This is an amazing ‘reader’ that’s been put together about the student protests that have swept our country. It’s available online for anyone to read, while the paper-copy will be available from the end of March. Give it to people who want to know more about what has been going on. It’ll be my mum’s present, she’s moans that there is a media blackout of sorts – that she struggles to find news of everything that I tell her is going on. This is another first hand account that she’ll find invaluable. It’s also invaluable for us too, to think over, record and discuss everything that has happened so far.
In their own words:
Note From The Editor
Fight Back! exists because it needs to exist.
If you read the right blogs, follow the right people on Twitter, and subscribe to the right RSS feeds, then perhaps you’ve already read most of these articles, during the last few extraordinary weeks of 2010. But what about the vast numbers of people who don’t fall into that group? We have to keep making noise outside the echo chamber – the potential pitfall of web 2.0 solidarity networks is that they become a virtual version of the kettle, the sound of our chants rebounding off the Police lines, forever contained. All of Fight Back’s editorial team have been subjected to kettling by the police during these protests – we know what it’s like in there, and what we’re fighting for, and against, and we want to tell people about it.
This is an opportunity to make sense of the winter eruption, and to take stock: just a small selection of the terrific writing on the protests. Apologies to all whose good material we missed; please visit the Fight Back! page to leave feedback, and offer your own suggestions for further reading. Our aim here is to provide a framework, and to encourage clear thinking, as a guide to the further action we need to take.
But above all, we want to tell the world what happened. I knew something was missing when I called my mother a couple of days after the #dayx3 demonstration, during which I’d been kettled in Parliament Square for five hours, and on Westminster Bridge for two hours. She’s a veteran of decades of protests, reads the real-world, papery, inky version of The Guardian every day, and taught me everything I know. But unlike some of us, she has better things to do with her time than clicking refresh on the #demo2011 Twitter feed. The point is, she’s as horrified as the most web-savvy student by the public sector cuts, has read everything about the protests that comes her way – but two days later, still had no idea there had been a kettle on Westminster Bridge. If her son hadn’t personally informed her, she might still not know there had been a kettle on Westminster Bridge. And who can blame her, when the official line from the Home Secretary, repeated three times in the House of Commons, was that it never existed.
So tell a friend – that’s how this works. It’s how it all works.
London, February 2011