The BBC report of today's national student demo suggests that 4,000 police were on the streets, whilst they estimated that the number of marchers was around 2,000. Now, are they really claiming that it takes 2 Met police to keep each young student protestor in order? This is the equivalent of having over 100,000 cops at Man Utd home game. To have double the number of protestors is overkill by any stretch of the imagination.
Frankly, having been on the demo I think the 2,000 estimate lacks credibility. But no amount of misinformation can hold back the anger that young people across the country feel towards the Coalition. And with hundreds of striking electricians stopping the traffic earlier in the day, there are clear signals that working people are in no mood to accept blatant attacks on pay and conditions either. No wonder the authorities are beginning to worry. (MC)
Michael Calderbank is a member of Red Pepper's editorial collective. He is also a parliamentary researcher for a group of trade unions.