Friday, 30 July 2010

Today's Failure

I'm currently not attending this demo, which is happening as I type, or maybe it's been dispersed now, I don't know.  The outcome of the Tomlinson affair so far is unsurprising, they found a way out of it, they took it.  I am angry, and I wanted to go down there.  I was at the G20 protests and had my first experience of police violence, I'd never really been to anything like that before.  I managed not to get hit, but I was trampled on.  I'd taken all of the numbers of the riot cops standing in front of me before they eventually moved forward and pushed me back.  As a result, he didn't stamp on my crotch hard, only symbolically.  I was on the floor, with a cop stamping symbolically on my crotch whilst he screamed "GET UP! GET UP!" at me, I wasn't able to get up myself, so I offered my hand and asked him to help me up, just to put him in the position of refusing, and eventually my friends pulled me up.  I wasn't really scared though.

The scariest bit was towards the end of the day.  We were all going for a big surge against police lines so that we could finally get out of the kettle.  A lot of us who didn't like public urination were dying for a piss, bottled water was being handed to cops from a closed subway, but not to us, so a lot of people were getting thirsty.  Some people had head injuries, some people were just feeling sick.  We were getting agitated and angry.  But I think.  Most of all.  We just wanted to win.  We were being shown that we were losing, that were are always losing, and we will always be the losing side until we win.  We are weak, they are strong.  It's a constant truth that we all know too well and right at that point it was a truth being bashed on our skulls and  expanding in our bladders.  And we aint fighting capitalism anymore, we aint fighting the state, we're not even thinking about that group of  powersmilers meeting somewhere deciding on how to maintain the balance of wealth  and power.  We're fighting that bunch of cunts other there with the sticks.  That's all it's about now.  That cunt with the stick, if I run towards him and shout I might, for a moment, not feel so weak and useless and poor and beaten.  So there was a series of surges against each riot cop line (each road heading out of Bank).  Surge, they run at us with batons, we run away, next line, surge, they run at us with batons, we run away, next line.  I just ended up being near the front, and all I remember are about 30 riot cops running at me, all black and hard and helmetty and hitty, I ran away, shit scared, and found I was actually running towards more cops raising batons at me.  I just changed direction and ran in the only direction which was away from both blocks of cops, which was, of course, where they wanted us to go.  Nearer the centre I think.

For a few days later I had flashbacks, any sight of a cop scared the shit out of me, any car coming in my peripheral vision made me jump, thinking it was a cop car or a horse or something.  I saw a lot of bloody heads.  Anyway, none of what happened was particularly shocking, it was just protocol, and my first experience of it.  If Ian Tomlinson hadn't died, I don't think we'd be hearing anything about it.  And when the cops eventually get away with his death for good, only his family, friends, the people that were there that day, and a few conscientious types with stubborn memories will remember the newspaper seller who died after being hit and pushed by PC Simon Harwood on his way home from work.

Today's failure is not turning up to that demo, because I wanted to relax and focus on what I need to do today.  What I need to do today is re-write my letter to my therapists and find an internet cafe where I can print it and then a Post Office where I can post it.