THAT the times are really changing was rammed home once again yesterday.
People are angrily reacting to the news that 4,000 highly trained police officers are to be used today to confront an estimated 10,000 students as they march to the city demanding their rights.
The Metropolitan Police will have permission to use plastic bullets, the ‘kettling’ tactic, and CS gas, and will have officers on duty with Tasers, the terrifying weapon that has already been used on the Dale Farm Travellers.
They will also have access to water cannon and armoured vehicles if they consider that they need them to confront thousands of young people who have been radicalised by the fact that under capitalism their future is zero.
Marching to the City or to Parliament to demand your rights, now apparently constitutes a major crime, and a major challenge to the state and a ruling class that is attempting to rule by the use of overwhelming force.
Assistant commissioner Lynne Owens astonished journalists at a press briefing on Monday by telling them ‘We will be intending to act swiftly and decisively if people do engage in criminal acts.’
Also, no doubt, under a similar threat will be two other demonstrations taking place on the same day, at the same time, in the same area. Taxi drivers are to stage a demonstration in Trafalgar Square, while electricians, facing huge wage and job cuts are set to march on Parliament.
The police mobilisation has already been denounced by Jenny Jones, a Green Party member of the London Assembly.
She said: ‘Any officer that shoots a student with a baton round will have to answer to the whole of London. How did we come to this?
‘An unpopular government pushing ahead with policies that are all pain and no gain, relying on police armed with plastic bullets to deal with young people who complain about it all.
‘The prospect of the police shooting at unarmed demonstrators with any kind of bullet is frankly appalling, un-British and reminiscent of scenes currently being used by murderous dictatorships in the Middle East.’
British workers and youth are to get the same treatment as the US ruling class is dishing out the Wall Street Occupation movement and its trade union supporters – they are to be crushed, as far as the ruling class is concerned.
The ruling class fears that its savage cuts, across the board, affecting every worker, youth and pensioner, are going to set millions on the march against it.
Its response is to show that if you protest, if you march on the City or to the Parliament, you are risking life and limb. The message is that you must accept that the British ruling class has the right to make the 99% suffer in order to secure the capitalist system for the 1% that make up the ruling class of the bankers and capitalists.
The Green member of the London Assembly, Jenny Jones, is right when she says ‘Any officer that shoots a student with a baton round will have to answer to the whole of London.’
In fact, they must be made to answer to the whole of the country.
The way to make them answer is to turn the pensions strike on November 30 into a general strike that will shake the bankers and capitalists to their foundation and see over a million marching in London on that day.
The government is already threatening to victimise the workers and unions that take part in the action on the 30th.
This is why November 30 must be turned into a one-day general strike by all workers and youth and be the curtain-raiser for an indefinite general strike to bring down the coalition and bring in a workers government.
Amongst its first actions will be the smashing up of the capitalist state, especially its police and secret police forces, and its officer corps – to be replaced by an armed people and workers militia.
The British ruling class are seeking to maintain British capitalism by a military police terror. The only real answer to this is the British socialist revolution.