Skip to content or view mobile version

Home | Mobile | Editorial | Mission | Privacy | About | Contact | Help | Security | Support

A network of individuals, independent and alternative media activists and organisations, offering grassroots, non-corporate, non-commercial coverage of important social and political issues.

Day X3 - MPs vote, students revolt

imc-uk | 09.12.2010 09:46 | Education | Policing | Public sector cuts | Social Struggles

Article last updated on 15 December.

Another student Day of Action was called for Thursday 9 December, the day that MPs voted on changes to higher education including an increase in tuition fees to up to £9,000 a year. Actions took place around Parliament, at schools, colleges and universities, including the many currently under occupation, and in town and city centres across the country. The protests in London were marred by police violence and featured an appearance by Charles and Camilla, who popped by on their way to the Royal Variety Show.

Read on...

photo by rikki
photo by rikki

On the newswires:

London: Feature | Book Bloc 1 | Book Bloc 2 | Photos from start of march | Demo leaves Malet St | Photos of march | Photos of protest | Bristol student hospitalised | Vigil for hospitalised student with life threatening injuries | Police pull a disabled protester from his wheelchair | wheelchair sans protester | Seriously dehydrated we need water in this kettle | Parliament square 1 | Parliament square 2 | Video | Paintbombs | Report and photos by rikki | More reports and photos 1 | 2 | 3 | Student suffers brain injury | A-level student's account of being kettled | London student's account | Bristolians in London | The fight for Parliament | Christmas tree on fire | Westminster Bridge | Cops try to commandeer hospital | Alfie Meadows and how to complain to the hospital | Press conference for Alfie Meadows 1 | 2 | 3 | Analysis | Accounts from inside the kettles | Fitwatch advice for those identified by the Met | Green and Black Cross legal appeal | David Cameron speaks out on police violence

Elsewhere: Birmingham: Guerilla Orchestra | Newcastle: A week of actions | Bradford: A week of actions | Glasgow: Report from Glasgow protest | Witney, Oxfordshire: Protest in David Cameron's constituency | Belfast: March and demo | Derry: Rally and planned walkout

International: Quebec: Solidarity demo | Puerto Rico: More student strikes | Ireland: Students walk out in Castlebar | Iran: Solidarity from Iranian students

Previous features on recent student actions and occupations: UK features 1 | 2 | Sheffield 1 | 2 | 3 | Oxford | Birmingham | Nottingham 1 | 2 | 3 | Northern | Scotland 1 | 2 | Bristol 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | London 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |

Timelines: Last hours twitter | Day X3 twitter | london indymedia timeline | tumblewire | #shutdownlondon

Day X3 March on Parliament: summary from the timelines

At about 12.30pm, students from the University of East London and school pupils demonstrated outside the Bank of England.

An estimated 10-15,000 strong crowd set off from Malet Street soon after midday, only for the front end to be stopped by the cops after a short way for unclear reasons and also by would-be organisers at the back anxious to deliver speeches ad nauseam to a captive audience. Eventually, after calls for the speakers to shut up, people got moving in what has been described as a 'moving kettle', but with some taking a jog through Covent Garden en route. The marchers eventually joined several thousands more in Trafalgar Square by about 1pm. Later estimates of numbers suggest that as many as 30,000 protesters may have been on the London demo today.

The march was joined by the Book Bloc carrying a mobile library of large print volumes 'to affirm and defend what is under attack: Our universities and public libraries, literacy, thought, culture and jobs. In the past few weeks our attempts to do so peacefully have been met by police with batons, riot shields and horses. These are not isolated incidents of brutality but part of a system of institutional violence. By bringing books into the streets we are drawing attention to the violence at the heart of the neo-liberal ideology of the Con-Dem government.'

