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Thread: Student protests

  1. #1

    Post Student protests

    I'm intrigued as to how little discussion there has been here about the student protests in London against the coalition government's planned massive rises in university tuition fees and cuts to the education maintenance allowance, so they can get away with the 80% cuts they just made to the universities' budget.

    The latest demonstration in London was not organised by the National Union of Students, which has been quite spineless throughout all of this, but by a group of students who oppose the cuts. There have been several protests organised, and almost all have included examples of police violence against protesters. Thousands were "kettled" in Parliament Square, surrounded on all sides by police armed with batons, and subjected to repeated charges by police horses. They were not allowed to leave, nor were they provided with food, shelter or toilet facilities. One protester had to be taken to hospital for emergency brain surgery after being hit on the head by a police baton, and many others suffered similar - albeit more minor - injuries, and were refused treatment by the police. Later, hundreds were kettled on Westminster Bridge in the freezing cold until close on to midnight, without even the room to sit down - the entire reason for this seemed to be to humiliate the protesters, and make sure they didn't try protesting again.

    Of course, the violence was not all one-sided. Police were hit with paint-filled baubles, rocks, snooker balls and even homemade riot shields, while several government buildings had their windows smashed. Graffiti was daubed on the statue of Winston Churchill, the Cenotaph was also vandalised, and a car carrying Prince Charles was attacked.

    In the end, the bill to treble tuition fees to 9000 pa passed by a majority of 21. The police are now investigating the use of water cannons to quell future protests.


    Of major importance is how the protesters were originally denied the right to protest outside Parliament - people had to actually break in to Parliament Square. It seems to me that our right to protest has been eroded, and I for one am not happy about that.

    The student community is also divided in this - the NUS did not support the protest, and refused to condemn police brutality. Many students around the country are calling for a vote of no confidence in the president of the NUS, and are looking to replace him with someone who will actively support demonstrations and occupations.

    Various links:
    YouTube - BBC Jody McIntyre interview - BBC interviews a protester who was pulled from his wheelchair by police
    Rachel Maddow Show - Rachel Maddow on the violence
    YouTube - BBC Newsnight - Paul Mason report on Tuition Fees protest, 9th December 2010 - BBC newsnight report from the protests
    YouTube - Police horses charge protesters 09/12/2010 - Mounted police charge protesters
    Login | Facebook - Piece by someone who was kettled
    Police tactics at tuition fees protest questioned after further angry clashes | Education | The Guardian - Guardian article on police tactics

  2. #2

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    Anarchy in the UK!!!

    Don't worry, if thing keep going how they're going the cops will join the protesters. If this is the way people in the UK riot over a tuition hike I can't wait to see a UK food riot.
    At least there is something that will get people in the UK to riot. Americans continue to be acquiescent while the system piles bullshit upon bullshit.
    Hey don't have a job? That sucks man but its the way things are
    Don't have a house? That sucks man but its the way things are
    Feeling depressed because you have no future? Sucks man but its the way things are.

  3. #3

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    It is very sad that our country has reached this point in its evolution. We achieved so much to be proud of directly after World War II. Some police are in effect lovely people. People with families, people who smoke pot on the weekends, people who are peaceful at heart. But a lot of them are complete sociopaths, with superiority complexes and ginormous egos to match. These ones usually rise to the top too, and make the big decisions. You forgot to mention the guy with cerebral palsy who was forcibly removed from his wheelchair by police officers, and dragged along the street. Having a disabled sister who attended these demonstrations in London, it worries me somewhat to see things like that occurring.

    Frankly I see no cause for treating students the way they have. Deal with the troublemakers, leave everyone else be. For gods sake, a lot of the protesters are no more than children! The reason those in power are tackling this the way they are is because we've entered an age of terror. One where our governments (The Collective West as I like to call them) rule by creating hysteria and fear. Free speech is not allowed.

    I know I will be outright accused of being a conspiracy nut for saying the following, but I do honestly believe that the evidence I have seen is irrefutable. And I think it has quite a bearing on the situation that is unfolding this decade. If this offends you I do apoligise, but it is a belief of mine. Probably the closest I get to having a religion, and it by no means provides me with a sense of belonging or happiness. Infact it makes me rather depressed and sad :/. If you don't wish your sensibilities about the way you view the world to be challenged, please look away.





