Come and See the Violence Inherent in the System
So, the partially banned 'shout at W' fest, the first major public protest under Boris Johnson, ends in what the news has been describing as 'scuffles'. In fact, from where I was standing (and occasionally, running - I'm currently tied together with surgical wire, so a free ride in a riot van seemed ill-advised) it appeared to be a police training exercise. After the police refusal to deliver a letter to Downing Street and the failed attempt to remove a tiny part of what was an enormous police roadblock stretching all the way down Whitehall, what followed was people wandering about looking annoyed, with Riot Police flagrantly pointing people out who would then unsurprisingly be arrested and/or bashed with truncheons. The utter disarray of this residual protest meant that police tactics could be tested out on a tiny, unarmed, disorganised and ineffectual group (albeit containing one wanker with a megaphone and a Ron Paul sticker belting out RATM and 'All You Need is Love' from an attached iPod - there's always a bit of tedious acting out) all of which could then be used on a rather wider scale in the future - as, after all, the incoming recession is unlikely to pass without at least some 'scuffling'. It's no surprise that the a very bellicose-sounding Old Bill are considering an 'investigation', presumably to garner the lessons for the next time, wherever that will be.