Talk:2011 London anti-cuts protest

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It appears there is also a March for the Alternative page that has been created today. I believe that that should be merged into this one, seeing as the events of today covered more than just the organised TUC-led March and included a variety of independent protests, particularly around Oxford Street. (Midnightblueowl (talk) 22:12, 26 March 2011 (UTC))Reply[reply]

Do it. But make sure all the sourcing from March for the Alternative is kept - they are both articles on the same topic. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 22:31, 26 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The correct title sure must be March for the Alternative as the current title now has a political slant. --ClemRutter (talk) 14:15, 27 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I am sure I saw the 4 horsemen visiting the Anti War demo, and none of the banners seem to have anything todo with the official TUC action. The guy proclaiming peace from a traffic signal is hardly representative of an UkUncut or Anarchist demonstrator- they were far better organised and weren't wasting their time on stunts like this. I suggest that this can be removed. --ClemRutter (talk) 14:25, 27 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Failed verfication[edit]

I've tagged the following sentence: "The TUC argued that the spending reductions were entirely unnecessary, being a product of the government's right wing ideology rather than actual need." The sentence cites this article, however, I cannot verify the assertion underlined in it. Location (talk) 16:37, 28 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Looks as if the article has been updated and half of the sentence cut. It is a shame the BBC has become a player rather than an observer. We may have to Google around a bit to retrieve the full quote. --ClemRutter (talk) 18:16, 28 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Article name[edit]

I may suggest that this article could be renamed to: March for the Alternative. This is the name of the demonstration as promoted by the organisers and is the name that has become synonymous with the event. In months and years to come, the somewhat long-winded current name of 2011 anti-cuts protest in London might become less familiar and appear too wordy. Any thoughts? --TBM10 (talk) 18:07, 28 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

UK Uncut Fortnum & Mason legal video[edit]

We now have Guardian report on Video to contend with. I feel this needs to be in a separate article as though it was happening on the same day- it had nothing to do with the March for the Alternative and is likely to swamp the article. Thoughts? --ClemRutter (talk) 20:35, 28 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I don't think this section will expand to more than a paragraph so swamping will not be a problem.--Salix (talk): 21:31, 28 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't feel there is any need for a new article. --TBM10 (talk) 21:37, 28 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]


The Morning Star suggested in the Monday 28th March edition (on the front page) that the number may have been as high as 800,000 - however, with the paper being involved in the union movement and the march, the source may not be independent. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:40, 28 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I would like to avoid including that allegation in the article. The highest estimation I have seen (and I have seen many reliable sources) is 500,000. Certainly the 15/2/2003 Iraq War demo was over 750,000 but there's no way this demo was anywhere near that size. --TBM10 (talk) 22:23, 28 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
500,000 was the number being banded around by Teresa May in parliament last night. I am happy with that. The compromise of 750,000 for the Stop the War demo always seemed to be far too low. Judging by the way this one was photographed, with the surveillance helicopters drowning out the vuvuzelas .... no, POV thought... --ClemRutter (talk) 08:27, 29 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Lowest estimate I've seen is 144,000; on a self avowed Conservative blog however... Bigyaks (talk) 22:00, 29 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]


The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: No consensus, default to not moved. The proposed location of the article was too ambiguous and per common name guidelines the common name should be used over the official name. —James (TalkContribs)8:40pm 10:40, 21 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