    The September 11th attacks were either orchestrated or allowed to happen by elements within the United States government in order to generate mass fear, initiate and justify the War on Terror, provide a pretext for the curtailment of civil liberties, and produce economic gain. If you do not believe me, then consider that this wouldn't be the first time America has setup a reason for us all to enter a war. The sinking of the RMS Lusitania, the Attack on Pearl Harbor, and the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, if you look at them all closely enough they all scream a convenient ruse. *breathe*

    Our democracy is not democracy. We have what is effectively a two party system. We should ignore the mask of the "coalition" that the UK has at the moment. It is effectively a Tory government. What terrifies me, is that only a very select few of very powerful, very wealth individuals can ever hope to become head of the United Kingdom. If you have anything in your life that is slightly out of the ordinary, the media makes it impossible for you to rise to a position of influence. With my Infantilist fetish, I could never become an MP. We as a population just let the current political climate happen. Stupefied by X-factor and Strictly Come Dancing.

    It is common knowledge that whenever voting for either party, we are forced to choose between the lesser of two evils. How can we therefore have an effective government? A productive country? A happy, intelligent and fruitful population? You could argue that no government could make everyone happy. But I disagree. I think that there are so many things that the majority of the UK population agrees on that simply isn't tackled, ever. We aren't like the USA, we aren't split by religion. There are many issues like, clean energy, health-care, education, peace, open-mindedness, recreational drugs; that the UK population as a whole agrees upon. Yet we still haven't achieved anywhere near our potential. We're stifled by our archaic democracy. Corporations who have money invested in certain market areas that would be effected by any change to the current status quo, influence our governments heavily, and prevent us from making true progress. What must Aliens think of us looking from the outside? No wonder they haven't made first contact with us yet.

    And what I find so frustrating at the end of all of this, is that we could so easily do away with our current form of democracy. The Internet is such a wonderful invention. Look at all the fruitful and meaningful debate that occurs on this forum alone. This is but a minuscule section of the interwebs. Why can't this powerful tool be used to govern our species with infinitely more wisdom and progress? I have thought about every counter argument for this, of which there are quite a few, but in the end ALL these problems can be solved in one way or another, either through software, third parties or otherwise. What should be noted is that, what could be achieved, would be infinitely better than what we currently "put up with".

    Rant over. *pants*

    PS: For all my cynicism in this post, I do believe that Humanity has so much potential. I suppose you could say that I am frustrated I can't see it achieveing that potential before I die. A rather selfish view I suppose XD.
    Last edited by Luca; 15-Dec-2010 at 16:27.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Luca View Post
    The September 11th attacks were either orchestrated or allowed to happen by elements within the United States government in order to generate mass fear, initiate and justify the War on Terror, provide a pretext for the curtailment of civil liberties, and produce economic gain. If you do not believe me, then consider that this wouldn't be the first time America has setup a reason for us all to enter a war. The sinking of the RMS Lusitania, the Attack on Pearl Harbor, and the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, if you look at them all closely enough they all scream a convenient ruse. *breathe*
    Um, come again?


  5. #5

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    Okay, first off, Luca, I need to ask you a question.

    How much is your silence worth? Seriously, how much would the US Government have to pay you to keep quiet about the things you may think you know about the attacks on 9/11? Now, multiply that number by however many people would need to be involved in a conspiracy of that magnitude. That includes employees of the CIA, FBI, NSA, FAA, and other agencies. And that is simply assuming that the Government was purposefully negligent. If they orchestrated the attacks, the numbers go much, much, higher.

    Simply put, the only thing the US Government is guilty of regarding 9/11 is critically dropping the ball.

    Now, as to the topic at hand, I don't know much about how the higher education system works in the UK, but I would imagine that a hike of that magnitude would be better off spread out over the course of several years.

    Now, as to the violence and protests, keep in mind that while the students have valid concerns, they are going about in in completely the wrong manner. Attacking police officers, government officials, vandalizing government buildings and private property is not how you are taken seriously.

  6. #6

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    Hinkie, the reason the fees are being trebled is that the government is cutting university funding by 80%, and they need some way to prevent the entire higher education system simply vanishing overnight.

    And as for violence... well, sad as it is, I think it's natural, because it's clear that no one listens otherwise. I don't deny that some people went to be violent, but I think a lot got caught up in it, and when you are being attacked, your urge is to fight back.

  7. #7

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    Nutfreefruitcake: I know that 9/11 conspiracy theories have been done to death through media outlets such as Southpark and assorted documentaries. I laughed at the episode you have quoted. I do love Southpark. But, I mean what I said. I've thought about it, researched and have come to that conclusion :/.

    Hinkie: You're entitled to your own opinions, as am I :3. I have looked at as much evidence as I could get my hands on, on this subject. There is no "absolute" proof to what I am saying. But there is plenty of circumstantial proof. Enough to raise questions. I think it's a matter of the way you approach it. If I was to ask a random member of the British public (who keeps up to date on international news and events), "Whether George Bush orchestrated or allowed 9/11 to happen?" most would answer no. But if I were to ask "Do you think George Bush went into Iraq to profit from Oil?", a lot would answer yes. He profited from the oil in Iraq because he gained a foothold in the Middle East in the form of Afghanistan (and had a reason to do so due to the events of 9/11), and then invaded Iraq using falsified intelligence o.o.



