Take a hat and scarf... Film cop faces and ID numbers... Watch out on Westminster Bridge... Be street wise... look BEHIND you!
It's been repeatedly proven the budget "deficit" was created by multinational corporate tax cheats and by the super-rich, yet the government insist on privatising and in the worst cases abolishing services that people have been paying-into for generations, in preference to collecting the trillions owed by the MPs friends and sponsors in the big corporations. Our parents and grandparents have been paying-in to public services like the NHS, schools and universities for generations, and, even if you've not started paying Income Tax and National Insurance yourself yet, you soon will, and we all pay for services every time we pay tax on any purchase or financial transaction anyway. The multinationals rake-in billions but contribute almost nothing to the education, health and transport infrastructure that helps maintain and staff their businesses, while expenses-fiddling MPs let them get away with it. British people are being robbed, and students are in the front-line, defending society against literally the greatest thieves in criminal history.
The far-right media will stop at nothing to divide public opinion and to smear everyone who's brave enough to take a stand, cynically condemning protestors, as if people having to take care of kids and jobs etc means those who are free to protest don't represent the interests of people who can't. Likewise the same police who lied over and over at Hillsborough, Orgreave and the G20 demo etc, will try to demoralise and bully students for the crime of not having sold their lives to the lowest bidder, but there are simple precautions we can take to help make sure these tedious thugs don't get the better of us on Nov 21st...
2. Mr Plod, star of newspapers and TV!
The far-right media do a great job of trying to divide their opponents, so we need to box-clever and divide them and their protectors as well. With this in mind, on the day, don't let them bully you, but equally don't pointlessly needle the police - the last thing we need is to give them the pretext to start hurting people. The best way to deal with cop sarcasm is to politely ask how they feel about massive CUTS to the police force, and ask whether their feelings about the PENSIONS they were sold reflect any "sense of entitlement" on their part (believe me, they'll get the joke). Failing that, make eye contact, smile and say "Solidarity!" (and always remember it's a Police Force and not the Police "Service" their PR goons would have us believe).
On-line cop-chatter refers to modern policing as taking place in a "Post-Tomlinson" world, which is copspeak for how much THE POLICE HATE BEING PHOTOGRAPHED - so much that in Spain they're trying to ban filming the police! Have cameras and phones etc charged and ready, and when you're not filming still point cameras at the police. If the cops abuse or arrest anyone get up close quick, shout out cops shoulder numbers, constantly remind them they're being filmed, distract and confuse arresting officers, and be persistent. Filming is NOT a crime, but when making arrests cops will tell you they "need room to work" - meaning they want you far enough away not to catch their ID numbers. Several times I've got people de-arrested by refusing to stop filming ID numbers, and if anything serious happens get the film on YouTube and e-mailed to the media ASAP (then slo-mo through footage to isolate and publish stills and screen-grabs of numbers and faces etc). When filming arrests people instinctively focus on filming the victim's face, but it's filming cop faces and ID numbers that's most likely to stop them completing an arrest. DON'T post-up images which provide evidence that could get someone nicked, and be aware it's easy to edit any identifying footage and sounds out of videos before posting on-line.
It's going to be cold, so take a hat and scarf to conceal your face if anything goes wrong, look away or block their view every time you see cops with cameras, take snack and drinks.
3. Be Street Wise
Hopefully #demo2012 will pass-off peacefully, and in practice more polices "kettles" collapse (through cack-handed policing) than are effectively enforced, however a potential hot-spot is the point where the march crosses Westminster Bridge, which could be blocked at either end for a bit of South American style anti-law enforcement. Consider using other bridges to cross the Thames. Consider dipping into the Underground at Westminster tube station and re-joining the march from Waterloo or Lambeth North tubes. Google and print-out maps. If you do cross the river at Westminster try to thin-out along the bridge, keep looking BEHIND you, looking over your shoulders and over people's heads, and if you see police lines forming SHOUT LOUD WARNINGS immediately, and if you see gaps in police kettles escape quickly. If the police do kettle Westminster Bridge and you're outside, stay there for as long as it takes and make sure every single cop's face and number is filmed and posted on Indymedia.
In crowd psychology people have an instinct to follow a herd (sorry but it's true), and on demos people often look towards scenes of action or loud sounds, so, while it's important to be aware of what's going on in front, police helicopters see what you can't, and they'll exploit every chance to try and form a kettle behind you. Many times kettled protestors have been hypnotised by the spectacle of eg - dancing on a bait van, not realising that viable escape routes were available behind them. If the cops usher you though a gap in their lines don't go through unless you can see a clear route out on the other side, and don't always rush to join a big group, as staying behind police lines often defeats attempts at kettling.
Take colourful, funny political banners to communicate simple, clear, sensible messages to the media and to the general public.
Any other suggestions, post 'em up...
Have A Nice Day