As more stories and pictures are published about the student protests in London on 9 December 2010, a very different narrative emerges from that painted by the mainstream media. Controversy is increasing over the strong-arm tactics clearly used by the Metropolitan Police against parts of the large majority of peaceful student protestors. Theresa May, the Home Secretary, has repeated the mantra that ‘peaceful protest is acceptable’. But Charlotte Gerada and Hero Austin show in detail that this message had clearly failed to get through to police on the ground. From the outset some officers seemed determined to punish peaceful protestors, in order to intimidate and deter them from any future attempts to show their opposition to tuition fees
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