    Quote Originally Posted by Hinkie
    How much is your silence worth? Seriously, how much would the US Government have to pay you to keep quiet about the things you may think you know about the attacks on 9/11? Now, multiply that number by however many people would need to be involved in a conspiracy of that magnitude. That includes employees of the CIA, FBI, NSA, FAA, and other agencies. And that is simply assuming that the Government was purposefully negligent. If they orchestrated the attacks, the numbers go much, much, higher.
    One of those Agencies you mentioned, with a small group of up to five men, with one superior officer acting as a direct link to the Bush administration, with a recruitment agent in Afghanistan or wherever, and funding from Pakistan. That's how I'd do it, though I am no expert :P. I know from running a business that you only need a small team around you to make amazing things happen. Espionage happens all over the world, and we hardly ever hear about it. American presidents have been known to involve themselves in underhand operations. Watergate for instance. I'd say Bush was worse than Nixon, but that's my personal opinion :P.

  8. #8

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    Police brutality against student protesters is something that happens in most first-world countries.

    Of course, the reason why many policemen become policemen is because they want an official excuse to brutalize people who are considered inferior citizens. I really do have an incredibly low opinion of law enforcement. Not only does it employ needlessly brutal methods to get results, but the needlessly brutal methods have also proven to be horribly inefficient in keeping crime rates down.

    Nothing shocking here, but it is all very sad.
    Last edited by KaworuVsDrWily; 16-Dec-2010 at 02:53.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Luca View Post
    Hinkie: You're entitled to your own opinions, as am I :3. I have looked at as much evidence as I could get my hands on, on this subject. There is no "absolute" proof to what I am saying. But there is plenty of circumstantial proof. Enough to raise questions. I think it's a matter of the way you approach it. If I was to ask a random member of the British public (who keeps up to date on international news and events), "Whether George Bush orchestrated or allowed 9/11 to happen?" most would answer no. But if I were to ask "Do you think George Bush went into Iraq to profit from Oil?", a lot would answer yes. He profited from the oil in Iraq because he gained a foothold in the Middle East in the form of Afghanistan (and had a reason to do so due to the events of 9/11), and then invaded Iraq using falsified intelligence o.o.
    Your analysis is rather odd, considering that the US hasn't profited from a drop of Iraqi oil. But please continue your diatribe.



    One of those Agencies you mentioned, with a small group of up to five men, with one superior officer acting as a direct link to the Bush administration, with a recruitment agent in Afghanistan or wherever, and funding from Pakistan. That's how I'd do it, though I am no expert :P. I know from running a business that you only need a small team around you to make amazing things happen. Espionage happens all over the world, and we hardly ever hear about it. American presidents have been known to involve themselves in underhand operations. Watergate for instance. I'd say Bush was worse than Nixon, but that's my personal opinion :P.
    I'd love to hear your theory about how 5 dudes managed to get an audience with Osama Bin Laden and convince him to plan, train for, and execute (in 9 months) the largest and most complex terror attack in history whilst simultaneously avoiding the FBI, CIA, NSA, and all the folks that are paid mega bucks to prevent stuff like that. I really would.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Luca View Post
    Nutfreefruitcake: I know that 9/11 conspiracy theories have been done to death through media outlets such as Southpark and assorted documentaries. I laughed at the episode you have quoted. I do love Southpark. But, I mean what I said. I've thought about it, researched and have come to that conclusion :/.
    I should add that your "previous examples" are similarly outrageous; the Japanese sinking several battleships, damaging a huge part of the Pacific fleet, destroying about 200 aircraft, and killing over 2,000 men in a surprise attack was somehow a ruse to enter WWII?

    Conspiracy theories are, more or less by definition, extremely-low probability explanations which are significant less likely than the prevailing explanation. In other words, the common explanation is the common explanation because it seems to most reasonably fit the evidence. This doesn't necessitate its accuracy, but it does put the burden of proof on you to prove why your competing explanation is logically better if you want to be taken seriously. Simply acting like it's fact because you've "researched" it is not a credible position.


    There are a lot of things that America has done of which we should not be proud. Heck, our history is one of first extermination and gross injustice to racial minorities, followed by overthrowing many small foreign governments when we had power in the 20th century. At the beginning of the 20th century, we did both at the same time. However, the "examples" you've picked out are patently ridiculous and demonstrate a terrible understanding of our history.

    Moreover, the way you present only these American examples implies that, somehow, the UK has a better history. It does not, and in fact has much bloodier hands from controlling a larger share of the world for a much longer period.
    Last edited by Fruitkitty; 16-Dec-2010 at 10:22.

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