November 16, 2011
A YouTube video shot during the November 9 student rally in London allegedly shows plainclothes police acting as agents provocateurs among the protesting crowds.
The video uploaded by the user “noshockdoc” shows two people who first engage in rough handling of one of the rally protesters. Then, reportedly, the same people are shown along with six others detaining someone behind a police cordon.
The media dubbed the November 9 march against tuition fees and education cuts one of the most intensively-policed events to take place in London. The force had 4,000 officers on duty on the day, and they were authorized to use rubber bullets if necessary. This was never needed, however. The Met reported that 24 arrests were made on the day.
Some of the protesters reported incidents of violence which they said had been caused by the security forces. “The police tried to provoke people to react violently, and some people had to act in self-defense against police attacks, but we all supported one another and prevented the police from causing a riot,” one of the activists, identified only as ‘Dan’, told the Oxford University student newspaper Cherwell.