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.

as the marchers flowed under the bridge i’d occupied, i saw lines of riot police and horses at the front of the march, another dozen police horses alongside the samba band, and a lot of riot police walking alongside the small balc bloc contingent. other riot cops with shields ran past, lining up in front of glass-fronted buildings that hadn’t been boarded up, although a lot of the route had been defended beforehand.

my impression of the day is that police basically kettled the march for its entire route, with absolute cordons at every road junction and side exit. my own attempts to get on to the route well ahead of the march in the st paul’s area came up against the met’s new slogan “total policing”, as i was told at numerous cordons that if i wanted to join the march i’d have to do so at the back. i spoke to others who reported that they weren’t allowed onto the march route as they “weren’t carrying banners”.

meanwhile, from those on the march i heard reports that there was no exit along the entire route, even for those wishing to leave.

the only significant breakaway seemed to have been at trafalgar square, but the short occupation and a couple of dozen tents were quickly removed with a number of arrests.

once at moorgate, the police appeared to split the marchers into groups, allowing some to continue north up moorgate, while around a thousand were cordoned separately for a while at the south end by london wall.

there too, the anti-camping clampdown was in force, with a small placard-bonfire quickly extinguished and removed by police.

many of the students themselves seemed to disappear quickly into the night, with a few visitng the finsbury square occupation, which although not receiving the press attention of st paul’s is still going strong after a couple of weeks.

Email Contact email: rikkiindymedia(At)gmail[dot]com

Original: http://london.indymedia.org/articles/10936

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