I was at brunch yesterday with a group comprised mostly of friends, and one of them was a retired banker. We talked about the half-million people who showed up for the labor and UKUncut march, and the banker tsk-tsked that it was a shame “some people” had to be violent and attack businesses.
I ventured a comment that things were so bad, nothing would change until the powers that be were actually scared. One of my friends smiled and said, “I have no problem with that.”
When corporations indiscriminately attack the workers, workers will defend themselves. Eventually we’ll even see it here, in the good old U.S. of A.
Earlier that morning, the feeder marches, all condemned as unauthorised by the TUC made their way largely unhindered to greet the masses gathered at Embankment. A half-hearted attempt by cops to put a line across Westminster bridge in front of the Radical Workers block that had left from Kennington Park was shrugged aside.
The anarchist block split from the main march past Embankment Station, as a voice over a megaphone beckoned marchers to come with them for a sight-seeing tour around London. The break off bloc poured past Trafalgar Square, past the front of the TUC demo where hundreds of disenchanted activists decided to sack off the A to B marching exercise and join the black bloc. By the time the bloc had made its way through Covent Garden to Oxford Street it numbered several thousand.
Trudging along with the masses, other anarchists filtered through the crowd to UK Uncut’s pre-arranged meet up on Oxford St at 2pm. UK Uncut had called for occupations of corporate tax dodgers. The police tactic for the day was clearly the protection of known UK Uncut targets, with lines of police in front of branches of Boots, Vodaphone and Topshop. The cops even seemed willing to protect Topshop at the expense of more traditional anti-capitalist targets, with unfortified McDonalds and Starbucks getting done over anyway, showing that this was far from a single issue demo.
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