I was speaking to a friend recently about last Saturday’s march. She may not have known precisely what the marchers were marching for – despite being a very able professional - beyond it being the unions “anticuts”. She may not have known how large it was as a demonstration, maybe second only to the Iraq one in size.
She may, also, not have heard of the Robin Hood Tax: she may not know there is NO tax on international finance deals despite these wrecking the global economy in 2008. Despite being really proud to pay taxes herself, she may not know that those on £150,000 and over have not paid their 50% tax for a year, or of the 13,000 jobs to be lost at HMRC, nor that most of this money won’t be recovered. But she certainly knew about the violence, the attacks on property and the thugs.
But there’s lies in all this. From the highest levels. And they will be repeated ad nauseam by people who should know better – or who choose not to. But we ALL should know better because we’re all targets of current government policies and hyping violence at a demo really aimed at them is their way out of having to answer for their own social violence.
In this Newsnight report, according to the nice female police Asst. Commissioner, there were arrests at this demo beating a record of 5 years for a public order event. She talks about the fear of customers as Fortnum & Mason was invaded by over 100 protesters from the group UKuncut.
The trouble is – there wasn’t any trouble!
The Guardian has video of a nice female police inspector, on the scene, saying they were “non-violent” and “sensible” (as confirmed by other independent reports like Green Party Adam Ramsay or this 15 year old girl’s account, and other video). The inspector even says on camera “that’s why people were kept in here” implying the police were dealing with actual violence outside and so prevented peaceful demonstrators leaving the shop!
Yet there were 149 charged with 138 arrested at F&M. - Just watch these charges disappear when it gets to court in a few months time! This is purely for headlines now! It’s propaganda. This was a peaceful sit-in that not even the shop has protested, nor were customers harassed or even prevented from shopping!
Only a few days ago MPs voted to support the No Fly Zone over Libya. Supposedly to defend the rebels there, only 13 of the 670 MPs voted against this. Really it was a rubber-stamping of the decision already taken by Cameron to back it. This despite polls showing the public very ambivalent about getting involved in Libya.
But where’s the No Fly Zone over Gaza? There isn’t one. And there never will be one while Israel remains backed by America – no matter how many Palestinians suffer or die – or rebel.
Choosing to back the banks, choosing to cut public jobs, welfare, DLA, EMA, housing benefit, youth organisations, day care centres, essentially protects the rich and the powerful who will become richer and more powerful through these policies. They will get the money that is being “saved” – not some deficit balance!
The estimated total of one million jobs beginning to be lost by these policies (500,000 public sector jobs and another 500,000 estimated to be lost from knock-on effects) will have effects to last for years – not a few days of clearing up mess or replacing windows.
We must be aware of violence in all its forms – not just what the media, or the powerful who control them, choose to show us.
Or else we are the manipulated ones merely bowing to thought control in a democratic society.