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Report from March 26th Demo

posted 27 Mar 2011, 08:29 by Admin uk   [ updated 1 May 2011, 11:18 ]
by Iain Case 

Around half a million people marched through London yesterday in the biggest demonstration seen in the UK for many years. This was the first protest against the Coalition Government that brought together workers and students, and exceeded all expectations in the turnout.  There was a massive presence from rank-and-file trade unionists and young people. 

Another feature of the day’s events was a further development in the militant consciousness of young people and students. Walking round the West End of London through the afternoon and evening, I was struck by the anger and fearlessness of these youth, and the development of their class awareness and tactical approach. 
At first Banks and businesses identified with the financial crisis and tax avoidance were targeted, including TopShop, CitiBank, multiple branches of HSBC and so on. As the afternoon developed, targets became more class-oriented: The Ritz hotel was attacked, a Porsche showroom, and finally the Queens Grocers Fortnum and Masons was occupied and ransacked. 

The Youth have developed a highly mobile strategy in response to Police ‘kettling’ tactics, moving at high speed through the town with the Police trailing behind trying to keep up. The evening ended with a stand-off in Trafalgar Square, where the Police kettled a large group of angry students and youth, making over 200 arrests.

A feature of these events is that the anger and fearlessness of the youth, and their increasing self-organisation. The sects and ‘official’ left have no answers for these young people, who increasingly feel they have nothing to lose. The danger is without leadership and direction they will be dissipated and defeated. The Left must rise to this challenge, build bridges to these groups, address their concerns and rapidly adapt to fast moving events.
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