by: Nina Power | The Guardian Comment
published: 11 May 2013
Imagine the following scenario: you’re on a protest with thousands of others about something you believe in strongly – against the government going to war, say, or against a massive rise in tuition fees, or because the cuts have left you and many you know in a precarious position.
You don’t know what the exact route is, perhaps, but you’ve met with others at the starting point and are following the crowd. Someone along the route hands you a small card with details of specialist law firms that deal with protest cases. You think, “I don’t need that, I’m not getting involved in anything confrontational”, but put the card in your pocket anyhow.
A couple of hours later, after having kettled the crowd, the police charge in with horses. You find yourself near the front, scared and angry. You shout back and get shoved by a police officer. Another couple of hours later, as people in the kettle are released in single file, you find yourself arrested and taken to a police station.