Students in London today did a brilliant job of avoiding and evading police kettles, keeping the coppers on the run for most of the day. Rapid movement and a spontaneous route kept the demo ahead of police lines. The Met, clearly run ragged, whinged that the demo had started too early and caught them out!
It’s easy to understand why demonstrators worked so hard to keep out of police kettles. Last week the Met kettled students and schoolkids for seven hours in freezing conditions, with bugger all concern for anyone’s health and safety.
Today there were clashes with the police as students refused to be controlled and contained. All credit to them for their determination to hold their protest, and their refusal to be ground down and dispirited by kettling tactics.
The Met’s revenge has been to carry out mass arrests of over 100 people for breach of the peace. Over the course of the day there have been a reported 153 arrests.
Elsewhere in the country there have been occupations and demonstrations, and numerous reports of kettles, clashes and police aggression. It will take a while to unravel all the accounts, but the emerging picture is that the police are looking pretty desperate, and it is the students that have the upper hand.