I agree with you I was just surprised noone had reported anything! I’m interested to see how it’s covered considering now the issues you said
Listening in on my housemate watching the BBC news coverage, the anchor went with the old gem “and of course outside groups could’ve come in and hijacked the protest …”
This line is a particular favourite of mine. It gets thrown around so much.
During the student demonstrations, especially Millbank, the accusation was thrown out that “violence” was instigated by anarchist groups that had come in to subvert the protest. Which firstly presumes that students can’t be anarchist and anarchists can’t be students, and secondly it functions as a hook to say “ok, so the actual protest may have validity and freedom of speech is important, but now we’re going to isolate and demonise the people who use direct action. They’re not part of the protest movement, so lets ignore the purpose of the protest to talk about that for a week.”
A similar thing happened in Stokes Croft (which is a very small area right next to Bristol’s city centre) where people complained about people present at the riots as not being people who live in Stokes Croft and not really knowing what the community is like, blah blah blah. While a hell of a lot of people have to go through Stokes Croft to get to the centre, it’s in the middle of a bubbling variety of communities and acts as a focal hub for much of the broader area.
But again the tactic by the press is to isolate and demonise. The danger of this tactic is that this makes it easier for the government and police to “legitimise” stronger tactics, stricter laws, to defend against this specific “threat” (whereas in reality riots are an conflation of general will. A few angry people can’t spontaneously start a riot within a peaceful protest without there being a firmer basis for it) however these tactics are invariably used to broaden the oppression, it becomes easier to attack and delegitimise peaceful protests and protests on other matters. This style of media reporting plays into the encroachment of clamping down on civil rights across the spectrum (sort of like how when the US increased their budget for counter-terrorism, a significant portion of that was spent on riot control gear).