Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Students march on Conservative Party HQ in London

When fifty-thousand UK students marched to protest the Conservative government’s cuts to education, the news media only wanted to talk about the violence.

Foreign news media headlines labeled the massive student protest outside Conservative Party headquarters in London simply as "violent."  That wasn't the whole story, as the firsthand accounts of there-live bloggers reveal.

Matt, who has is usually there-live blogging major events in Thailand and East Timor, was on the scene of  the massive protest in London today.   Matt details where the protests got out of hand, and comments:
"The world's media has picked up on the story and of course the violence is what has made the headlines and provided the photo fodder. National Union of Students President Aaron Porter condemned the violence, which really put a dampener on what had otherwise been a positive day.

As I left at about 6 pm, the numbers had dwindled considerably, although some diehards were still milling about and a few were staging some kind of sit-down protest...."
You can read Matt's entire account of the protests, including photos and a video, at his blog, The Lost Boy.

Socialist Worker and the Guardian extensively live-blogged the protests.   Socialist Worker lists a number of additional there-live reports at the end of their main account of the protest.   The Guardian provides a concise summary of the day's events.

Experienced live-loggers are saying that today's protest, large as it was, was just a taste of things to come.   For example, Lenin of Lenin's Tomb,  a blogger who has covered previous UK demonstrations, writes,
"It reminds me a bit of the anticapitalist demos in London at the turn of 2000s, in terms of its militancy, and the fact that it happened in the middle of the week - but it's actually much bigger than any of those protests was.... And not a moment too soon, because if the Tories get their way then higher education is finished for millions of working class people."
For an analysis of the UK government's budget-slashing mania, see  "British Fashion Victims" by American economist Paul Krugman.

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