2011 anti-cuts protest in LondonMarch for the Alternative

  • As I, and another user, who have both been key contributors to this article, have suggested in the talk page, this article currently has a very wordy and potentially slanted and inaccurate title. Firstly, the subject matter was more of a peaceful march than a protest, and secondly although the main focus was indeed anti-cuts, demonstrators also voiced their opinions on a number of other issues, such as the Libyan conflict and bankers' bonuses. The title March for the Alternative was the official name of the demonstration as promoted by the organiser. I would therefore suggest renaming it to that. TBM10 (talk) 22:18, 28 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I strongly agree that the present title is not suitable. I think the name should include 2011 and perhaps "London", since if I were to search for it (I'm not from the UK) I'd try 2011 London protest. So, 2011 London March for the Alternative? Gandydancer (talk) 23:43, 28 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Agree: As this is the true and suitable title. This title maybe made quickly so this is the title of the article. I agree but I think it is more suitable if the word "London" is not in there... 2011 March for the Alternative or 2011 London spending cuts prostests... [Saxons] 00:31, 29 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Agree: Yes, it does look better without "London". So 2011 March for the Alternative Gandydancer (talk) 01:05, 29 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Oppose: As per the common name guideline, "anti-cuts protest" is the name most commonly used by reliable sources, over the official name. Grim23 03:49, 29 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Oppose: Principally because much of the media coverage during and after the event was not on the official TUC march at all, but on the independent anarchist protests and violence. It would be wrong for those protests to be included in an article which had the title of the official TUC event. Ghmyrtle (talk) 08:07, 29 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Agree: As I proposed above, As this is the true and NPOV title. --ClemRutter (talk) 08:49, 29 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Comment Principally because much of the media coverage during and after the event was not on the official TUC march at all but the article is on the March for the Alternative, which involved 500,000 people or 1% of the UK population. It was predicted before that the right wing dominated press would try and turn this into a story about loutish behaviour to head off the main story. There is an article to be written about policing tactics and the parallel UK Uncut occupation but which may be notable- but it is not this one. Informally this was known as the Cuts-demo, but the official title is/ was the March for the Alternative. The media has spun this into Anti-cuts demo, and before it happened some WP editors tryied to merge it into a generic article on the 2010/2011 anti-cuts protests. Not moving it is putting a political spin, and and breaching WP:NPOV 2.3, 2.4, 2.6.--ClemRutter (talk) 08:49, 29 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • If "the media" primarily uses a different term, then so should we. All coverage I've seen of the action in question referred to it by various terms involving protest or demonstration at the cuts. I haven't seen this "official" title used. The argument that an "official" title from the organisers would be "NPOV" would be specious even without any further context. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward: not at work) - talk 10:24, 29 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Chris you mis-read my last sentence. I said deviating from the the official title should be judged against WP:NPOV 2.3, 2.4, 2.6. Sorry if not clear enough --ClemRutter (talk) 13:09, 29 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think I did. The most common name is along the lines of the present one. The "official" title fails to reflect several features of the event which are of key importance to its coverage in reliable sources, and thus assigns undue weight to the opinions of the organisers at the expense of the common name. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward: not at work) - talk 14:30, 29 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Comment The term that the media is using does not necessarily dictate the title of the article. For example, the H1N1 flu pandemic was almost invariably called the swine flu by both the press and by people in general, and we did not use that term for our article. Another example is the Gulf oil spill; it was generally called the BP oil spill, especially in the early days, and we did not use that term either. I did google both suggestions and both were used frequently enough so as to not suggest that one or the other would need be our choice. Gandydancer (talk) 12:02, 29 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Swine flu" is greatly ambiguous and "gulf oil spill" is nowhere near specific enough. I'm sure you could find other examples, but that's neither here nor there. The current title is a) unambiguous, b) reflective of the coverage that the event received and c) easily recognisable. The proposed title fails both b) and c). Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward: not at work) - talk 14:30, 29 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You seem to have completely missed my point. You stated "if the media uses a different term, then so should we". I did not present a few examples because I felt a need to discuss whether or not we made the right choice; I pointed out that in both cases the title generally used by the press was not the title of our article. You may verify that if you wish by looking at the refs of those articles. Gandydancer (talk) 14:59, 29 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No: what I did was explain why, in each of those cases, we opted not to use the common name. I then pointed out that we do not have that problem here. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward: not at work) - talk 15:19, 29 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose. Too ambiguous. What alternative version of what? There are infinitillion things and ideas called "alternative". Anthony Appleyard (talk) 16:06, 29 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Comment: Having considered the arguments above, perhaps March for the Alternative is not the most appropriate name for the article. However, I still maintain that the current name is too long-winded. Do we need 2011 in the name? Have there been other such notable anti-cuts protests in London? And the London also seems like it could be re-worded better. How about, London anti-cuts protest ? --TBM10 (talk) 20:06, 29 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The current title is perfectly in line with the way we title a great deal of current events, from earthquakes to elections. Given that the event was, although London-based, involving the entire UK, it could be moved to 2011 UK anti-cuts protest if brevity was strongly desired, but I don't really feel it's worth it. If there were a catchier common title then fine, but the official title of the protest march simply doesn't have enough popular traction to be that name. Chris Cunningham (user:thumperward: not at work) - talk 21:06, 29 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose per Anthony Appleyard - much too generic, there's alot of marches for alternatives in the world. (talk) 21:39, 29 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Weak agree: "March for the Alternative", as capitalised, is what I've seen to be the most common name for the protest. I'm wary about "anti-cuts" being used as a descriptor in news coverage, and not as a name. And given the inevitability of more anti-cuts protests in the next eight months, this will probably need moving again soon in any case. Sceptre (talk) 04:38, 31 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.


