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Issue #1684      May 13, 2015

Anti-Tory protests met with police violence

Police violence and mass arrests marked the first weekend of the new Tory government as thousands of young people took to the streets in a peaceful protest to voice their anger over further austerity measures.

The peaceful protest turned sour when, after three hours of causing havoc with central London’s traffic, protesters and police clashed on Whitehall in scenes reminiscent of the 2010 student movement.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed that 15 people had been arrested, with several protesters reporting excessive use of violence by the police.

London School of Economics student Daphne Wikken said: “I have never experienced such extreme force of police violence. “My legs are bruised everywhere and I cut my arm.

“For me what is particularly scary is the fact that the government is already cracking down on dissent so badly just days after the general election.”

A man was picked up by his throat by a police officer in riot gear, moments before police lines closed in on protesters, kettling a few hundred near No 10.

One of those jailed during the day’s clashes told the Morning Star “arrests were made under arbitrary circumstances, after the demonstration had ended.”

The student, who asked to remain anonymous after being released on bail, added he had been “brutally handcuffed” and searched, “having stopped to inquire on someone’s else’s arrest.”

While the protest was called against the prospect of another five years of cuts to public services and the privatisation of the National Health Service, many of those present used the event to argue for a proportional electoral system. Asked why he decided to join the demonstration, Pascal Cameron said: “For me it was just the shock of it being a Tory majority when clearly there is no mandate for that when you look at the votes.”

Speaking about the Conservatives coming to power on less than 40 per cent of the votes with a 66 per cent turnout, he said: “It really struck me this election that it’s not actually democracy when it’s a minority rule.

“It’s the opposite of democracy.”

Morning Star

Next article – JCP gains in local elections

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