Saturday 11 December 2010
War & Peace
Don’t Call Me Dave has received an e-mail suggesting that his support for the students in their campaign against the increase in tuition fees is support for the violence which has accompanied the demonstrations. Such a suggestion is completely unfounded. DCMD does not condone violence in any shape or form and has written previously to that effect.
It was deeply depressing to see pictures of Charlie Gilmour climbing the Cenotaph and the Royal car being attacked. Such scenes only serve to demonise all students, notwithstanding that the majority were intent only on peaceful protest. Thanks to the actions of a few mindless idiots, the Government now occupies the moral high ground in the eyes of many of the public.
Under the last Labour Government, the rules relating to demonstrations were drastically altered to the detriment of peaceful protestors and recent events are likely to see them tightened further.
Organisers need to plan better in future to minimise the likelihood of trouble makers hijacking demonstrations for their own nefarious aims. Likewise, the Police need to develop better tactics so that miscreants can be swiftly identified and removed from the scene without affecting peaceful demonstrators and innocent bystanders. The process of containment known as kettling herds and confines the innocent and guilty together with no means of escape. Such a tactic causes panic and increases the risk of innocent people being hurt.
This country has a proud history of peaceful protest and the Police are, more often than not, able to control proceedings without interfering with the demonstrators’ rights. That a small minority break the law is not a reason to curb the rights of the majority. The Police simply have to improve their intelligence and tactics. It is not in anyone’s interest if the younger generation grows up resenting the Police instead of respecting and trusting them.