Britain protests. The dialogue of violence is born

My friend John Wight in Britain on the recent student protests.

Gone are the days when protest as a purely cathartic experience is enough. Informed by the recent history of the antiwar and other movements, which marched peacefully until blue in the face and whose reward was to be ignored by the establishment and eventually even the media.

John and I were active in the anti-Iraq war movement in Los Angeles and helped organize protests that drew tens, sometimes hundreds of thousands. He’s right. We had little or no political effect except to preaching to the converted. The establishment simply ignored us.

The Tories and Lib Dems were foolish to think they could take power, cobble together the equivalent of an economic thermonuclear device, announce its imminent deployment over the heads of the working class and the poor, and there would be no reaction.

The dialogue of violence has been born. It is they and the class they represent who conceived it.

Now they are witnessing its effects.

Wight is not inciting to violence but instead saying it now appears inevitable. Of course, it’s only called violence when it’s not the authorities doing it.

15 year old in Britain speaks the truth about the protests.

“They can’t stop us demonstrating, they can’t stop us fighting back, and how ever much they try to imprison us in the streets of London, those are our streets. We will always be there to demonstrate, we will always be there to fight. We are no longer that generation that doesn’t care, we are no longer that generation to sit back and take whatever they give us. We are now the generation at the heart of the fight back.”

Massive student protests in Britain

The Guardian has coverage auto-updated every minute.

Harry’s Place has extensive links to local protests, adding:

I don’t expect Nick Clegg ever expected to see himself depicted like this

Lenin’s Tomb

Latest news says 600 students have walked out of Leeds Uni, hundreds of pupils have walked out Allerton Grange secondary school in Leeds, 1000 students have set off from ULU, 100 have walked out of Dundee University, and over 100 have left Parkside school in Cambridge… just a few examples of the actions taking place already. I’m also glad to see that LSE students are on their way down to Trafalgar Square to join the rally. In addition, students at Birmingham University have just occupied. This is going to be big.

On the protests in Europe and the lack of them here

At this point, my best guess is that when push comes to shove in Europe, the left will actually win in most nations. They aren’t wimps, they are willing to fight, they are willing to clash hard with the cops and they are willing to directly attack the interests of the ruling class. Unlike in the US, where the people willing to risk violence are right wingers, in Europe more are on the left wing side.

Why is it that the US left from liberals to Marxists is so, well, timid lately? The fire from the anti Iraq War protests burned out a while back and not much has replaced it. Even the Marxists, notoriously agitators that they are, seem to be power snoozing rather than organizing. I genuinely don’t get why the US left is so enfeebled now. I mean, we got rampant theft and corruption by the elites, huge income disparities, a recession that threatens to be a depression, unemployment, massively obviously class differences – these are issues geared for the Left, which should be taking advantage of it and be in the ascendant. But instead, we’re mostly getting crickets from the Left. It makes no sense, but that’s what’s happening.

Student protest London Nov 11 2010. Indymedia UK

Student protests in Britain. Only the beginning?

Lenin’s Tomb on the storming of a Tory HQ yesterday by students and the occupation today of Manchster University.

Some will inevitably try to paint imaginative, militant action as ‘violent’. So let me say this about the ‘violence’ yesterday. I’m not frightened by the media’s hysteria, or browbeaten by the servile centre-left that wants to keep opposition as timid as possible. When people ask why occupy a building, how that helps the cause, the answer is very simple: we want to disrupt the processes of power, and we want them be frightened to do what they’re about to do to us. We want them to be afraid of us. They’re about to dismantle our social safety net, shred higher education for millions of working class people, cut teaching in schools, raise the cost of living for everyone except the rich, throw hundreds of thousands of people on the dole, creating many more redundancies as a byproduct, and cheating a whole generation of the education and employment that they need for a decent life. That’s war, and you can’t do that to people and expect them to be polite about it. More occupations, protests, and strikes, would only be the moderate and sensible response to this government’s social vandalism.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? A government intent on protecting the wealthy to the detriment to the rest of us is not democratic or fair, and needs to be opposed militantly. Sure, there are massive budget problems. But bludgeoning the lower and middle classes while helping the wealthy is both not the way to solve it and is guaranteed to lead to major social unrest. And in Britain, it already has.

I expect unrest like that here soon enough. But it probably won’t come from the traditional left, which is either asleep or narcotized by Obama. More likely, it will come from the heartland and be more along the lines of a populist uprising.