Hide And Seek at student demo: cops keep fitTagged as: anticuts cuts dayx dayx2 demo2010 ukcuts ukuncut
Neighbourhoods: south_bank trafalgar_square westminster
Published by group: Cuts Reporting
After the Lewisham Council meeting was disrupted the previous night [video 1, 2; article 1, 2] with mainstream reporting 4 arrests, and Top Shop being blockaded, there was a call for the 2nd day of action, or DayX2, against the cuts today. A Kettle Carnival is announced for noon at Trafalgar Square, as well as a Black Triangle action against Disability Cuts at South Bank at 12:30, followed by a march by the Women Against the Cuts starting at the treasury at 5pm.
Bust cards were available online and the legal team could be reached all day at 07946541511.
The students have been roaming central London in dynamic marches that have successfully prevented them from being kettled.
People started gathering in Trafalgar Square and at noon there were about 600 people. Before the square got too crowded, the people started moving into Whitehall. Within ten minutes of marching the police blocked the demonstration, which moved towards St. James's Park. At quarter past noon the march was about 1500-strong. When the march reached the backside of Downing Street it had about 2000 people, overlooked by what seemed masses of riot police.
The demonstration turned partly into Mathew Parker Street and past St. James's Park Station, walking faster than usual, with police catching up and running. Some people who remained in the park were kettled there.
At 12.40pm there was another demonstration heading north from Vauxhall Bridge, about 300 metres long. This was overlooked by a helicopter above and the Forward Intelligence Team, FIT, in full riot gear.
At 12.45, back in Trafalgar Square, the police kettled a group of 100 on the corner of Little George Street. At the same time the march that had started in Trafalgar Square had reached Victoria Street with at least 2000 people, still walking fast. The head of this march passed Victoria Street and reached the back of Buckingham Palace Park, next arriving at Hide Park Corner, with the end still at Victoria.
At one o'clock the kettle at Trafalgar Square was dissolved and most people headed down Little George Street, while the march swarming Hyde Park Corner started to move down Piccadilly. The traffic was chaotic and people just walked everywhere between cars. There was a massive amount of riot police in Picadilly, some running along.
At 1.20pm thousands of students were also marching on The Strand. Meanwhile a smoke bomb was fired in the main march, now next to Picadilly Circus, and there were also reports of police beating people up in a back street. The demonstration did a "100m sprint", passing the line of police, who by now had their helmets on, and moving on Regent Street towards Oxford Circus. Some snowballs fell on the riot police and these, who were at least 300-strong, charged from the sides sometimes, but were unable to stop the march. By 1.40pm the march had passed Shaftesbury Avenue and some protesters kettled a few of the police, although these escaped easily while there were shouts of "revolution" and fireworks. At about 2pm this demonstration passed Fleet Street and the police tried to half it at The Strand but people broke through. At this point the demonstration was about 4000-strong, reaching the north of St. Paul's on Kind Edward's Street at about 2.20pm, while the march near Barbican turned towards Trafalgar Square.
At 2.30pm this demonstration walked down Holborn High Street, towards the west, with very few police now. The first 1000 people reached Trafalgar Square at about 2.40pm. In a few minutes the demonstration had been blocked by police both on the north (Charing Cross Road and Duncannon Street) and the south of Trafalgar Square. About 2000 people danced to hip hop while kettled. Some small groups walked to the police line at Charing Cross but were not let through.
At 2.40pm the police opened the cordon on The Strand, with just individuals not in groups being let out. Police forced a kettled group to march from Buckingham Palace to Trafalgar Square. Speeches were given in the square amidst heavy police presence.
At about 3pm there was a group on Victoria Embankment being allowed to march although it appeared that police were trying to kettle people. Charing Cross Street was blocked with vans and the traffic was diverted, same as on Duncannon Street, these with police lines that allowed individuals through. In the West End, groups were fragmented and a kettle was reported at Bank. There was also a march reported in Southbank.
At about 3.30pm people were trying to push through police lines in Trafalgar Square, where batons were used and there were also police on horse back. People were individually being let out via The Strand initially and by 4pm between two and three hundred people were allowed to leave the square through Duncannon Street and The Strand, but not Charing Cross. At least 200 young people were left in the kettle.
At 4.20, some protestors got angrier at the kettling, some firecrackers went off in the crowd, the police moved people back to the middle of the square and, using loudhailers, advised people to leave via Duncannon Street or The Strand. It was already 5.05pm when people were still leaving the square but some decided to stick around; others continued to march down The Strand once out of the cordon. At 5.15 a group of 1-200 people ran down Whitehall, with a line of police encircling them. Police were preventing people (namely students) from going directly down Whitehall but by half past five they were pretty much circumvented by going down side streets and other tactics.
There was also a demonstration of Women Against The Cuts that saw about 100 women tightly packed outside the treasury, with hardly any cops or students present.
At around 6.30pm there were about a hundred or more protesters on the South East corner of Trafalgar Square completely kettled by police and one arrest was made. Police on horses made their appearance again at about 7pm and things got uglier. The police kettle went stronger and at 7.15 they just pulled a girl out from the crowd by her neck and arrested her. They then threatened to arrest the 100 to 200 people there, most of them 15 and younger. Snatch squads by police came into the kettle to pick up and arrest people that had been followed throghout the day.
At 8.30pm students were queing to get out of the kettle in Trafalgar Square. As the kettle was being emptied, about 100 people were arrested out of it. There were reports of de-arrests and people being released by police after being forced to hand over their details. Some who fell for that remained detained after giving their details on camera to FIT team.
Police say there were 153 arrests today in London.
videos from today: