Busy protest days: the right to protest
November 25, 2010
DPAC was at York Way to picket Nick Clegg on 23rd November. We were there as part of the Right to Work Campaign.
There was a good number of people and we kept up chants such as “Shame on you for turning blue”.
An effigy of Clegg was hung up.
Nick Clegg went in at a side entrance and there was a good show of police but nothing compared to the student’s protest day.
Video from the Nick Clegg picket from the Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/video/2010/nov/23/cuts-protest-nick-clegg and more photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/disabledpeopleprotest/sets/72157625456762536/
A few DPAC members made it to the students protest – as a wheelchair user, I wasn’t ‘advised’ by the police to go beyond the horse guard cordon, I didn’t think it would be advisable either so there was another young male student with his PA, we stayed near Downing Street. I waited for Linda and Paul to come find me and meantime I had a little interview with a journalist from The Militant as to why we were there. I said the cuts affected all of us – we shouldn’t think in silos. Reflecting on it, I should have ask that young wheelchair student how it affected him.
Are disabled students any different from those able bodied students – should he be put off from protesting with his mates because he was a wheelchair user?
The media pictures are focused on those few incidents but even though I was not in the ‘kettle’ it wasn’t that riotous. People were generally friendly and a man was willing to take some photos for me because he was standing on a wall!
I used to live in France where students regularly demonstrated and bus shelters get burnt etc and I remember taking part in one against the far right demonstration, it was slightly edgy but I was not stopped from participating. At a meeting with organisers and police at the 3rd Oct protest in Birmingham, there was a question by an anxious policeman – what if wheelchair users had a puncture on the route???
More photos at the flickr site