This could well be significant day. Big student protests all over the country, both on the streets and sit-ins in several universities. Mainly non-violent.
Too big for the media to ignore, so they will have to distort instead.
The police abandoned an old police van (outdated markings) in the middle of the crowd, which was duly vandalised. It has been termed the #baitvan on Twitter - bait for the vandalisers, who gave the police an excuse to form a kettle, and also gave an excuse for servile media to diss the demos. More here.
It is alleged that officer U2128 repeatedly kicked a 15 year old girl. Hopefully pictures and/or video evidence will surface to bear this out. [Update: no they have not. I traced the U2128 story back to @TaobhCle: RT @Adam_S953: Officer U2128 kicking 15yr old girl caught on camera. Chant of "your going on YouTube" #demo2010". This was RTd many many times, accounting for much of the
I searched for @Adam_S953 and got "does not exist".
@santi_girl had had exchanges with @AdamS953 who it seems did originate the story, without having any evidence. @AdamS953 is at the moment unobtainable on Twitter. His unremarkable blog is here.
@TaobhCle seems to have protected tweets.
This does certainly show the desirability of checking sources. End of Update]
How much will the police operation cost?
How much will need to be set aside to police future policing operations?
How much will this extra expenditure cut into Osborne's budget cuts?
Did they think of this?
Have they thought how many more demos will occur, and of what magnitude, once the Unions get their act together and start demonstrations too?
Historically, Government tend to fall when students and workers get on the streets. Especially if the police harbour a sympathy for the protesters - which they surely will, since their own jobs are on the line.
Politically, there is massive pressure on LibDem MPs to abstain, take a sickie or vote No on tuition fees. This raises the possibility of a Government defeat - which would be followed by a No Confidence motion, which the Government would probably win, but a precedent will have been set.
There is a real possibility of an early general election. The Green Party should be ready for that event, but more, we should be leading negotiations with progressives in other parties to see if we can elect a cross-party majority of MPs who can put forward a fully costed alternative to Osborne's insane butchery. The programme would focus on cancellation of large white elephant projects like Trident, closing tax avoidance loopholes and tax havens, and a clamp cown on tax evaders.
When I last put this forward, one influential Green objector simply asserted that the Coalition will run its full term. OK, it may. Alternatively, it may not. If it does not, and if it collapses as rapidly as a Samoan scrum, we need to be ready.
Moreover, even the fact that negotiations are taking place on an anti-cuts Alternative Coalition would put the fear of god into the Cleggeron. Which would be nice.
So this is big, and could be the start of something really big, politically.
Fair play and big respect for the students.