I'm writing this in the aftermath of a pitched battle between police and protesters who invaded a Lewisham Council meeting in London on Monday night. I've been keeping tabs on it via Twitter.

The protesters set off gas cans, bringing to an abrupt halt a council meeting all set to impose 60 million pounds of cuts to council services.

The riot police turned up as well as police on horses.

One protester has told Socialist Worker: “The police were like animals. The beat people with their truncheons and even attacked a 72 year old pensioner.”

One person tweeted from the scene: 'I've never seen anything like it. One on one fights with cops.'

Lewisham has a despised Labour mayor and administration which has no problem with the Com-Lib Government's savage austerity cuts. Mayor Steve Bullock has referred to anti-cuts protesters as "fucking idiots'. A charming and enlightened man, obviously.

Instead of fighting the cuts Bullock and his flunkies have decided to make big cuts in such areas as the children and young people’s service, adult social care jobs and care packages, and daycare support for people with learning disabilities.

This protest is occurring against a wave of protests sweeping Britain. If David Cameron and Nick Clegg thought they get away with imposing savage austerity agenda with the minimum of fuss, they have been proved horribly wrong.

University students and young people generally have been at the vanguard of the protests. At the present time some 18 British universities are under student occupation.

So much for the claims that young people have been 'depoliticised', are 'apathetic', have bought into the 'consumer culture', etc. etc.

But there have been more general protests too including a massive protest in Dublin. On Saturday, over 100,000 people marched against the Irish government's austerity plans.

It was one of the largest protests in the Irish Republic's history

A 77 year old man told the The Guardian: "I have lived through three recessions and I think this could be the worst one yet. I'm here because I'm angry that the EU are telling us to cut euros off the minimum wage and boss Irish workers around while the people that caused this crisis get off scot-free.'

Here are a few photos people have downloaded on to Twitter.


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