Britain is planning to hunt down student protesters who occupied Tory headquarters last week and, according PM David Cameron, prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law. Paul McKeever, chair of the Police Federation, said that the man who threw a fire extinguisher from the top of the Millbank building should be “charged with attempted murder.”
Students protests have been increasing throughout the world. Students have played a major role in the on-going protests in France over Sarkozy’s pension cuts. Students have also protested the deteriorating quality of education, fee hikes, “reform,” and privatization in Germany, Italy, Spain, Denmark, and Argentina. In the U.S., University of California officials want to expel a student for occupying Wheeler Hall during anti-fee hike protests in Berkeley. Students have also recently been punished for protesting at Ben-Gurion University, in Israel, for the rights of school employees.
The British response to last week’s protests may seem excessive. Yet, as governments throughout the world continue to use the economic crisis as an excuse to gut social programs, jobs, education, health and welfare, while bailing out and subsidizing the rich, they are terrified that the masses will awaken violently. Therefore, their response to opposition will be swift, severe and increasingly violent.