The following is an open letter published 28/3/2011 by sections of the Solidarity Federation who with the Anarchist Federation had called for a Radical Workers Bloc jointly on the day of the 26th March demonstration.
One video link below clearly shows how those on the UKUncut occupation of Fortnum and Mason were deceived and then arrested and charged by police giving rise to their self-professed ‘record’ arrest rate on March 26th. 138 of 149 charges (reported so far) were from this one event and only 11 charges from elsewhere. It seems clear that the police were following expert advice to treat UKUncut as domestic extremists and to more quickly arrest and charge.
Also the Guardian video following the police around all day shows that ‘black bloc’ was being used operationally as a term for any group coming and going in masks rather than more static protesters.
A letter to UK Uncutters from the ‘violent minority’
We’re writing this to you to try and prevent the anti-cuts struggle being split up and weakened by the media.
We are anarchists (well, anarcho-syndicalists, technically) – a word that is much misunderstood and misrepresented.
We are also students, workers and shop stewards. We co-organised a ‘Radical Workers Bloc’ on the South London feeder march. The aim was to provide a highly visible radical presence within the workers movement of which we are a part, advocating strikes, occupations and civil disobedience.
Reply from Brighton Uncut: http://brightonuncut.wordpress.com/2011/03/31/open-letter-to-solfed-and-uk-uncut/
Some useful links:
UKUncut getting deceived by police, ‘let go’ then kettled & arrested, amounting to the vast majority of arrests and charges made on 26th March, 28/3/2011: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/video/2011/mar/28/fortnum-mason-protesters-uk-uncut-video
BBC Newsnight, Report on Black Bloc, Interview with UK Uncut individual on Newsnight 28th March impressively countering Paul Mason’s ‘two demonstations’ story: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IhS7yBcMnE
BBC News London, London cuts march: Government sticking to plan – Cable, 27/3/2011: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-12874631
The Guardian, March for the Alternative: behind police lines – video, showing intention not to allow so-called ‘criminal’ trespass and giving us the operational definition of Black Bloc: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/video/2011/mar/28/march-alternative-police-video
Press release: UK Uncut condemns political policing at peaceful protest (30th Jan 2011, earlier protest where CS spray was used by police): http://www.ukuncut.org.uk/blog/press-release-uk-uncut-condemns-political-policing-at-peaceful-protest
Video recording from thinktank Policy Exchange with Domestic Extremism panel giving advice to surpress UKUncut (mentioned around 3 mins after start of video, then near end a recommendation that their website should be taken down, and recommendations for more immediate arrests and immediate charging in general): http://www.policyexchange.org.uk/events/event.cgi?id=285 (video) and Statement about ‘extremist’ groups on March 26th by ex-Met ‘expert’, Andy Hayman.