At Parliament Square, riot cops two deep had effectively kettled the Houses of Parliament and had also blocked off the Victoria Street exit from the Square. Eggs and paint bombs were thrown at cops and vans. The fences around Parliament Square were dismantled and the space reclaimed. Mounted cops charged the crowd, apparently forcing some protesters to climb barriers to avoid being crushed and leading to casualties on both sides. One mounted cop was thrown by his horse in Victoria Street. A disabled protester was dragged from his wheelchair by the cops. The crowd used Harris fencing to keep the mounted police at bay. Fires were lit to keep people warm including one huge one in Parliament Square after a security cabin was set alight. Back in Whitehall, lines of cops for some reason decided to try to stop two groups of students from meeting up, effectively making themselves sandwich filling and resulting in gleeful chants of 'Who's kettled now?' from the students. In a surreal moment, Charles and Camilla passed through the protest on their way to the Royal Variety Show, acquiring a new paintjob for the royal car en route. The Treasury building was beseiged amid chants of 'We want our money back', windows smashed at the Supreme Court and at Oxford Street Topshop


At around 8.30pm, the police started to move the Parliament Square kettle onto Westminster Bridge, where people were kettled for several more hours.

Cops attempted to secure Chelsea and Westminster Hospital for their own use and to deny immediate, lifesaving treatment to student Alfie Meadows, injured by a police baton and needing emergency surgery to relieve pressure on his brain. Fortunately, the ambulance crew were having none of it and insisted on him being admitted. This report includes details of how to complain to the hospital. A demonstration for Alfie Meadows has been called for Tuesday 14 December.

Bristol student, Paddy Besiris, elected rep. at the University of the West of England, was also hospitalised after sustaining a head injury.

Soon after 5.30pm, the results of the parliamentary votes were announced. On the vote to raise fees to up to £9,000, the Con-Dem government won the vote by a narrow 323 votes to 302 against. Two Lib-Dem parliamentary aides resigned their posts today, along with one Tory.

Later actions and more

Although only about 100 students turned up to protest at the Department for Business, Innovations and Skills about the withdrawal of EMA (Education Maintenance Allowance) on the evening of Monday 13 December, the cops, including the TSG, were out in force.

Students began an occupation at Hull University on 13 December, taking over the upper floor of the Staff House building. Occupation blog here.

The occupation at Goldsmiths University Library has succeeded in reopening all facilities over the weekend while the students are still occupying the space. The occupiers reported on Saturday 11 December that 'After negotiations today, Goldsmiths’ Senior Management Team agreed to our demand that the library be opened to students as of 9am Sunday. The building shall remain open until midnight. No library staff will be working, but the whole building will be available to students for study purposes. IT services and electronic issuing and returns will also be available.'

Analysis and advice

Analysis and advice for those taking part in protests from Past-tense.

Fitwatch have issued advice for anyone who features in the Met's 'wanted' photos. See also information about blocs at protests, thoughts on violence against the police and how to repel horses.




09.12.2010 18:25

At 3.30 - 3.45 police horses repeatedly charged into crowd of about 700 students between Whitehall and Middlesex Guild Hall. 2 medical evacuations at this time. (Boo!)

5pm: Kettle at Parliament Square broken and protesters escape up Whitehall. (Yay)


What can you think part 2?

10.12.2010 08:11

What can you think about the wall to wall coverage our media presents of our resistance against injustice?

Supposedly intelligent people committed to reporting accurately events and issues?


As if.

A bunch of tossers who never miss a chance to thrust a camera into the melee and pontificate in the most toady arse-licking and slimy reverence to the status quo.

They will get your mug shot and scream for prosecution as loud and hysterically as any deranged 5 year old.

Listen kids, on the next demo - realise that sky, the bbc etc are not there to document events, they are there to stitch you up.

Cover your faces and express your feelings to them.


Correction to 'Addition'

11.12.2010 19:24

This was taken down slightly wrong over the phone.


"between Whitehall and Middlesex Guild Hall."

and insert:

"between Westminster Abbey and Middlesex Guild Hall (AKA the Supreme Court Building)"



Hide the following 14 comments

People VS the Police State (Protest on the 9th of every month)

09.12.2010 21:42

People continue the protest!

Just because the vote has happened does not mean we can not stop it. The government work for the people; and the people want change so let us demand it until they listen to their boss!

Protest on the 9th of every month until we get our democracy!


No more broken promises

09.12.2010 22:12

Liberal Election broadcast

Jilted by Nick

The BBC Helitelly was very useful this time

10.12.2010 15:33

It gave a clear view of who hit who and when and who charged into who - just the pictures as it happened - no spin etc - very useful.


