‘Shame on you!’ were the chants aimed at police officers by far right protesters as they hurled bottles and cans. The question is why were they chanting this? Police officers from right across the country had been drafted in, after one of the most challenging weeks London has seen in a long time.
Unbeknown to these individuals, these are officers doing a vital job in our community. Jobs that are invaluable to our society and ultimately, people like the rest of us who have chosen to help others. They are also importantly not those who make political decisions and not those who earn hundreds of thousands. These officers are actually everyday people with families and their own struggles, whose jobs have become harder and harder and yet each day continue to serve London to the best of their ability. There is no shame there, but actually a great deal of pride for getting through a weekend where the pressure to uphold the law was huge. Despite shortages in numbers, they did a job to be proud of.
These protesters were football thugs looking for a football match. Their sole attendance was not to pay their respects on Armistice Day, as should have been, but to be violent and they achieved this. Their scenes of violence under the name of patriotism was shameful.
Armistice Day is a day to pay respects and remember all those that gave their life for our freedom and the right to now be able to protest as we do. A day to bow your head and thank the endless number of men, women and animals who died serving their country. Patriotism isn’t hurling abuse at our police officers or being violent, it is the opposite. So many across the country paid their respects last weekend with dignity. Laying wreaths, observing two minutes silence, attending services at the cenotaphs. No violence was needed to be patriotic.
Police officers are being deployed in huge numbers daily across the capital to deal with protests from many different fronts. These officers are being pulled from their own jobs each day and taken away from their boroughs to have to deal with environmental protesters who pride themselves in causing as much disruption across our streets as possible. Despite their endless marching, nothing has been achieved except each borough losing police officers.
There was no shame on Saturday for our frontline officers, but instead a great deal of dignity. It is these officers that keep us safe everyday, these officers that are the first to respond to the public and these officers that are always the first to be abused.
The finger of shame does need to be pointed, and we all know where.
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