State Deploys ‘Divide & Conquer’ Tactics on 09 NovTagged as: cuts demo2011 music nov9 occupylondon occupylsx repression solidarity workers_struggles
Dateline: Central London, UK, 11:00-17:00, Wednesday 09 November 2011 – Uncowed by the viscious and violent attacks by police on the November and December 2010 student demonstrations, on Wednesday thousands of students, young people, education workers and their supporters marched on the City of London. Meanwhile, electrician building site workers, in dispute with their employers and demonstrating at the Blackfriars construction site, were being kettled by hundreds of body-armoured cops. As the British state tried to use its monopoly on street violence to keep the student march and worker demonstration separated, I delivered a solidarity message from the students to the sparks over the heads of the kettling cops. The filth also forced the student march away from the OccupyLSX St Paul’s camp, where a wonderful live music gig was happening.
Picture Prefixes Key:
OTO – OccupyLSX Teach-Out, Russell Square, London WC1B
SMD – Student March & Demonstration, ULU Malet Street WC1E 7HY to The Strand WC2R 0QN
EBD – Electricians Blackfriars Demonstration, Blackfriars station construction site, Queen Victoria Street EC4V 4DY
OLM – OccupyLSX Live Music gig, St Paul’s encampment, EC4M 8AD
NB: Click on any photo to enlarge it into a full-resolution version
COPS IMPOSE ‘DIVIDE & CONQUER’ KETTLING
Since the tumultuous events of May 1968 in France, every capitalist state has run scared of resistance to its rule uniting students and workers in a common struggle for a better world. On 09 Nov 11 there were FOUR forms of struggle taking to the streets of London:
1. Students and Higher Education Workers, resisting the attacks on tertiary education by the Con-Dem government
—» Nov9 website and National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts website
2. Electricians, defending their wages and working conditions against attacks by corporate construction capitalists
—» Electricians Against The World blog
3. Taxi Drivers, organised in the RMT union, resisting the attacks on their trade by Transport for London bosses
—» RMT press release, 07 Nov 11
4. Occupiers, organised in the OccupyLSX camps, building a direct democracy replacement for broken Parliamentary democracy
—» Occupy London website
And as you can read in the reports here at Indymedia London (see our Students Electricians and Cabbies take the streets feature article, and those to which it links), and see in the pictures posted here, the bosses’ state deployed over 4,000 cops with body-armour and long batons (with riot shields and rubber bullets in reserve) to try to ensure their ‘Divide & Conquer’ imperialist tactics would rule the day. As a single mobile photojournalist on a bike, breaking out of the ‘mobile kettle’ surrounding the student march was tricky enough; delivering solidarity greetings from students to sparks had to be done over the heads of kettling cops; and only campers and office workers got to enjoy the wonderful OccupyLSX live music gig organised by Joan Crump at the St Paul’s encampment.
Many thanks to Joan, and to Tony, Peggy, Leon, Steve, Billy and our Chumbawamba comrades for a magnificent and moving gig, in solidarity with the #OccupyTogether movement – best I’ve been to in years!
COPS BREECH ‘FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY’ HUMAN RIGHT
“Somewhere in Newgate Street, our herders finally lost it and suddenly very impatient shouts of “DISPERSE! DISPERSE!” started coming from all directions. People were incredulous, because there was nowhere to disperse and we were all trying to keep up with the speedy pace of march imposed by the police.
When we reached the General Demolition sign in Holborn Viaduct, there was a small opening in the Snow Hill road blockade and the quickest managed to leave the cordon through there. On seeing that, a livid sweaty commander ran towards it shouting “CONTAINMENT!” and “YOU ARE ALL ARRESTED!”. At first it seemed a joke. Nobody had any idea what law they were meant to have broken.
Turned out the Section 12 was in force, even though the officer asked couldn't quite explain what that meant. He did agree that there had been no threat of serious public disorder. The contained students, about 20 unlucky ones, were only conspicuous because of being kettled by ridiculous numbers of police.”
