Protesters clash with police on march against austerity

In this article, Mike discusses recent clashes with the police during the ‘Million Mask’ March in London and the possibility that the police themselves may have been responsible for them with attacks on peaceful protesters. Sadly, this wouldn’t surprise me if it were true. One of my cousins and her friends went on the mass demonstrations against the Poll Tax in the final years of Maggie Thatcher’s rule. According to my aunt, she saw the police pulling protesters out of the crowd and beating them. She herself was grabbed by the police, but fortunately her male friends were able to pull her back before she could be separated from them and beaten.
Mike’s article also discusses the way the BBC had not, at the time of posting, covered the protests although one of the commenters states that it has now. Mike cites research by Cardiff University to show that the Beeb has a general Right-wing bias. In the 1980s and 1990s, the media monitoring unit at Glasgow University similarly came to the conclusion that the BBC had a distinct Right-wing bias. The radical, parapolitical magazine, Lobster, has also published several pieces discussing the Beeb’s bias. They concluded that on issues such as racism, immigration and EU membership, the Beeb was generally left-wing. When it came to economic and welfare issues, they favoured privatisation, deregulation, cuts to public spending and the curtailment of welfare benefits. My guess is that this bias comes from the Beeb’s position as the state broadcaster. However oppositional individual broadcasters, producers and directors may be within the organisation, the organisation itself sees itself as a department of state and the official voice of the responsible governing class in politics and business. It therefore reflects the views of the political and commercial establishment, and so favours Right-wing economic policies as part of that perceived orthodoxy. This attitude also shapes the Beeb’s apparent anti-racism. Before the liberalising climate of the 1960s, there was a list of subjects and expressions that were forbidden by the BBC. Comedians could not, for example, include blasphemy, ridicule the monarchy, or make jokes about disability, race or ‘effeminacy in men’. Similarly, offensive racial epithets, such as ‘Chinks’ for Chinese people, could also not be used. My guess is that these restrictions were formulated as part of a general diplomatic policy towards the wider world. Britain was then a major imperial power, and I think the purpose of these restrictions was to foster good relations with the other nations around the world, and avoid provoking unnecessary hostility and unrest amongst the Empire’s subject peoples. I think the policy has more or less survived, despite considerable alterations. It has now been influenced by the radical, counter-cultural protests of the 1960s and ’80s, but really has its origins in the need for diplomatic language and attitudes in governing the Empire.

Mike Sivier's blog

Violence marred the Million Mask March in London – with the clashes apparently started by British police.

But you should not expect to see the spectacle reported on the news as the BBC and other right-wing media seem to have put their heads in the (proverbial) sand and, once again, failed to report anything that might indicate the British people are not happy with their government.

Thousands of people took to the streets, many wearing what is now seen as the symbol of protest against austerity cuts imposed by the rich – the Guy Fawkes mask made famous by the graphic novel ‘V for Vendetta’.

Comedian Russell Brand, who has called for non-violent revolution, was spotted at the London protest.

Inevitably, someone had to spoil it and it seems the police were the aggressors.

According to the Huffington Post, an eyewitness said: “They [the police] started shouting move back, move…

View original post 139 more words

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