Tag Archives: #demo2011

Student protests through the eyes of its witnesses


As the first student demonstrations of the year kick off in London and Manchester, your2pence looks at live reports posted by protesters and eye-witnesses. Whilst the BBC report focuses on the facts, figures and context surrounding the protests, live reports emerging on twitter provide a much more up-to-date and colourful account…

Twitter is bombarded with reports that students feel disillusioned by NUS President Aaron Porter:

(Still not directly reported on BBC News website and not reported on the Guardian website until 17:45)

(At this time the BBC website still maintains that Mr Porter will be speaking to students in Manchester)

“Aaron Porter doesn’t represent me” placard – @EdinUniAntiCuts 10:59am

Others feel that attacking Mr Porter isn’t targeting the real enemy:

The police and the protesters offer conflicting advice on leaflets – are the police acting as the protester’s friend or foe?

Students begin making their way to the Egyptian Embassy (reported by BBC News online an hour later):

(Click here to see a witnesses’ video of when the London education demo joins the Egypt protesters).

However some feel that student protester’s comparisons between demonstrations in Egypt and Britain undermine their cause:

The reports on twitter provide a live and atmospheric account of the student demonstrations. They give us a valuable insight into people’s responses, hopes and frustrations on the ground and as they change throughout the day. But can we rely on this medium for accuracy? Not compared to other mainstream news platforms, such as the BBC, which check and verify their sources of information. Rumours that Aaron Porter has boarded a private jet to Saudi Arabia and is seeking asylum could been taken quite literally! But the fact that we can access  an alternative account of such a huge news story, outside of the mainstream press and with relative ease, is a step in a good direction.

EMILY ARCHER

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