Monday, 29 December 2014

Many many roads travelled

I haven't posted anything on this blog for a very, very long time... it's been a bizarre, insanely busy term. I don't know where to begin... I spent the first few weeks basically struggling to deal with mental health issues and come to terms with the loss of somebody really close to me. And then everything exploded. I'm part of several political groups at my university and we have been demonstrating against tuition fees in the UK. There was a big demonstration in London on the 19th of November, which 10,000 students came to from around the country. The march split halfway, and some people continued to the planned rally while others basically ran wild in the streets of London, chased by the riot cops who kept trying to trap them in kettles and just kept failing. It was a peaceful protest on our part. But I saw some horrific police brutality to other protesters. Like 16-year-olds thrown against cars and smashed into the ground so the police could arrest them. Like people arrested after being beaten unconscious.

At Warwick we then staged a peaceful demonstration on our own campus. We went into a building, sat down on the ground (about twenty of us maximum) and had a conversation about free education and what it meant to us. Security said we had to leave but didn't do anything else, just stood there keeping an eye on us. We didn't know they'd called the police... so the cops stormed the protest with CS gas, threatening us with tasers, throwing us around the room and of course we panicked, we were terrified. Three people were arrested from Warwick campus, I don't think this has ever happened before. And CS gas? I got hit full in the face with it, it's terrifying, you can't see, your face is burning. It's never been used on a university campus in the UK before. And all we were doing was sitting on the ground. Even now I don't understand, I can't come to terms with everything that happened. I mean I knew what the police were like. But it's different when it's you they're assaulting. It changes everything.

So yeah, political activism is the reason I haven't been updating this blog very much. That and rock climbing, which I've also been doing a lot of. I should probably do my degree at some point...

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