New police tactics: Undercover cops active and aggressive

We saw a change in police tactics for the Nov 9 student demo in central London. Apart from the tightly regulated route of the march (each sidestreet was blocked by a small army of well defended barriers) police had introduced a new and potentially dangerous element into the policing of the demonstration – the extensive and transparent use of undercover police.

Previously police would simply deploy FIT [see here] at strategic points on the edges of the demo to identify “potential troublemakers” who if arrested would be by uniform cops away from the main march.
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Where do we go from here?

Were the Nov. 9th protests a game changer as we suggested they could be in a previous post? The answer is yes but certainly not in the way that we were hoping events would turn out! The hoped for meeting up of the sparks and students to unite as one protest was shafted by what can best be described as ‘total policing’ tactics from the Met aimed at intimidating and frustrating protesters every step of the way.
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#Nov9 Arrest of protester by undercover police

After about one minute in several undercover police (all dressed as protesters) violently drag a person from the demonstration through police lines. One undercover cop desperately shows his ID to prove their credentials, others violent push photographers aside.

If any of the photographers present who took photos of the undercover police could pass them onto it would be much appreciated

November 9th Demonstration

Today sees another demonstration against cuts and the rising tuition fees. Students from over the UK rose early, taking coaches to make it to ULU for the start of the march.  The “sparks protest” organised by electricians started two hours before the march from ULU and had over 500 participants. March from ULU started 40 minutes behind schedule at 12:40pm.
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a few words on november 9 student protest

Police set up an uber-kettle for the students in london today, about 4 miles long and one street wide, allowing them to walk from one end of it to the other.

as i arrived a bit late, and was trying to scope out the later route before finally finding a vantage point to get some pics of the march, i’ll leave it to others who were more involved to make more detailed reports, but above are a few pics and below some observations.
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N9: The Bigger Picture

Slowly but surely we are getting there. Quietly, but definitively, the political topography in London is undergoing changes that could play a significant role in making the difference between winning and losing the anti-austerity struggle in the long haul. For instance, people spoke about a social explosion, and we got the August riots; people spoke about a diversification of tactics, that we need something new, and we got the Occupy movement; people spoke about student-worker solidarity to be manifested in real action and we have got November 9.
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Students to Sparks: Join Us! – appeal from Solidarity Federation

We’ve seen cuts to education, leading to the destruction of EMA, tripled uni fees, mass redundancies and course closures. We’re now witnessing – if we fail to stand up and beat it – the virtual privatisation of education. But the government’s austerity measures are not just attacking education – pensioners, the unemployed, workers in all industries in both public and private sector are all facing massive cuts – leaving no-one spared!
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NCAFC statement on police violence threats

The National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts condemns the threats of the Metropolitan Police that rubber bullets may be deployed against student protesters on the November 9th national demonstration

The statements, released at a press conference today, were not co-ordinated with us as the organisers of the demonstration – and are part of a deeply cynical attempt to pre-criminalise protest. It is irresponsible for the police to use press conferences to ramp up the fear of violence – which in any case has in the past come overwhelmingly from themselves – thereby increasing the likelihood of it taking place.
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