- Capitalism and Alternatives -

what was achieved and if anything should of or been done differently.

Posted by: Chris on June 21, 1999 at 18:19:43:

In Reply to: about the money posted by Gee on June 21, 1999 at 14:26:21:

: : McSpotlight: Gee, I don't know where you got the idea that people were paid to attend.

: http://www.sunday-times.co.uk/news/pages/sti/99/06/20/stinweins02002.html?999

: 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!

I also went on the protest and some how missed out on being given my share of the money being paid for people to attend. Perhaps I could get some information about how I can get it. Or, maybe it is just plain lies by a paper that cannot or will not accept and report that people will take to the streets and protest outside of the safe party politics of capitalist 'democracy'. This lie was used after the poll tax Trafalgar Square riot in the Daily Mail, claiming that Class War toured the pubs offering money to people to take part in the violence (as if Class War could afford to do this or needed to do this.)

: : 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.

I felt the mood was still very good after this incident with most attacks on the police being fairly ritualistic, rather than motivated out of agression. Even the worst violence I saw (outside the Liffe building) was focused on the police as a means of getting them away from the crowd rather than the frenzy that some papers reported.

As for your claim that police horse should be used, they were used on the day after the second person had been run over and was being freed by the fire brigade. They tried riding through the crowd (and nearly trampled me) and had the effect of attracting more missiles. One paper reports that a policeman was later dragged from his horse and kicked by the crowd. I don't know if this was true or not, but considering the way the police were reacting and the feeling of the crowd towards the police, it would not surprise me if it was true. Police horses are used for crowd 'control' in order to intimidate people.

: : 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.

I feel that the people who did fight the police should be given as much support as possible, due to the fact that the police (in full riot gear) were aiming to intimidate and attack a carnival in order to protect the money markets. But that is a personal feeling and I accept, but don't agree with, the reasons that some people condem such actions. However what I can't accept is the claim that we should condemn attacks on property. These did not in fact hurt or injure any one, but were attacks on the symbols of capitalism (what we were, after all opposing.) By the end of the evening, I felt that such acts were more to show defiance and how we controlled the streets than being aggressive maens of venting frustation. When Fleet Street McDonalds had its windows broken most of the crowd cheered, but they did not then move forwards to beat the three policemen who were standing nearby.

: : 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.

No matter how the protest went, it would of been condemned, however it was effective in that it stopped the city for a day and empowering to every one who was involved and every one who hates this money based world but see no way of resisting it. (sun bathing in the road near the stock exchange was probably the bit that made me think of how a new world can be built)

Finally, the media do normally attempt to blame groups such as Class War for hijacking peaceful events in order to have a convenient scape goat and make every thing seem not as bad. Unfortunately although some Class War (and other 'spikey' anarchist groups) had individual members present they gave out no leaflets, did not try to paper sell or carry banners and so the media did not have the normal scapegoats and had to blame the majority of the crowd protraying tham as animals to the readership in order not to focus on what the protest was trying to achieve and what it actually achieved. Yet even while doing this, there were claims that some of the crowd were 'legitimate protesters' from Greenpeace and Jubilee 2000 who had some how got cought up with rentamob (conveniently not mentioning where you can rent these mobs from).

I feel the big question that should be asked is what was achieved and if anything should of or been done differently.

McSpotlight: Oh, were you sunbathing on Queen St. as well? Small world ...*g*

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