By Kayla Maratty
I was pretty damn shocked when I read the other day about one of the Bristol student protesters being taken from his home at 5am and held in a police cell for “affray” and “conspiracy to affray” despite the police having no solid evidence of this.
Paul was eventually interviewed by two detectives from the Serious Crime Squad, who referred to a BBC Points West video of him stroking a police horse as a firework was thrown at the police. The detectives accused him of throwing the firework.
Paul quickly denied it, saying: “I was quick to point out ‘how could I have thrown a firework if with one hand I am stroking a police horse’. Of course, it is obviously impossible to light a firework and throw it with one hand.”
When this line of questioning failed, the police accused Paul of stroking the horse as a distraction and then interrogated him about who he knew and the websites he uses.
He is due to return to the police station in January once the police have looked into the belongings of his that they took, such as his laptop and notebook.
What I think this boils down to is that Paul is viewed as a political threat; he’s taken an active role within UWE and Bristol for the student tuition fees protests.
It seems to me like the firework incident is being pinned on him as an excuse for his arrest and a warrant for his belongings.
“Political opponents” being taken from their beds in the middle of the night, interrogated about their political activities… remind anyone of a few dictatorships we’ve seen this last century?
More shockingly, at the London protests on December 9 there’s video footage of demonstrator and wheelchair-bound Jody McIntyre being pulled from his chair by police and being dragged across the pavement.
In an interview with Jody, that the BBC should be thoroughly ashamed of, Jody was accused of behaving threateningly towards the police and being a “revolutionary”.
I really doubt that the truncheon wielding police officers were threatened by a young man with cerebral palsy.
The BBC’s interview was biased and represented a typically elitist point of view by siding with the police. You can watch the interview with the original footage at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXNJ3MZ-AUo.
The more I read and watch about the police and Government’s responses to the protests, the more I become disillusioned with the people who run this country. Don’t believe everything the news tells you!
If – like me – no one you know is willing to have their house trashed this New Year’s Eve for the enjoyment of others, then you’re probably thinking of hitting Bristol City Centre instead.
This isn’t going to be a cheap night out. Entrance fees alone can be anything from £10 to £20 and then taxi fares are considerably more on the night.
But if you can scrape some funds together and choose your venue beforehand then you can make it a cracking night out!
Several venues in Bristol are hosting New Year’s parties. Syndicate‘s Propaganda vs Ramshackle has sold out, but just around the corner is Panache‘s Masquerade Ball, just £10 entry fee and all drinks £2.50.
I’ll be heading to the O2 Academy which will play host to Ramshackle’s “Carnival Spectacular”. Last year there were daredevils and acrobats so this year promises to be equally as good if not better.
Advance tickets start at £10 and drinks on the night from £2.
There are many more venues worth considering; Black Swan, Lakota, Motion, Tobacco Factory…depending on your taste in music.
A moneysaving tip for the night: avoid having to get a taxi home at all costs, you will most likely end up paying double what you would normally pay.
Night buses run from the City Centre on the hour, every hour from midnight to six in the morning with a flat rate of £2.50.
Not only will you save yourself a small fortune, but you won’t be told by the driver that you can’t bring food on, so you can enjoy your greasy snack of choice at your convenience.
As far as New Year’s Resolutions are concerned, I’ve come up with a fool-proof plan to make sure I don’t break it… I won’t make one in the first place!