I saw the youtube footage of Jody McIntyre at the London protests.  There was a little shock, only because Jody was wheelchair-bound, the sight of able-bodied protesters being beaten in this country does not surprise me.  I saw the subsequent interview with Ben Brown on the BBC.  There was a little shock,  only because this was a direct interview, I have seen Ben Brown give his report at Westminster bridge and it was clear then that he is “establishment-embedded” to hear a mass media correspondent in this country get the facts wrong and have no intention of asking genuine questions does not surprise me.  In fact what little came out of the interview of any succour was the fact that Jody McIntyre far from being a cowed debilitated witness came across as strong and committed and made Brown look dogmatic and petulant.

At this point I have to stop and think though.  Why does it not surprise me?  It does not surprise me because it is now so commonplace, I have become anaesthetised to such behaviour, to such injustice.  Yet, this does not make each of these incidents any less wrong than when I saw such things for the first time, just that I am no longer seeing it with the same naivety-crumbling shock but through the eyes of a middle-aged man who has seen this and sadly far worse many times before.  We must be very careful here for when we start to accept such attacks we are already down the road to complete ambivalence and dare I say it, toleration, if we lose our outrage there is little to stop atrocity.  To become used to the violence, to the infringement of civil liberties and human rights is to presume that “this is the way things are” as if therefore it cannot be changed.  Were that to be the case a great many repressive regimes would still remain in power.  These regimes function by the very normalisation of the violence coupled with the presumption that if you behave yourself, if you do not represent a threat then you will be ok.  The police attack on Jody McIntyre is a rare slip-up that reveals the more sinister underbelly and under that fleece of “new conservatism” there lurks a beast we are all too familiar with.

What Jody McIntyre’s case illustrates is the complacency and arrogance of the establishment over recent times, they believe they have won, they believe the spirit is broken and that it is now time to mop up a few dirty stragglers and because of this they are making mistakes.  They have attempted to portray the demonstrators as thugs, as organised hooligans, they have tried to focus upon the damage to property and the demonstration meeting with the royal car in order to obfuscate the issues and yet still people protest and still people are not prepared to put up with it.  They are not going to rest here, the ‘powers that be,’ water cannons may come, the cherry-picking of “ringleaders” certainly will and the stigmatisation of those who take part throughout the rest of their lives has long since been a feature of this country’s way of doing things.  If you attend then you should be aware that they know you have attended.  If you join up with organisations against the system do not expect the system to let you back in later.

Do not presume they hold all the cards.  The reason they want to sort the students out now is because they expect public sector workers to take to the streets in protest against the massive cuts in the NHS, the information about which is seeping out of the dam of disaster capitalism, to risk an active united front of union workers, students and the general public is something they are very afraid of indeed, hence the desire to compartmentalise each individual section of the cuts to be dealt with in turn.  The vote should have seen this off people should have returned home embittered but defeated, this is the English working classes, the MPs aren’t supposed to be scared of them, after all they’ve beaten them before and “we’re not going to have another miner’s strike again.”  This much is true, centralised, mobilised trades union movements are not what they used to be but the loss of central co-ordination also brings with it the loss of central power, the movement now is of people in much smaller groups, more difficult to control but also for the establishment to infiltrate, the weapons of this struggle on their side will be the same, police brutality, zero tolerance in the courts, repression on a grand scale, but we have seen this before this does not defeat people it makes them come stronger and this time we have more modern weapons, ones that if used properly will hit them genuinely where it hurts.  People should not be afraid of their governments, governments should be afraid of their people as Alan Moore wrote in V for Vendetta.  It is time to remind them why they should be afraid, very afraid.

Song Of The Day ~ The Smiths – Panic

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