Sunday, 27 March 2011

Did the London protests make a political impact?

Much right-wing media coverage of the TUC's protest against the Conservative coalition government's public spending cuts focused on how some 200 so-called anarchists 'hijacked' a peaceful protest and rally in London by over 250,000 people. 
   Most London-based UK national newspapers said the 'anarchists' vandalism against property was indiscriminate. In fact, as these photos show they chose highly selected targets on Piccadilly, leaving other businesses and shops untouched.

The big question though is whether the peaceful march and rally - as well as the vandalism and violent struggles with riot police - actually achieved any ongoing political objectives. True, hundreds of thousands registered their protest against the cuts by simply being present on the march. 
   But when the latter third of the huge march reached Hyde Park they'd missed speeches by trade union leaders and by Labour Party leader, Ed Miliband. 
   The sense of anti-climax and 'what do we do now' was palpable.

All photos copyright of Paul Coleman. No re-use without permission.

Paul Coleman, London, March 2011

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