In the last week there has been a notable rise in harassment of protesters by the police, often desperate to find out what was planned for today. Following several clear cases of bad faith on behalf of Thames Valley Police all contact has been cut and the lack of information has caused them to be wrongfooted.
Today several groups of protesters assembled. Large groups marched to the laboratory and back, while others stayed in town and carried out protests against Vodaphone and other university targets. Police had to resort to imposing a section 14 order over the entirety of Oxford but it had little effect.
One group started outside the Said Business School and gave the police the slip with a march into town. Several mounted police were seen galloping through the town knocking passerbys to the side, as their radios carried desperate commands to prevent the activists reaching the centre.
At Vodaphone one individual was arrested for handing out leaflets while the several officers, an inspector among them, roughed up several females and forced them into the corral created on Market Street.
Meanwhile several other autonomous groups took independent action and visited a large number of university buildings to ensure the message was heard by everyone. They repeatedly lost the police, blending in and reappearing at random.
There was one arrest at 5pm for a section 5 offence, the police apparently disliking an image on a poster. Both arrested individuals are now released.
Activists have left the city on a high note, feeling that they have achieved a considerable amount in spreading their message through out the public and university. The police paid the price for their previous deception, having lost the goodwill of the protesters, and were made to look fools instead.
Future protests are planned along with the weekly Thursday afternoon protests at the site. For more information see www.speakcampaigns.org.uk