We have an article section headed "Independent protests and violence", as well as an earlier reference to previous protests having "violence".

Wikipedia defines violence as "Violence is the expression of physical force against one or more people, compelling action against one's will on pain of being hurt."

Now yes, it's true that in these protests people were hurt, but given that the issues are mainly to do with "vandalism and criminal damage", or even in some cases simply occupying a shop, labelling the section as "violence" seems misleading or outright incorrect. (Also that the injuries tend to involve both protesters as well as others.) I suggest we change this heading accordingly - suggestions? Mdwh (talk) 11:23, 29 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Also note that 138 out of the 149 arrested were due to the occupation, not vandalism (see [1] for more on this). Whilst we say "the vast majority of arrests arose from the occupation of Fortnum & Mason", the fact that the section is headed "vandalism", and we don't specifically say what the arrests were for (just that they "arose from") to me conjures up the image of them arising for vandalism in this occupation. Mdwh (talk) 11:27, 29 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes, vandalism is a much better term. I have changed the article accordingly. However, I have added information in the opening paragraph that states that police officers were surrounded and beaten to make it plain that there was violence involved by some of those present. Gandydancer (talk) 12:13, 29 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Incidentally, editor Grim23 replaced a photo showing vandalism and I strongly feel that the article should have a least one vandalism photo (other than the rather tame clock photo). Thoughts? Gandydancer (talk) 12:53, 29 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think the subheading must change. Violence was wrong but it appeared in the article when facts were uncertain at time before we knew of the Fortnum and Mason kettling . What worries me is the innocuous word 'and' which implies that the protests were violent- or protests were acts of vandalism. I think it would be safer to cut it back to "Independant Protests". --ClemRutter (talk) 13:18, 29 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am from the US, not the UK. However, here, like in the UK, the press almost always will headline the "violence" even if a thousand marched and one individual committed violence. Wikipedia should not be "the press", so in that sense your suggestion seems reasonable to me. On the other hand, wikipedia needs to cover what was covered by the press and for that reason I feel that is very important that we do not attempt to gloss over vandalism and violence even though only a small number of people may have taken part in that activity. The heading "Independant Protests" seems reasonable to me.
Also, I'm going to put the photo back that was removed if there is no discussion about it. Gandydancer (talk) 13:56, 29 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
How is this? JoshJenkins (talk) 16:23, 29 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree the rather pointless clock photo should go. The article absolutely should contain one photo of the vandalism in progress. I did put one in a couple of days ago of a yob attacking a bank, but it was removed inexplicably. I will restore it. Its much more relevant than a picture of a couple of coppers standing around with paint on them. --TBM10 (talk) 18:35, 29 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'd agree with "Independent protests" - whilst "vandalism" is an improvement to "violence", there's still the concern that the majority of arrests were not for vandalism. Alternatively, perhaps we should separate out the UK Uncut protest in a separate section, so we still have a dedicated section specific to the issue of criminal damage? Mdwh (talk) 22:57, 29 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yep, a UK Uncut section would be clearer. Incidentally I think the photo Gandydancer added is a great documentary image, but at the time the section wasn't quite big enough for both images and I thought it was important to have a Fortnum & Mason photo. Grim23 00:13, 30 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A few thoughts[edit]

