Saturday, 11 December 2010

Student protests dominate headlines

Just to warn you my hackles are up so expect some ranting!

Recently the news has been flooded with stories and reports of the student protests throughout the country. You can read stories from the BB, Times and Daily Mail in case you’ve been living under a rock.

Recently a small number of people attending these protests have grown aggressive and violent. In particular footage shown here displays only a handful of protests at the front of the crowd pushing in windows whilst the rest merely watch. In this event was not an overly violent situation, but one that has been blown out of preportions on several mediums.

There is also talk of how angry the students are, lots of professional/expert supporters defend the violence with this righteous and apparently justifiable anger. It makes ME angry to hear so many people support violence! Protests organised online were promoting attendance but did not suggest writing to the local MPs or using words to solve the issue, a far more effective and peaceful way to start a protest. I support the right for every free man (woman and child for that matter, I’ve attended a few myself in the past) to protest against something with which they disagree. Whether that be Muslim extremist-burning flags at troops home coming parade or BNP members burning copies of the Qur'an for similar reasons, its our most basic human right as citizens of Great Britain to be able to do so.

I am infuriated by how people fighting politically (through the means of peaceful protest) against wars or genocide are condoned for descending into violence but people protesting against student fees are apparently seen as “reasonably understandable” to behave in such a way. Despite my usually open minded attitude I have very little respect for those who believe this.

Then last night whilst on the way to the Royal Variety performance Princes Charles car was attacked by a group of these violent student protesters. There are lots of talks about how the protesters may Charles is responsible for the fees rising or is a symbol of what they are against, in his smart tux riding in shiny chauffeur driven car or on the flip side how students shouldn’t blame him, as he is helpless against the elected government.

First of all the idea that the Prince of Wales, future King of England is helpless is daft. He is very well informed and influential he has great business sense and intellect; he is, in short, a powerful man. But for student protesters to attack his car knowing he and wife Camilla were inside is nothing short of treason, as for shouting chants of "Off with his head" it utterly infuriates me. They smashed the window, threw paint pots as well denting and scratching the car. I heard one report suggestion that Charles should have attempted to reason with the protests by getting out of the car to talk to them. It was a high security meltdown and the royal couple were very venerable as a result.

As I said before I believe in everyone’s basic right to peaceful protest, but this monopoly of the news on student tuition fees rising is getting beyond ridiculous! There are more important things going on in this world that deserve our attention, famine in India, genocide in Africa, oppression in Tibet all of these just causes for freedom. I suppose at least if students are dominating the news the celebrities get bumped from the front page.

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