: : McSpotlight: Gee, I don't know where you got the idea that people were paid to attend.
Ah, yes, another paragon of truth, as owned by that worthy man Mr. Murdoch.
Having been informed on much of the planning of J18 from August last year, I can confirm that no money was paid to anyone to attend.
If that seems unconvincing, consider this; how on Earth would unpaid activist groups like RTS and PGA and London Greenpeace and Critical Mass have the funds to pay people?
After all, printing the Evading Standards newspaper took enough money as is; the various groups involved were certainly not desperate enough to need to pay people to attend.
: Before you say about the Times being a torygraph or something - yes they are biased, if they just lie outright then its not true, but I take media conspiracy theories with a pinch of salt - even my own media conspiracy theories!
They lied outright. Take it from me.
In fact, that Sunday Times article is (to put it mildly), a farrago of lies; there were no groups attending with "a track record of extreme violence".
J18 and RTS are two entirely seperate groups; RTS were the largest single group in J18, but many other non-violent groups were involved; London Greenpeace (who organized the original Stop the City demos in the 1980s), Critical Mass (who do mobile roadblocks on the second Friday of every month in London) and Peoples' Global Action (against multinational corporations). There is no direct link with the M11 protest, except maybe some common ideas and people in common. RTS is not violent; nor has it ever been. That Sunday Times article is just plain wrong; oh, and the first RTS action as such was in Camden in 1993 IIRC; predating the M11 protest.
: : Furthermore; I saw absolutely no violence until after the police had run someone over; as I've said already; the crowd's mood changed at that point. If it was an accident, it was a basic-level mistake on the police's part;
: I doubt even the British police would run people over to start a rumble, I also understand that the first to be hurt was a woman jumping on the roof of a police van. hmmm. And that after that it was vans trying to move when crowded. Silly them, should have used mounted police - much better, less likely to hurt folk.
They tried to send 3 riot vans through a crowd they obviously had no chance of getting through; even a fool could see that the crowd was just too thick for them to get through. Then they tried reversing so fast that people behind them had no time to get out of the way. As for Aoife O'Hanolan (the woman who was run over), think about it; if she was on the roof and the van had reversed under her, Newton's Second Law would have ensured that she fall in front of the vehicle; not behind it. The plain fact was that the police reversed over her because she couldn't get away in time.
Now, if it was a mistake, it's one that the police make remarkably frequently. Remember the Poll Tax riots?; they started in the same way; by a protestor being knocked down by the police. If the police aren't stupid, they know what effect running people down has. And they aren't stupid; they are actually very highly trained in crowd control.
It's not a mistake that should happen unless a) the police are doing it deliberately and/or b) the police think they can ride roughshod over anyone because they have the firepower to.
: : However, out of the people attending, there were a couple of hundred violent protestors at most;
: Oh, thats better then - its always the minority that spoils it for more peaceful protesters. I hope that there was no implicit moral tolerance of the violence though - the 'yeah but theyre capitalist windows so its ok' attitude.
Crowds are emotional things; when the rumour spread through the crowd that a woman had been run down by the police; the atmosphere towards the police was *hostile*; even I felt it, and I'm a pacifist. I don't agree with the violence; but I think the police were instrumental in the violence taking place.
In a crowd that size, there are always some Brew Crew ready for a rumble with the cops; if the policing is peaceful, these people are usually kept in check by their moderate friends. If even the moderates are angry with the police, Bad Stuff tends to happen.
: : Furthermore, do you really regard the Torygraph as a reliable source of information?
: No, but I do think it reflect the 'shoot yourself in the foot' public image such protests tend to accrue.
It takes near-superhuman patience to not respond to heavy-handed police behaviour; especially when peaceful people are injured.
(Try visiting this link for a slightly more truthful account than the Times'.