Most people find it hard to understand why I am cyanical over the latest footage from The Guardian about the protests on Saturday 26th March.
Further to my blog post being published on The New Current, a lot of people have critcised me for not automatically backing the protestors, and for, quite outrageously in their opinion, not criticising the police.
The Guardian has provided a really stunning video, with an article steeped in perjorative language about Police Actions towards UK Uncut.
My immediate response is that the video is very carefully edited. Clips cut and pasted together. I counted eleven separate pieces of footage.
Other people, predominately on Twitter, which is my main debating channel, have stated that Police Officers are saying that the people will not be arrested, and that they are told they will not be kettled, and then they are kettled.
However, word geek that I am, I studied the language used very carefully. It should be observed that the police officer states in the initial footage that she doesnt beleive that they will be contained, but it is not "an absolute definite".
Let's turn this on it's head, shall we?
If you take police officers, who have watched colleagues be set on fire outside, had amonia filled lightbulbs thrown at them and seen from the footage, the violent people outside break into Fortnum and Mason and apparently join the sit-in, they will feel the need to identify all persons to take the aggressive protestors into custody.
UK Uncut claim they had a peaceful demonstration (although how it could be peaceful with bagpipes is beyond me!). However, it is clear from the footage outside the store that members of nefarious balaclava clad gang entered the store and potentially joined in with the UK Uncut group.
When you then see the protestors marching and chanting, note the amount of people in all black, ominous outfits with their faces covered. The police would have noticed this too, and considered processing of all people to be of necessity of public safety.
Take into account also the haste and energy within the march, within the officers hard at work and the pressure from media, politics and other groups, the only practical way to identify the main perpetraitors of violence, criminal damage and offences against the person is to process everyone there.
The Actual Video Footage
There is, quite clearly, parts of the video that have been edited. The video is carefully edited to place the burden of responsibility of bad behaviour on members of the Police and present UK Uncut as the parragons of virtue they claim to be.
The subtle lawyer language used by the officer, nuanced deliberately, is enough to say that this officer is not incharge of what will happen outside and she states she cannot guarantee safe passage, per se.
The language is crafted as such, that you cannot deduce from her statements what the intended outcome of UK Uncut protestors leaving the store will be. Consdier that Police understand a Kettle to be a "safe place" contained with which to defuse violence, the colloquial and actual definitions blur significantly.
Now consider that every fade out to black is a change in footage. What cannot be determined, therefore, is the actions of protestors through out these "black outs" Arguably this could be because the video is long and tedious and full of students reciting some appauling march theme, which wouldnt really engage with the Guardian Audience.
However, by not providing full, solid, unedited footage, it is impossible to draw guilty and innocent verdicts on the scenes shown. It is impossible to test the validity or credibility of the footage given, even the boy accusing police of brutatlity when he is "a legal observer" and "was doing nothing".
We only see a "kettle" at the end of the video, in the last 12 seconds. The missing links may show unfair treatment, but they may as equally show criminal behaviour by protestors.
Prior to this, we see Protestors marching, shouting, clinging to each other and their face masks, while Police stand back and let them walk through. This is not, in any interprestation, a "Kettle".
Finally, we see evidence of kettling, with opportunistic protestors carrying thousands of pounds worth of camera equipment (sorry, more cuts did you say?!) to photograoh apparent brutality, as enthusiastic voices yell over the footage.
However, what we do not see is the footage between the little march and the kettle.
The ranting could have escalated to antagonistic proportions, but we will never know as the footage was edited.
I am not in the habit of jumping on The Guardian Bandwagons when presented with such flimsy evidence. But I question the presentation of a story where the facts are so conviniently arranged in black and white for all to leap on the defensive to protect those who protest (even when they break the law).
By doing so, of course, The Guardian is stirring up the potential for more money to be wasted on several years worth of inquries from which there will be no conclusion.
I would remind readers not to be so quick to judge, unless the full facts are presented. Without editing.