Laurie Penny, a writer, journalist and activist from London, writes regularly for The New Statesman and the Independent. She is the author of Penny Red: Notes From the New Age of Dissent.
Attacks on peaceful protesters rarely make the police or government look anything but weak and cowardly.
Visiting occupations in New York, Madrid, London and beyond, one finds almost eerie similarities, but also important differences.
The battle for the Internet has politicized prankster cybercollectives like Anonymous--and now authorities are cracking down.
Press coverage of a young man thrown out of his wheelchair during the UK student protests suggests that "real" disabled people are not whole human beings.
The supposed heart of British democracy has become a searing wound of rage and retribution.
Take a protest, toss in hundreds of police officers with riot shields, then block the protesters into an area of open space with no toilets, food or shelter, for hours. If anyone tries to leave, yell at them and hit them with sticks.
"This is scary but not as scary as what's happening to our future."