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Questions about Students attacking Royal Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla in London on Thursday 9th of December 2010

web posted on the 13th of December 2010 - edited 14th Dec.'10 - PS: from 16 Dec.'10

It is always good to ask two questions, when you read news headlines:
1) Who would lose from what has happened?
2) Who would benefit from what has happened?

Who loses: The student movement has to cope with a severe blow in popularity. They have been campaigning to get support of the wider public for their protests. I am sure that the percentage of people sympathizing with them has dropped significantly since this incident. Some police and several students suffered minor injuries. A window of the Rolls-Royce of Prince Charles and Camilla needed replacing, and the paint needed to be removed from their car.

Who benefits? Naturally “the other side”: the government, David Cameron, the Conservative Party, who were proposing the rise of the student tuition fees. The new black sheep are the students now, everyone talks about violence, and criticism of high student fees is now off the front pages.

Second thought: after this scandal someone will ask: “Are you sure we want the budget and staff of the police and the MI5 cut?” Chances are high, that “thanks to the student riots”, we’ll get more police and “security” – so these might be saved from budget cuts.

According to the security it should never have happened. I bet, the MI5 and police did consider that this could happen. So why could this happen? Could it be that the MI5 purposely let the Rolls-Royce of Prince Charles and Camilla use that route, bringing them into contact with the rioting students? Might this not be convenient for the government and enforcement agencies?

Throughout history it has been a common practice to infiltrate “agents provocateurs” into the student activists: a single photo of a violent student in the media has the power to discredit the whole movement. Is it far fetched to ask the question, if there might have been one or more “agents provocateurs” among the protesting students in London?

The students are usually intelligent – but many are still young and immature. Especially the “First time demonstrators” might easily get carried away in their actions. They need to learn, that the first rule at any demonstration is to stay peaceful, especially in provocative situations.

In our diverse society some things symbolise and represent unity and national identity: the British Union flag, war memorials - and the monarchy. Vandalising, attacking or desecrating any of these always causes a national outcry. Students: if you want to convince the public: control your emotions, keep an eye on those tempted to become violent - and stay peaceful! Mind those guys throwing items and covering their faces - they might be “agents provocateurs” from the other side. If you stay peaceful, there's no need to hide your face.
A handful of peaceful protesters holding flowers in their hands while facing an armada of heavily armoured police – this kind of image has the power to shift the public opinion towards the side of the protesters.

Ralph Nimmann, Cambridge

PS: I was right... The papers reported on Wednesday 15th December, that Prince Charles' next public outing was done in an armour plated bullet-proof Bentley with £100 000 of security built in, and that he had 7 detectives and up to 20 uniformed officers extra police security... because last week "Camilla was reportedly poked in the ribs with a stick" when caught by student tuition fee protesters. That stick was like a magic wand, creating all these additional security jobs!
Normally the Prince is protected by one detective in his car and two in a back-up car. (Daily Express, 15 Dec.)
This is a very sad, because what looks like a demonstration or show off in an arms race, leads into a downward spiral. It sets the signal: "we go for conflict" and alienates the Royals more from the people.

If you like this, please link to this page: www.rainbow-cambridge.org.uk/opinion/studentriots-against-royalty.htm

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