DDoS the lib dems main page

10.12.2010 19:45

Organise properly, and you WILL bring it down very quickly. Clegg said today that he hoped they could all 'move on' and forget about this nasty business. Well, that's not going to happen, and it's a lot less likely if their main site and donations button is inaccessible for a week or two.

Get some computer science students on board and you'll find other ways that don't need the cannon. I'm sure anybody interested in this idea can find somewhere to go and discuss it.

Do it. This will give you peaceful mass participation, and the media will be huge.

Using Tor for communications might be good idea as well.


A big who-har about nothing

10.12.2010 23:50

I've watched the video. Big deal. Nothing to see apart from some people wearing those afghan scarves going on about what they are 'entitled' to.

Well tough. Nothing is free in this world. You want an education - then pay for it. Times have changed, labour blew all the cash. The time for free degrees in Beckham studies has passed for now - deal with it.

"Theres no where to go" is all i can hear in that video.

Sure, "Theres no more money to handout." so piss off home.

Anyway, a degree is a waste of time. All what will happen is your end up working in a call center. Better getting some hands on skills and go self-employed.

Thats it. I'm done. Stop bitching about how there isn't enough on your silver plate. Kids are starving in Africa for fucks sake, and you're bitching about how you can do your Arts degrees. FUck off


another vid

11.12.2010 00:54

ok, from the coporate press, but this newsnight footage seems to provide quite a good summary -


Aim higher!

11.12.2010 10:18

Fantastic energy, good tactics but please, aim higher! Don't just go for your own slice of an unjust pie but challenge the whole kitchen! It's a sick capitalist society whereby we end up fighting among ourselves for the crumbs allocated by a wealthy elite. Students - get out on the streets in solidarity with the homeless, with battered women, with asylum seekers, with the discriminated-against disabled, with abused children, with non-human animals, with everyone sidelined by a self-serving State we just don't need.


Common Sense

11.12.2010 11:46

To the arse (everyone will know who I mean)

The vote will divide society further; only rich people's offspring will be able to afford the 'better' Universities so lockin majority out of being able to improve their situation n help the world to more understanding.

Next people with degrees help us all by increasing knowledge (which unlike yours grows with each generation) n improving both our society n the world. Check your grand parents lifestyles (if you are originally from the working classes, which I doubt you sound like a stooge to me) to see how life has improved due to the struggle of our forebears during the second world war n after; this is the heritage being betrayed by the Millionnaire club called the Coalition Cabinet..

Next, this year £9000 cap next 5 years £15000 £20000 ?

Next, public goods are not provided by the market in large enough numbers..NHS will be next, what then when you break your neck..but then your probably rich enough to pay...

Next, this so called Gov. has no legitimacy, no mandate, both parties manifesto's made no mention of what they are now doing n both parties lost the election anyway (all together Cons & LyingLibs only got c30 of electorate vote). Every citizens duty to resist an unrepresentative Gov by any means necessary.)

Re-eductate yourself; agitate n organise.

Tom Paine

The Big One

11.12.2010 12:13

I am sure I am not alone in thinking this. Early next year the big anti-cuts demo and action(s) in London, not just students, but for everyone affected. 100,000's are set to lose their jobs, key services for the vulnerable gone, benefits not enough to survive on, let alone live on.

Let's do this!



kettle the met

12.12.2010 13:59

If being kettled for hours for participating in a prostest here is a nice idea.

Disposing of your old kettle in an environmentally friendly way is difficult. Since the police seem to like kettles so much help them out by sending your old kettle to:

Metropolitan Police Service
New Scotland Yard

Pass the idea on to anyone you know who has an old kettle they want to get rid of or who wants to protest against police tactics. A few thousand kettles should restrict their mobility somewhat.

maybe we can agree a coordinated day of kettles...

Lady Grey
- Homepage:

We either take now or stay the same.

12.12.2010 14:43

With the convergence of the crises that us The working Class are asked to pay for, The greed of The Middle Class which gravely threatens the existence of life on earth, the impact of The Middle Class has caused Climate Change, Peak Oil, Resource Depletion, Imperial Wars, Fascism, Ecological and Economic collapse and Starvation, a radical alternative future is urgently needed, now more than ever.

