Sunday December 05, 2010 16:55 by viral
while the demo today started off quick and moving well, it was soon kettled up in clifton.... a few folks managed to avoid the kettle, found each other on the other side of a police line that wasn't looking to move anytime soon and decided to join up and stay on the move and vocal regardless. after failing to break through a police line below college green, they took to the back streets and moved off towards broadmead.
though small, there was support from passersby and shoppers - and a successful (and quite comic) shutting of the main vodaphone store.
as the doors to the vodaphone store were firmly locked an impromtpu piece of guerilla theatre commenced, with some great engagement and joining in of passersby..... even the cops realised that a ratio of 4 of them to each actor, who were gathering a crowd, smiles, laughs, support and banter from shoppers, made them look just a little bit ridiculous, and a few skulked off.
interestingly it wasn't only vodaphone primed and ready to lock their doors at the sight of a few disgruntled taxpayers.... there was a fair bit of security on the doors of top shop too... phillip green must be starting to feel the heat after occupations of his stores on saturday.
so yeah - a small roving ragtag protest might look a bit shit. and the main protest suffered what was tantamount to a mass arrest and detention out of sight of most of those in bristol city centre today. but it was a good example of folks keeping on their toes, spirits high, staying creative and refusing to suffer the disempowerment that kettling tactics are meant to bring about.
there's more demo's planned in the lead up to the vote on education cuts due for thursday, and it would be great to see some targetted affinity group actions too.... and the organising and bridge building between groups needs to keep its momentum as the country prepares to face the impact of benefit cuts coming into force in early 2011, ongoing threats to advice services and legal aid funding, proposed changes to housing legislation to decimate social housing and narrow the safety net for homeless people and on and on and on.... it was also noted that we could do with a few more chants that really bring all of these together... bring your ideas out to the streets...