Monday, 2 May 2011

Democracy



In my post on Saturday, well, I attempted to express a real fear that the whole establishment, the politicians, the judicial system, as administrated by both the police and the judiciary have turned up the heat on working people who dissent and differ from and with the system; and, put quite simply are being targeted and hounded by the ruling class.

The apparatus of the state is designed to serve a specific function; priority is given to the continuation and control of maintaining the status quo, that existing state of affairs under – capitalism.

The new age of austerity, brought in by world governments following the near collapse of capitalism as an economic system right around the world, has in turn reverberated’ and its echo sound can be heard around the globe – denigration, attack and oppression, "the tyrant's oppression of the people", can clearly be seen in one country after another. The role of force, employed against people they then pretend to protect.

Here in Britain the ruling class are taking no chances, they have seen people in Europe and around the globe take and make a stand against the capitalist dictatorships, against the inherent greed, avariciousness the extreme greed and control of material wealth, at a cost to the disadvantage, and expense to the majority. They fear the wrath of people, who are being made to pay the cost of keeping a rotten system in place.

The royal wedding has given an opportunity to the British ruling class to try and divide the population and push (divide and rule) for two camps, separate into parts or portions – those who obey, and those who question and disagree and be of different opinions. On Friday morning as I went shopping for provisions on the Barking Road in Canning Town, the street was deserted and traffic on the road was noticeably missing, it was very much like an early Sunday morning except the shops and supermarkets of Iceland’s and the new Co-op were open for business as usual. Since the wedding the BBC and ITV claim more than 24m viewers in the UK watched the royal wedding. The BBC said a peak figure of 20m - a 70% share - tuned into the corporation's coverage at the end of the service in Westminster Abbey, and more than 34 million viewers watched at least part of the BBC's TV royal wedding coverage. I don’t know what one is to make of these figures and calculates, if anything at all, and if they really matter, they don’t tell me convincingly that the nation has rediscovered loyalty to royalty, although many that I’ve spoken to since the event have fallen for the well packaged presentation of a fairytale. I have seen children being picked up from school by their parents running excitedly home wearing paper crowns and waving classroom made flags, there is nothing like trying to get them young, but will it last as they go through their own lives, somehow I have a very derogating feeling of double-barrelled doubt and uncertainty.

A fairytale wedding is a real diversion and deflection from reality, a gift if anything to our coalition government who are fast tracking their program of austerity – cuts and job losses leading to mass unemployment, poverty and absolutely alienating more large sections of the working classes. Soon the government will have been in office for their first full year and entering the second, so much has happened in the world since they assumed office last year. And it is at home in the UK that I centre my focus on.

Towards the end of last year we experienced an explosion of dissent, and what seemed at the time a very adamant and impervious to pleas, persuasion, requests and anything but not reason from the establishment; this in turn became like a river flowing towards the sea as pleasingly many young and older people found voice in unity and came together.

Students and a new generation shocked the establishment and shook the ground and foundations; they not only exposed but experienced both the lies and falsehoods put about by the establishment politicians of all the main political parties, as demonstrations were held the enforcers of capitalist law homed in desperate to extinguish, annihilate and blow out this flickering flame coming from below.  Young people as is always the case were targeted, rounded up (kettled) and arrested, but much worse some have been incarcerated at Her Majesty’s pleasure. On 26 March, 138 people ended up with charges of aggravated trespass after peacefully occupying a Fortnum and Mason shop in London’s West End. Police want to scare people so much that they won’t protest. Let’s not forget that they are all political prisoners, and that we should continue to give them our full support.

We have so much to be proud of comrades, our fight in many respects has been effective (in the beginning) and the capitalist class has been squealing and oinking as characteristic of the pigs they really are in high-pitch.

They the establishment have been not only vindictive; but determined to make examples of those who hold out in resistance to the rape and plunder of the hard won welfare made (The Welfare State) for the provision of all working people in times of hardship.

The unemployed are stigmatised, punished and belittled as this government wasted no time at all in following the Labour Party in attacking those in most need of support; the vulnerable always in a capitalist society susceptible to attack. We should always remind ourselves that a million people on the streets dose not equal the same quantity, value, or measure of the millions that are struggling on low pay or on mean and miserly benefits.

It is against this background comrades, which the government, the establishment and the agents of the state clamp-down on dissent and take issue with the needs of the majority. What an insult to the hundreds who sleep out on the streets of our capital city every night; that thousands of pounds have been wasted putting on this lavishness of a royal wedding at a time of growing and great hardship for many – that should not be forgotten.

But let me now turn to what I consider is a political clamp-down on those who are dissidents and the real champions of democracy in today’s modern society. In the run-up to the royal wedding the police swung into action and rounded up and raided the addresses and homes of known political activists, not just in London but up and down the country. The police have been using the royal wedding as an excuse to justify and take their revenge on activists. They launched a major crackdown over the past week up to the wedding - including raids on squats and social centres, made arrests and handed-out fresh charges for protesters.

Police commander Bob Broadhurst said that police were “looking specifically at the royal wedding” to prevent “disorder and violence” on the day. He added that “the threat to the wedding is a threat to democracy”.

The truth being is that the police clampdown is a threat to democracy and the political orientation of those who do not favour this government and a threat to the right to protest.

Police arrested six anarchists early in the week. Then they arrested and charged several student protesters—including Alfie Meadows, the student who had to have life-saving brain surgery after being struck by police at a protest last December.

Riot police arrived en masse at various sites across London the day before the wedding to raid squats. In Camberwell, south London, rows of riot vans filled the streets while armed police kept guard outside as they raided the Ratstar squat
.
And at Grow Heathrow, a community gardening squat in west London, at 7.15am in full riot gear. Witnesses describe how they pulled people from their beds and searched them—only to leave with nothing.
John McDonnell, a Labour MP who spoke in parliament against the raids, told Socialist Worker that officers “broke into the site, handcuffed one constituent and locked the others in another part of the site.
“Transition Heathrow campaigners took over a derelict site as part of the campaign against a third runway at the airport. They were reinvigorating the local campaign and the community.

In another raid police arrested protesters in London suspected of planning to behead effigies of royals and a guillotine was confiscated – what a shame.

In Stokes Croft, Bristol, police shut down a film showing in a park about riot in that area the pervious week. They set up a road block, circled the area in a helicopter and confiscated film cameras, telling the audience waiting to watch the film that they were at a rave.
When some left to watch the film in a house, police took over the area surrounding it and refused to let anyone else in, threatening anyone leaving or entering the area with arrest.
Squatters and their supporters were still defending the area from police attack on Friday morning the day of the royal wedding
.
The affright and the crack down show that protests have shaken the police and the state.

For all the propaganda, lots of people in Britain aren’t beguiled with the royal family. Lots of people are infuriated at the excessiveness of the royal wedding at a time when millions are facing savage cuts.

The police are panic-stricken that protest would be popular—that’s why they were so desperate to stop even the most minimal of action at the royal wedding on Friday last.

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