Panic on the Streets of London

Yesterday 10,000 people (mostly young college students) came to Parliament to peacefully protest the motion to raise tuition fees as much as 300%. I am an American. My ancestry is British, Irish, and Native American. Let me state that I do not have any place judging anyone or anyone else’s government. I do feel that many in the US are ill informed of the events that transpired yesterday because of lack of available information. I hope to rectify that by offering my observations and my discussions with people who live there and watched it unfold. These people feel betrayed by their poilitical parties that swore to protect their children’s right to higher education. The US has a checks and balances system to aid in the prevention of ill advised and rapid decisions (Senate and the House). My understanding is that Parliament normally investigates all avenues before comitting to such a massive decision and rushing forward with it. There was little investigation, a vote was rushed. The motion passed by only a marginal amount of votes…21. LibDem party members who swore to protect the educational rights of the youth opted to not vote at all…25 of them. This will cause all of the future youth to acquire as much as $158,000 worth of debt while taxpayers continue to pay for college and 80%  worth of budget cuts are happening…hence the outrage.

CNN barely covered any of the protest in London which continued on into the early morning hours, London time. The last thing they mentioned was Prince Charles’ car. It is my understanding only a few people out of 10,000 were responsible for the cracked car window.

Geoff Dexter Photos  of the Protest  <— Wonderful pictures of the events that transpired yesterday.

A progressive video of the events that transpired from the ground level and through the eyes of the students.

The Guardian UK  <— The software would not allow me to embed this video, but please watch it.

With all of this said, here are my thoughts…as they are. Violence, in my opinion, is never an answer to anything. Only a few out of 10,000 people rioted. There were sticks, twigs, flares and firecrackers in the hands of protesters. It is my understanding that the rioting occured only after police commenced with beating college youth (who were unarmed) and nearly trampling them with horses.

In this video, at appx. 1:27, a policeman hits an unarmed student while his hands are up in surrender…This video made me cry…

For Those Who Were “Kettled”  <— A site for people in the UK who are seeking legal action for the brutality they faced.

In the US we have marches and protests that always go unheard…legislation never changes for us unless we are persistent FOR YEARS AND YEARS. We are a MASSIVE nation. The UK is tiny compared to us. The UK public has been successful in quickly repealing laws including taxes through public pressure and protests. Community Charge  Their voices are heard. I don’t recall any recent US protests that have been that successful.

Last Thoughts:

I do not live in the UK. I have no dogs in this fight. This legislation will in no way affect me in any form or fashion. What I do have…is a heart. I’m tired of news that covers snow in France, sports teams, and how to shop for Christmas when things like this are happening. Yes, CNN Prince Charles’ car was vandalised with a minimal amount of damage. I promise you, His Royal Highness can afford the repairs. No one should’ve touched his car. I understand that. However, out of ALL of this…The unity of 10,000 people standing for something they believe to be right… the police brutality … the outrage of the masses…”Prince Charles’ car”  is what we take away from it? It makes me ill.  I’m sure many will disagree with me and say that sticks, twigs, flares and firecrackers are weapons. I guarantee that if you could choose to get hit with a night stick/policeman’s baton or a twig…you’d pick a twig.

The irony of all of this is that I saw beauty in the UK yesterday. It was inspiring…it moved me. If my news networks can only discuss “Prince Charles’ car”, I’m ashamed of you.

As to my UK friends, If I am in ANY WAY incorrect, PLEASE let me know and I will correct any misinformation. My heart goes out to you and your youth. Stay Strong! I’m proud of you. 🙂


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Darnack71
    Dec 11, 2010 @ 02:56:13

    A very informed report. As non-biased as it could be while still voicing your opinion. Very nicely done.


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