Paul Flewers hatchet.job at virgin.net
Mon Apr 23 04:25:16 MDT 2001

Jared wrote: < Nothing they could do against 75 people?  Please.  Half the
Canadian Army is in Quebec. Of course there was something they could do, but
they needed media footage of rioting anarchists, so why not give these  75 a
chance to provide shots for the media?  In Seattle, the cops arrested the
nonviolent protesters viciously, but not the window breakers. These they
herded from place to place, providing priceless the network cameras with
priceless photo ops. >

The manipulation of the more violent demonstrators is nothing unusual. In
London last year, there was a trap into which these people fell. Although a
demonstration was called for Parliament Square (outside the British
parliament building) which was bound to attract those who had made a bit of
a mess of London's business quarter a few months before, the authorities
made no effort to surround the nearby Cenotaph war memorial (of an almost
sacred nature in British mythology) and the statue of Winston Churchill
(likewise) with wooden hoardings. The fountains in Trafalgar Square are
fenced off during New Year celebrations to prevent drunken revellers from
falling in, and could have easily been erected around these artifacts. As it
happened, both were covered in spray-paint. Also, considering that
MacDonalds burger shops are fairly obvious targets, the police made no
effort to surround one next to the square, nor, as is usual practice during
potentially violent demonstrations, call on the shop to close for the

As one might expect, the papers were full of reports of the MacDonalds being
wrecked and 'precious' statues being sprayed. Whilst I'm not concerned about
the fate of the stone and bronze artifacts of British imperialism and foul
burger bars, the overall effect was to enable the press to portray all May
Day demonstrators as mindless yobbos.

This year, the press has been full of dire warnings about anarchists being
trained for violence in US training camps, and the cops have busted various
anarchist planning meetings. Britain is being geared up for a major punch-up
in London on 1 May, the press build-up being organised in order that public
opinion will support the massive police repression that will take place
against any demonstrator, violent or otherwise.

One can see how small-scale violence by a few dozen anarchists can play into
the hands of the cops, and can be manipulated by the authorities, in order
to discredit the anti-capitalist movement as a whole.

Paul F

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