~ ‘Obstruction’, 11 Nov 11 [source]
AN ELECTRICIAN’S POINT OF VIEW
“What made us really angry was when we compared the existing and new agreements: the new agreement is about putting every single term in the employers’ favour and wording it so loosely that it can be interpreted in many different ways, none of which benefit us. We were told if we didn’t sign we might lose our jobs so we started talking to our union, Unite, and came to the conclusion the only way forward was to walk off jobs and hold protests.
They are still saying sign or be sacked. We have no other option. It’s not just our jobs and futures on the line – it’s also the young people who come out of college wanting to be an electrician or a plumber and won’t be able to because these rogue employers are trying to wipe out such professions.”
~ 'JIB Electrician', 05 Oct 11 [source]
THE CABBIES POINT OF VIEW
“From pedicabs to the abuse of ranks by minicabs and the whole fiasco of the Olympics lanes, the licensed taxi trade in London is under an unprecedented attack and that’s why RMT members in the industry are working for maximum unity to defend jobs, safety and the quality of service to the public. RMT will ensure that the future of the taxi trade in London is a major political issue in the run up to next year’s Mayoral election and Wednesday’s action will kick start that political campaign.”
~ Bob Crow, RMT General Secretary, 07 Nov 11 [source]
TURNING THE TABLES ON THE STATE
On Wed 09 Nov 11, we made our voices heard, but the mainstream media did its best to ignore us, and completely turned a blind eye to the human rights abuses being perpetrated by a massive armed gang, fully tooled up for violence – because that uniformed gang is bought and paid for by the boss class’s state. Our fundamental human rights to Freedom of Assembly and Freedom of Movement were trampled roughshod into the ground under the hooves of cop cavalry and the steel-toecapped boots of the filth on foot. Only freedom-loving citizen reporter news outlets like Indymedia London reported an accurate portrait of the state repression meted out on the streets of the capital on Wed 09 Nov 11.
However, in under three weeks time, on Wed 30 Nov 11, around three million public sector workers will be out on strike, and that’s waaaay more than the cops can impose “CONTAINMENT!” on – so let’s co-create tactics that turn the tables on state repression, take to the streets, and fully control our own political protest actions, such that we can say in all truthfulness...
“THE STREETS ARE OURS!”
» video, 3:42, by The King Blues – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qFr6Y_mpeg
» Countdown for N30 strikes
When three million UK public sector workers go on strike on Wednesday 30 November 2011, they do so with mass popular support: 77.2% answered YES to the question “Are public sector pension scheme members justified in going on strike?” – see ‘N30 STRIKE – Mass Popular Support’ above and at theguardian website. That’s the day to give the boss class and their lackeys in all three major political parties a severe bloody nose – see you on the streets!
N30 – STRIKE NOW FOR TOMORROW
» Website – http://www.n30strike.org
» Facebook Community – http://www.facebook.com/n30strike
» Facebook Event – http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=201462899919421
» Twitter – http://twitter.com/N30Strike
• Kingston and Surrey Trade Unionists: Pre-Strike Rally
» Facebook Event – http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=298955263455795
• SUPPORT THE N30 STRIKE: BRING SUPPLIES TO THE PICKETS!
» Facebook Event – http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=287171227972597
As you’ll see from the links below, organising mass public street actions is pretty alien to most British trade unions, so if you’re in a TU, it may need to be a rank & file DIY effort on N30. But don’t let the union bosses’ inability to organise a piss up in a brewery hold you back – your union is you and your workmates taking action together to further your collective interests; it is NOT TU officials or the constraints with which will they try to limit your actions.
» N30 at Unite the Union
» N30 at the Public and Commercial Services Union
» N30 at Unison
» N30 at the National Union of Teachers
» N30 at the National Association of Head Teachers
» N30 at the University and College Union
» N30 at the Fire Brigades Union
Up the Revolution,
Tim Dalinian Jones
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