  • The article at the moment is C rated- what does it take to take it forward---mmm.
  • I have been concerned about the reliance on reference 4, it seemed to be a catch all, and reading it and re-reading it; it seemed to be very limited and bitty. A sort of Readers Digest pick and mix. And indeed I think that was its intention. However, on that page there is a link that we haven't used. It gives far more detailed material- Mar 26 Guardian Society blog.
  • This will allow us to build up the main section which will then allow us to give UK Uncut a separate section, which it will need when all the cases of Wrongful arrest start passing through the courts.
  • Nowhere are the financial reasons that triggered the march explained- just asssumed., Where are the NHS professionals fears explained, why pensions and pay freezes matter to teachers, what is Sure Start, why were the Gurkhas there, how many off-duty police officers were marching etc?
  • The geography is a mystery without a map- unless you live in London, again the Guardian does one and a simple svg based on Open Street Map must be possible.
  • This is no longer news so the article does need to be recast with the benefit of analysis and hindsight.

OK - I will leave it there and do a bit of sleeping. --ClemRutter (talk) 01:43, 30 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You may want to take a look at 2011 Wisconsin protests, not that the article is so great and furthermore, that protest is ongoing. Gandydancer (talk) 15:09, 30 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Connection between the March and violent protests[edit]

Most of the media reporting I've seen has suggested that the violent protests were carried out by people who broke off from the TUC march. I was there as independent press, and I can say with some certainty that most of the people involved in violent protests were not on the march at any point. There was some overlap; some protesters (with the trojan horse) arrived at Oxford Circus about halfway through, but they were certainly the first ones who came from the march, and a good deal of the violence had been carried out by then. In particular, the black bloc anarchists were not on the march at all as far as I could ascertain, and UK Uncut were active before the front of the march even got anywhere near the area. I therefore think it is worthwhile trying to find sources that are clear about how the violent parts started - the sentence in the lead says "Several independent protesting groups moved from the main march further north into Soho and Oxford Street", which is not wholly true but is supported by the BBC story it cites. ninety:one 15:39, 30 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have made a slight modification to that statement to improve neutrality. --TBM10 (talk) 20:02, 30 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Jewish leader of march[edit]

Can someone add something about how the march was led by the Jewish Ed Milliband? Maybe something about the Jewish leadership and instigation of the demonstration? (talk) 05:11, 31 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Both Milibands, along with their father, are, as I understand, atheists with ethnic Jewish heritage. Hence any connection to the Jewish conspiracy theory falls at its first step. Sceptre (talk) 05:58, 31 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
EM spoke- he did not march. The TUC lead the march.--ClemRutter (talk) 09:31, 31 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's a somewhat contentious claim given the involvement of trade unions in the Labour Party (and its elections), but I do agree that Miliband, at the very most, endorsed the march accompanying the rally in Hyde Park. Sceptre (talk) 14:05, 31 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Political creep[edit]

I have brought this sentence here

A dozen police officers were surrounded and beaten by a masked mob in Sackville Street, off Piccadilly.[1][2][Lol bollocks, I was there]

This sentence seems unreliable and I do not believe it was in the original Townsend 2011, article which was modded several times. The second reference, does nothing to support the Sackville Street claim, and many of the images appear to have been staged which had been predicted before the march. It also confuses Black Bloc, with March for Alternative and UK-Uncut so is unreliable. It seems at this point all the references now need to be checked. There is one misquote that suggests 16 police officers were injured- while Townsend actually writes 1 of the 16 people hospitalised was a police officer. The images I have uploaded certainly were closer to the experiences of the 500,000 people who were there than what was dreamt up later. --ClemRutter (talk) 15:41, 14 April 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

References cited[edit]

  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference Townsend 2011. was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ "Picture Gallery: Protest Protest In London Turns To Violence". SkyNews. 26 March 2011.

riot cats[edit]

Removed categories that mentioned "riots". Not all political events from which arrests or even violence happen are riots. In particular, the arrest of only some dozens of people in a situation in which 250-500 thousand people participated is not a riot by any measure of the word.--Cerejota (talk) 02:44, 7 August 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]


What was the result of these riots-did the cuts get stopped or did they go ahead despite the protests? (talk) 01:17, 16 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]