It seems strange to me that when there’s a bunch of students or political activists causing trouble (or not) the police are in there like a shot, hitting everything that moves (with the help of a wheelchair or not) over the head with batons and kettling anything that doesn’t move (fast enough). Suddenly when faced with people genuinely causing a lot of trouble and who aren’t just a bunch of soft students who wouldn’t know how to hurt a fly (between them), the police do not seem to be possessed by quite the same level of enthusiasm in exercising their size 10s.
Having said that, I have watched the video of a small group of them being charged at by a much larger group and they do deserve some respect for what they are dealing with right now. And we also need to recognise the fact that after four days of this, there has been precisely one death as a result, which is a level of restraint few countries’ police forces would be able to boast.
The ethical problem is that many of the people involved are pretty young, i.e. under 18. The police have now authorised rubber bullets, although this doesn’t mean they will actually be deployed. Rubber bullets are incredibly dangerous. Are we really okay with shooting teenagers with rubber bullets? I have to be honest; I have met chavs and I know what they are like. I may be a liberal lefty but I also know that some people, as humans, are irreversibly broken, and many people involved are just that. But it still seems like the rest of us just lowered our standards. It was easier a few hundred years ago when we could just deport them and let the kangaroos figure out what to do with them.