We either take now or stay the same, is not time we made The Middle Class History and pay for there crises.

We want to help to enable The Working Class to steer a course to a future of co-operation, peace, sustainability, equality, autonomy and non-hierarchical community, this can only be done from serious social change.

“Anarchism, really stands for the liberation of the human mind from the dominion of religion; the liberation of the human body from the dominion of property; liberation from the shackles and restraint of government.”

Emma Goldman

Ann Archy.

Reaction to the recent protests and movements by police and media

17.12.2010 10:08

It's interesting. I personally feel that non-violent civil resistance is one of the most effective forms of protest. Don't get me wrong... by that I don't mean well behaved civilians walking along the well planned routes decided by the police and being watched over by the still plotting and scheming state as they march past. That's all accommodated for; it's budgeted for. It is not a counter protest, it's just an expected and contained retaliation to the changes and unfair laws imposed, and, thus, these types of planned, peaceful protest are accordingly controlled. These forms of demonstration are non-argumentative and they are submissive, thus, they fall directly into the hands of the state, with the only impact being a small dent in the policing budget. I feel that such types of peaceful protest over such vital issues give further consensus to the distorted understanding of 'democracy' that is widespread in the UK.

On the other hand, however, civil resistance, or non-violent resistance, against the commands of a government has been seen to have huge effect when practised correctly. It takes huge effort, self restraint, bravery and organisation, but as far as I can tell it more most importantly seems to require an understanding of human behaviour, psychology and the heart. Objectivity and compassion are essential is achieving success through protest.

Having been present at demonstrations that have ended violently, I have witnessed that the aggression presented by protesters or civilians caught up is often due to kettling, or protesters reacting aggressively to the frustration of not being able to manoeuvre as they had intended or would like to, ie. going home when the protests start to turn bad, or when the police trun up with riot gear on and start insulting (...that is when I know it's about to turn bad). I've felt such frustration and anger when faced with a snarling, ignorant police officer, calling me names, swearing at me while I've stood, calmly and politely asking to leave the area before the violence kicks off. I'm not interested in fighting police. I'm not interested in getting pulverised when caught between them and the very brave, but very ignorant and reactionary protesters who may want to fight. Thugs meeting thugs... It's time for me to duck out.

The students and young people at these protests, I personally feel, have every right to fight if they so wish. The government does what it likes and the police tend to do as they like - it is deeply unjust to proclaim that these young people, who are having what they know of their futures torn up and trampled on, are wrong to resist that. However, even though it may be an animalistic and instinctive right of any human being to fight back and defend through violence, further study and thought about how to stand against the government may provide an alternative, and most probably optimal, outcome.

Through reacting violently, this again falls into the hands of the state. There may be feelings of achievement; the battle is easily justified by the wrongs that the defendants, or civilians, face. However, in this particular political climate, much of the support from working class average Joe or Jane, middle class individuals who reads the news, upper class artisans and entrepreneurs and so many other other people who support the fight to keep tuition fees low and provide a fair higher education, is lost or retracted. The public face of this very fair call for justice has become angry, shouting and covered in blood. That is a 'bad look', and a lot of this has got to do with how things look to other people, as a lot of civilians do not leave the comfort of their homes and instead view and review the situation through the media. 'Look' and portrayal is key. Images of violence and aggression from protesters caught up in police kettles are so easily warped and spun AND THAT IS WHY THEY DO IT.

Everyone who wishes to protest publicly or resist that actions of the government should read about Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and satyagraha. Before I researched this I had no idea about the reality of civil resistance; how brave one must be to walk, not fight, into a line of armed officers to exercise their right to protest. There are examples where lines of civilians have been organised to stand by just to pull harmed people out to the side and tend to serious head injuries and other wounds. People who protest in this way are not pushovers. It is not the same as the allocated, cordoned protest paths we have seen organised for anti-war marches or so on. It is also not the bustling, chaotic scenes we have witnessed at the G20 protests, or the poll tax riots. It is somewhere in between. The blood of the riots is there, but the chaos of the demonstrators is not.

