Oh noes, there was contact between Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and a participant in the protests on Thursday. Really? Is this what it has come to? That we are more worried about two people’s frightening experience than a young person’s brain injury, and an utterly over the top reaction? (see comments for a news report about actions committed against Jody McIntyre.)
Right. First, interpersonal violence is a Bad Thing. Injury is a serious matter, and people should attempt to refrain from violence towards others where possible. That includes both civilians and police. Second, down to business. There is only one argument that should be standing right now over these protests – Dear politicians, we won’t stop breaking your windows until you stop breaking our futures. It’s really quite simple.
Yes, there’s a lot more to protest about. A sniffy letter-writer in a newspaper yesterday says, ‘In my day, we protested about wars and the environments. Today’s students protest about (their own) money.’ But many of the student protesters aren’t just protesting about fees. It’s about all of the cuts, it’s about the impact on our whole society. There are links being formed between other groups such as unions and the student movement.
And the media condemn the violence, and say it’s turned ‘disgusting.’ They say students should no longer be allowed to protest. They say that we’re making a fuss over nothing. (Yes, Thunderer, I’m disappointed in you. You’re normally so good. Can’t you see how all these drastic cuts, enacted by millionaires, are going to tear away at the fabric of our society, of our world?) They don’t even think to turn their sharp tongues towards the predominantly rich, straight, cis, white, able, male politicians who’re doing this stuff without even understanding the consequences. They don’t even think to condemn the appointment of super-rich tax avoiders as Government advisors.
I’m still angry. I’m angry for the people whose lives will be changed for the worst, even lost, as a result of all this reckless cutting. I’m angry for the chances lost. I’m angry for the protesters – and police, actually – injured. I’m angry at the thoughtless words and deeds that to their enacters are words on a paper, empty promises and the howl of the mob outside.
I’m angry for the condemnation that desperation engenders.