Letter: Riot in the City

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The Independent Culture
Sir: I, along with 90 per cent of the other demonstrators, joined what was supposed to be a fun, peaceful street party to demonstrate against globalisation. The aim was to challenge unsustainable economics where economic growth is built on debt and free trade is placed higher than health, the environment and even people. The City was the main target of the demonstration as the symbol of the world casino that is finance and speculation.

It was clear however that there was a masked minority of highly organised activists, scarves over faces, who used peaceful protesters as a cover to commit criminal damage and incite now sunbaked and inebriated young people to join in.

Real direct action protesters do not need to hide their faces. Although not always legal, their actions are always morally defensible and they are prepared to be arrested for their actions and then defend them in court, where the issues get fully explored. They offer no resistance to police.

I feel used and ashamed to have been part of this demonstration, when we, the peaceful masses, were betrayed by the yobbish minority. These people made a peaceful protest into a mockery and cut off any chance of future protests, growth of the movement or serious debate on the issues involved.


London SE13