Anorak News | Student Demo Photos: The Police Charge Video Is A Football Fan’s Joke

Student Demo Photos: The Police Charge Video Is A Football Fan’s Joke

by | 27th, November 2010

DID mounted police charge at the students demonstrating in Whitehall? The Guardian says they did. It says the video below shows police charging at the protestors. But it’s not really a charge, is it?

Naomi Bain disagrees. A staffer at Birkbeck University, says:

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite so frightening. I’ve seen police on horseback, but this was like a cavalry charge…”

Yeah, really. Naomi Bain has not seen enough.

The Metropolitan police have said that their tactics “did not involve charging the crowd“. A spokesman offers:

“I dare say they [officers policing the Whitehall demonstrations] were doing the movements the horses do to help control the crowd for everyone’s benefit, which has been a recognised tactic for many, many years, but no, police officers charging the crowd – we would say, ‘No, they did not charge the crowd.’”

As anyone who have every travelled with a football club knows kettling and police on horses moving through a crowd are common practice. You head to the ground in a group and the police stop you on the street. You are held. Sometimes you are held on the coach until enough vehicles can be assembled to form a convoy to head to the ground. Fans are held on planes. Fans are held at train stations. Fans are treated like prisoners.

And then the police on horseback yell at you to wait patiently, to stand in line and to behave.

The student complaint is that teenagers were barked at and told off. Get this from the appropriately named Bain:

Bain said she was standing with school and college pupils, some as young as 15, when mounted police advanced. “There were people who fell down who would have been under the horses’ hooves if they hadn’t been grabbed – and these were really young kids as well.”

Travel with a football club and see the middle-aged and older men being barked at, pushed along and treated like, well, belligerent teenagers. Would any football fan take a child to the teeth of demo and not expect aggro? Maybe – but only if they wanted to teach him the dark arts.


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Demonstrators set a police riot shield alight on Whitehall, following a student protest against government plans to raise tuition fees in central London.

The students who complain about the police actions in Whitehall display a naivety about the police that is almost charming. In the first demo on Millbank, some students behaved badly. The corporate police looked like fools. They never listen to what is going on and the plans being made. They are too busy shouting and using the internet as just another means of getting their message out to a captive audience.

The police are incapable of understanding that the “conversation” is there, going on without them.

So. They would not be on the back foot this time. This time they would take charge. They would mass ranks and form a temporary jail. They would park a van in the middle of Whitehall to give the student in the prison yard something to play with and let off steam. Anger will give way to boredom. The cold will bite and calm tempers. Any trouble makers will be easily picked off when the police are ready to act. Well, so goes the thinking.

What thinking there is…

Posted: 27th, November 2010 | In: Key Posts, Reviews Comment | TrackBack | Permalink