Zoe Slater

Not much anarchy in the UK

Not much anarchy in the UK
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Given the newspaper headlines over the last few days, one could have been forgiven for thinking the UK, or at least the City of London, had been taken over by anarchists. Wherever you looked there were dramatic images of broken windows and bloodied and angry protesters. But the give-away is that in every snap there are about 8 photographers. It can’t be much of a riot, if there are that many cameras recording every act of violence.

The anti-capitalists couldn’t have had better circumstances. The whole country is annoyed with the bankers, with even the most mild-mannered individuals calling for their blood. The entire capitalist system has taken a beating. But the anti-capitalists couldn’t get even one eighth as many people on the streets as the Seattle riots did in 1999.

In Seattle, the police had to impose curfews and a state of emergency was declared. In London the number of police roughly matched the number of protesters, which just goes to show how much bigger they were expecting the whole thing. One can only assume that the protesters themselves had planned to bring more people out onto the streets too. If this is the high water mark of anti-capitalist protest in this country then there really isn’t much to worry about.