By Mel, who doesn’t have a log-in…
I’m a bit angry about the television coverage of the protestors in the lead up to this week’s G20 Summit in that London.
The coverage, apart from a very few notable exceptions – Newsnight’s piece on the meeting between the Climate Camp and the Metropolitan Police last night being one – leads us to believe that anyone who chooses to protest today will be a terrorist and will be treated as such by the Met.
The coverage, which I suspect is largely police-led content, screams at us about how there’ll be trouble, how there are police officers being drafted in from across the country and how they’ve been all dressed in their riot gear since sometime last week in preparation for the trouble that’s bound to happen. Then couple this with the usual yoghurt-knitters who want to fill the Bank of England with “resonant Himalayan chanting” and other such nonsense and it makes those who wish to exercise their democratic right to demonstrate their displeasure with the World’s leaders (well, some of them anyway) as violent idiots hell bent on wrecking things and causing trouble, just because they can.
Whatever our opinion of the French, they have a history of protest, as has been demonstrated recently. The police there don’t gear up for trouble and as a result there is none. By and large the recent strikes there have been civilized, peaceful, adult affairs. There were no hysterical and veiled threats in the press and the public were treated as exercising their rights within the law.
Why do the press, media and the police in the UK brand everyone that wishes to have their say as terrorists and rabble rousers? Do they have so little faith in the public that they fear violence and vandalism every step of the march route? Or is this simply a case of the police, through the media coverage, saying “come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough”?