I was near the river this afternoon, at Bankside. That’s when I heard that traffic was all snarled up due to the student demo. I didn’t think too much about it.
On the way home, on foot, I saw a number of emergency vehicles, blue lights flashing, but that’s not unusual.
The helicopters were up, but that’s not unusual either when there’s a demo. We are routinely surveilled in London.
Cat was angling for some lap attention so I took the opportunity to sit down and watch Channel 4 News.
Scenes of determined violence around Parliament Square were juxtaposed surreally with the quiet calm of Central Lobby in the Palace of Westminster. I’ve not seen anything like this since the poll tax riots.
I have sympathies with the students’ protest. I was one of those who would not have been able to contemplate a university education had the current proposals been in force. I admire their determination to demonstrate where most of us grumble about the cuts, but offer no resistance. I like the idea of a peaceful sit-in at the National Gallery. Headline grabbing without the bloodshed.
This aggression and violence on streets a couple of miles from my home appalls me. It reminds me of the infiltration by Militant into so many protests of the past. Infiltration that ignored the legitimate grievances in a coldly parasitic exploitation of massed protest.
The helicopters I can see and hear from my windows now have a much more sinister significance for me.