British media complicity with the government to impose a relative blackout on the Wednesday strikes has put human rights at stake as the behavior of security forces on the streets went largely uncovered.
British state-run broadcaster BBC went as far as claiming only “tens of thousands of people have joined rallies” against pensions reform to downplay the massive show of public discontent.
This is while the 2.6 million union members who had voted for strikes were also joined with private sector workers as well as anti-war and anti-capitalist activists in the rallies unseen for 40 years. The Guardian put the number of participants at two million.
“BBC’s coverage of Nov. 30 has been shocking. More talk about a lack of childcare than about the strike itself. Joke,” commented a Twitter user identifying himself as Dave.
This comes as the Daily Mail had to delete its online poll from its viewers, after it found 84 percent of people support the public sector strike action.
A similar poll was conducted by Sky News on Twitter — that would limit the scope of audience and lower backing — which found a whopping 71 percent public backing for the strikes.
British officials, including Cabinet Office Secretary Francis Maude, had earlier claimed that the union’s ballot for strikes is not representative of the public opinion insisting a great proportion of the public do not support the strikes.
During the strikes, there was widespread criticism of inadequate coverage of the action on the streets as police used stop and search in unjustified contexts and resorted to kettling, charging at demonstrators and blocking off certain London districts, including the Trafalgar Square, with meters-high steel walls.
The scale of police crackdown are only emerging in YouTube footage taken by amateur reporters and piecemeal reports by users of public networking websites such as Twitter and Facebook.