a load of the Tories. They’re complaining of not having their premises protected by the police. They really are just like the rest of us who rely on a desk bound, self-serving, distanced police force to arrive after the event. And like us, the Tories are powerless to use force to protect their own possessions.

Says Cooper in the Standard:

“The reason we attacked Tory HQ is we want to send a really strong message to this Government that we are not going to let higher education be brutalised.”

Mr Cooper never entered any building illegally. He is a member of Socialist Revolution. He says it and Education Activist Network we behind the direct action. The Standard reports his words thus:

“A number of government buildings are in that part of London and all would have been legitimate targets for protest and occupation. There was a lot of anger. It has always been the plan for Revolution and activists in the International Coalition Against Fees and Cuts to take direct action after the NUS demo.”

On Socialist Revolution’s website, there’s a statement:

Luke Cooper is a member of Revolution but he was not a “ring leader” of the protest at Tory Party HQ on November 10. Members of Revolution attended National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts planning meetings prior to the demonstration to discuss forms of protest on the day but Luke Cooper never attended a planning meeting.

He also never used the word “attack” Tory Party HQ when speaking to the Standard.

It goes on:

He stated the Tory Party HQ on Millbank was one possible target for a protest or an occupation during the demonstration, one amongst the many government buildings in the area. This has been twisted by the Evening Standard to try and recast what was a relatively spontaneous action by students angry at the government’s cuts, as a premeditated assault by thugs.

Can you be relatively spontaneous?

Back to Socialist Revolution:

It was discussed and planned that direct action should occur on the day, but it was never discussed or planned that any property damage would occur.

The breaking things was the spontaneous part.

Meanwhile, there’s a more peaceful protest at Manchester University:

Statement from students in occupation at Manchester University

“Students at Manchester Univeristy have peacefully occupied the John Owens Building and are lobbying the finance board over the Coalition’s attacks on higher education. We are demanding that the University opens its books so that we know where the cuts will fall, how many voluntary redundancies have already been made and to highlight the fact that the vice Chancellor is paid 20 times the average salary. The financial director has denied any cuts are planned, despite the fact that voluntary redundancies have been announced and the combined studies department has already been cut. We are here to support lecturers and administrative staff who will be losing their jobs. To oppose the rise in tuition fees that will price out most working class students. And to oppose the privatisation of our Universities.”

Suppose universities were privatised. Would students be able to run them better as a collective?

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Posted: 11th, November 2010 | In: Key Posts, Politicians Comments (15) | TrackBack | Permalink