If, or when, police smack and beat a man or woman who calmly wishes to walk into an area they wish to walk into, a police state is clearly identified. When reports of this come up in the media amongst other reports of violence at a protest, the calm civilian is damned as the actions by the police are'justified' and the rights that are being lost and abused are lost in a sea of negative, exaggerated and spun coverage: "Police battling to hold back protesters"... "A police officer lies on the road, apparently out cold after clashing with protester"... "Protesters tried to use a barrier to smash through the police cordon"... All these excerpts from reports following the student fee protests seem, to me, to condone the actions of the police state as they create a scenario where 'adequate' measures would need to be taken to protect person and property.

The educated and objective protester must consider the position of the media highly. If one actually wishes to see genuine change from the government, they must ensure that protest is not be about personal gain or release of anger. To achieve change, and to reveal the state as it really is, scrupulous measures must be taken to ensure that protest is organised and with direction and aims. What do the protesters wish to achieve? How will they reveal the truth? How are they going to challenge to media portrayal? What does kettling do to ones feelings? How can I stay calm?

The greatest key is to understand that they have a heart.
Do not reinforce their self trickery; violence towards them reinforces that what they are doing is just and right!
By smacking you when you are calm, it hurts them.
If an entire crowd is calm but calculated and organised, the police aims will be revealed.

In the end it will eat itself from the inside out.

Peace x

mail e-mail:

Upcoming Coverage
View and post events
Upcoming Events UK
24th October, London: 2015 London Anarchist Bookfair
2nd - 8th November: Wrexham, Wales, UK & Everywhere: Week of Action Against the North Wales Prison & the Prison Industrial Complex. Cymraeg: Wythnos o Weithredu yn Erbyn Carchar Gogledd Cymru

Ongoing UK
Every Tuesday 6pm-8pm, Yorkshire: Demo/vigil at NSA/NRO Menwith Hill US Spy Base More info: CAAB.

Every Tuesday, UK & worldwide: Counter Terror Tuesdays. Call the US Embassy nearest to you to protest Obama's Terror Tuesdays. More info here

Every day, London: Vigil for Julian Assange outside Ecuadorian Embassy

Parliament Sq Protest: see topic page
Ongoing Global
Rossport, Ireland: see topic page
Israel-Palestine: Israel Indymedia | Palestine Indymedia
Oaxaca: Chiapas Indymedia
All Regions
South Coast
Other Local IMCs
Bristol/South West
Social Media
You can follow @ukindymedia on and Twitter. We are working on a Twitter policy. We do not use Facebook, and advise you not to either.
Support Us
We need help paying the bills for hosting this site, please consider supporting us financially.
Other Media Projects
Dissident Island Radio
Corporate Watch
Media Lens
Earth First! Action Update
Earth First! Action Reports
All Topics
Animal Liberation
Climate Chaos
Energy Crisis
Free Spaces
Ocean Defence
Other Press
Public sector cuts
Social Struggles
Terror War
Workers' Movements
Major Reports
NATO 2014
G8 2013
2011 Census Resistance
Occupy Everywhere
August Riots
Dale Farm
J30 Strike
Flotilla to Gaza
Mayday 2010
Tar Sands
G20 London Summit
University Occupations for Gaza
Indymedia Server Seizure
COP15 Climate Summit 2009
Carmel Agrexco
G8 Japan 2008
Stop Sequani
Stop RWB
Climate Camp 2008
Oaxaca Uprising
Rossport Solidarity
Smash EDO
Past Major Reports
Encrypted Page
You are viewing this page using an encrypted connection. If you bookmark this page or send its address in an email you might want to use the un-encrypted address of this page.
If you recieved a warning about an untrusted root certificate please install the CAcert root certificate, for more information see the security page.

Global IMC Network

satellite tv


estrecho / madiaq
la plana
northern england
nottingham imc
united kingdom

Latin America
chile sur
cmi brasil
cmi sucre
puerto rico


South Asia

United States
hudson mohawk
kansas city
minneapolis/st. paul
new hampshire
new jersey
new mexico
new orleans
north carolina
north texas
rogue valley
saint louis
san diego
san francisco
san francisco bay area
santa barbara
santa cruz, ca
tampa bay
united states
western mass

West Asia


fbi/legal updates
mailing lists
process & imc docs