Although the actions of the students last week were inspiring and
empowering, it should come as no surprise the media savvy police are
using it as an ideal opportunity to both fight back against cuts to
their budgets and to counter the recent bad press regarding protest
The NCDE domestic extremist units claim to have suffered in the cuts. Former head of NCDE, Anton Setchell has retired, and head of NETCU, Steve Pearl has been given the boot, and both have been replaced by a cheaper, junior model - Detective Chief Supt Adrian Tudway. Steve seems particularly upset about getting
sacked and has been whining to the Telegraph about how, if he was still running the units, their intelligence on the riots would have been better.
As usual, he is talking nonsense. The police didn’t predict the disorder because it wasn’t planned; the march wasn’t hijacked. I read the same websites as the cops, I know lots of activists, the intelligence we all had before the demo would have been similar. Yes, there were rumours of civil disobedience, and autonomous blocs, but
this is true of every major demonstration. It would certainly have been true on the entirely peaceful February 15 Iraq demo, and there was no particular reason to believe this would be any different.
This is a desperate attempt by an unpopular unit to appear relevant and we must not be fooled. NCDE are bleating about cuts when only a few weeks ago they were squandering money sending Ian Caswell to Plymouth to monitor and photograph Trident Ploughshares pacifists.
The students who occupied Millbank are not domestic extremists, they are angry, brave and passionate people who care about what this government is doing to the country. They have grown up witnessing the futility of being herded from A to B and listening to the platitudes of irrelevant politicians.
Ordinary people are angry with even a Daily Star poll showing the majority in favour of the students rioting. The fight back is on, and no amount of intelligence on the usual suspects from a redundant unit is going to make a difference.