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General News    H2'ed 3/29/11

Half a Million Protestors on the Streets of London; Silence in the US Media

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In Britain as in the US, an economic crisis that was caused by rogue bankers is being used as an excuse to slash public services, even as the Wall St thugs get bailed out at public expense.

The British government has announced massive cuts in government services and employment. In response, 500,000 people flooded into the streets this weekend, in a mostly-peaceful protest march.

Did the New York Times cover this event? The only article I could find was titled Police Brace for Royal Wedding.

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The Associated Press had a small article, posted on the NPR web site, but not, to my knowledge picked up in their radio news.

BBC reported on the event, underplayed the causes and message of the protestors, overplayed reports of scattered violence.

Teachers, nurses, firefighters, public sector workers, students, pensioners and campaign groups all took part in Saturday's mass demonstration.

The event dwarfed protests in Wisconsin, where tens of thousands have protested in recent weeks.

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Where can we go to read background and analysis of these events? 

Everyone agrees that the London protest was remarkably peaceful, dominated by staid, middle-class Brits, but interrupted by a much smaller violent contingent.  I wish I could feel confident that suspicions that the violence was instigated or even staged to discredit the protestors is too wild an idea to entertain.

 The Guardian reported that a minority of less than 1/10 of 1% of protestors destroyed property; meanwhile, the London police waved billy clubs and caused bodily injury.  But, right on cue, Parliament is considering restrictions on peaceful protest (but not re-considering the budget cuts).  

The Independent reports fears that the violence would be an excuse for major changes in the right to peaceful assembly.  Nicola Smith, in her Left Foot blog, reports 

Reducing spending, while the population and its needs continue to grow, will have real impacts. The poorest will be hit hardest unemployment will rise and services will suffer . And it won't only be the public sector that is hit -- with  38p in the pound  of public spending going directly to private sector companies workers and businesses across the economy will, as the  FT  sets out, feel the impact.

The Trade Unions Congress reports that more than half of Great Britain supports the marchers. 

 

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Josh Mitteldorf, a senior editor at OpEdNews, blogs on aging at http://JoshMitteldorf.ScienceBlog.com. Read how to stay young at http://AgingAdvice.org.
Educated to be an astrophysicist, he has branched out from there to mathematical (more...)
 

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