Opinion of Author

Late last week we received news that the Labour Youth Conference was this weekend and were joking about what we would do if Aaron Porter turned up. Then we were looking out the window this morning, still in our jammies and sleeping bags and saw someone: red jumper, twatty glasses and air of superiority. Yes, it was Aaron Porter. We shouted his name and he turned to give us a wave and a smile – until he realised what we were shouting down to him – “Aaron Porter we know you, you’re a fucking Tory too.”

We then began to plan for what direct action to take against him. Once the plan was made we set off for the venue, the Boyd Orr building on University Avenue. We went past a token effort by one University security guard who was rather worried by the sight of a group of students in possession of a riot helmet. Can’t think why. We were then confronted by some Labour party bureaucrats who were some of the most patronising people I have ever come across. They tried to coerce us into moving to one side because then people could see us but we wouldn’t get in the way of the nice young imperialists. Who’d have thought the Labour Party wouldn’t understand the concept of direct action?

We were standing around outside for quite a long time. For a party with so many layers of bureaucracy it might be expected to run on time, but no. We were just sitting outside, chatting away.

Our moles inside the conference tell us that Porter came out of his seat for a hushed exchange with security and conference stewards. He was then seen to literally sink to a crouch, with his head in his hands.

Waiting outside though, we knew none of this. Then, taking us completely by surprise, our he came. We were a wee bit unprepared as we didn’t think he’d be fed to the lions so easily. He was literally alone – unaccompanied. It’s clear now that the conference organisers decided to sacrifice Aaron Porter, in order to protect the rest of the delegates from having to see us (and perhaps realise that just because they’re in the opposition now doesn’t mean they’re remotely radical or revolutionary).

After a few moments of bewilderment, we escorted Aaron outside for a chat and carried out a tactic often employed by our good friends, the metropolitan police: kettling.

We linked arms and surrounded Aaron, who was quite distressed by this. Clearly he was unused to the invasion of personal space that comes with the kettle tactic. He tried to whack someone’s camera out of their hand and succeeded in breaking the strap and sending the batteries flying to the ground. We find Porter’s actions despicable and regret that our peaceful protest was highjacked by one violent anarchist. Porter has repeatedly eroded the impact of thousands of students taking militant action and the Free Hetherington thoroughly condemn him.

Eventually, Porter ducked down and shimmied between our legs, escaping our kettle and sprinting away. We gave chase but eventually lost him as we collapsed with laughter at seeing him try to run away from us on our own turf. He went the wrong way up dead end alley and tried to scramble over walls, before realising that just plain running was going to be his best chance of escape.

Alone, on a strange university campus in a strange city, and on the run from an angry mob of students, Porter kept his head down. After we had dispersed, university security went to try and find the poor boy – and were seen wandering around the spot he was last seen up to two hours later.

Eventually, he resurfaced, and we received word from the Labour conference that he was back inside – visibly shaken.

Porter, here’s a handy hint: if you don’t to be chased out of every city you visit, try not being such a treacherous scab.

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113 Responses to Porterwatch

  1. Aaron says:

    Wow, it’s great to see that the Free Hetherington has had such a productive day. I particularly applaud your witty and original chants at a LABOUR supporter. Bravo. I also enjoyed your apparent admission to harassment, assault and breach of the peace. Keep up the good work; I’m sure all Glasgow Uni students appreciate the time you can dedicate to these endeavours.

  2. I don't owe you that says:

    Your attitude, and conduct, is precisely what puts people off student politics. This is bullying. It’s cheap, it’s probably criminal, and it’s deeply selfish regarding the sort of people who will actually suffer from the cuts (not the middle class, expensively clothed, posturing layabouts that comprise the Hetherington lie-in – knitting?).

    If you want a broad-based grouping on campus aimed at protecting education, please prioritise your aims. What do you want to prioritise? Staff numbers? Subject areas? Union/society funding? You have to accept that there are going to be cuts, and convince people that they can alter outcomes, rather than alienating other student groups at public meetings.

    I wouldn’t post anonymously, but you clearly go after people, rather than ideas or outcomes.

  3. I’m sad that you didn’t get a video of his dramatic escape. I imagine it to be something like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuhJVHBfAqA

  4. Aaron says:

    I’d like to add false imprisonment, rioting and mobbing to the list too.

  5. worldofsky says:

    As much as i vehemetly dislike Aarons views on student protest, i also thoroughly disagree with this kind of ‘retribution’. Its plain intimidating, If you want to talk to Aaron about why his politics are betraying students dont chase him through the city, engage him in talks and things.
    Unfortunatly its going to make those who oppose his views seem like ‘crazy lefties’ who are bullys.

  6. welshboi says:

    On behalf of myself and anarchists everywhere I feel I must protest at the way this article associates our long and noble tradition of class struggle with that twat.

  7. Emma Goldman says:

    I agree with worldofsky

    Up until this morning I was a full supporter of the Free HRC. After these antics, I am hoping that you are removed from the premises and disciplined by Senate.

    Disgraceful behaviour – you are giving GU students and real anarchists a bad name with your petty antics.

    • welshboi says:

      Speaking as a real anarchist I quite support those who told Aaron Porter a telling off. He’s scum who supports the police attacks on his fellow students.

    • welshboi says:

      Two wrongs don’t make a right? just as well that what they did was right then eh Emma? BTW do you not think that your namesake would have been fully supportive of their actions?

      • Bobitybob says:

        What they did was not right.

        It’s a little hypocritical for them to complain of intimidation and kettling tactics only to employ the very same tactics against an individual.

        I’m no fan of Porter but I am slowly losing the will to support this heatherington lark. The more I read about it from people on the inside, the less it sounds about it’s original cause and more about personal vendettas, wildly exaggerated spin and pathetic childish games.

        Too many peoples livelihoods are at risk in the university to allow this bunch of buffoons to represent them.

      • welshboi says:

        It’s a little disingenuous to compare a half dozen people surrounding and mocking a reactionary tool like Porter to the actions of the armed wing of the state surrounding and beating hundreds of students and school children is it not?

  8. Sarah says:

    Please – Aaron Porter encourages the kettling of students exercising their right to protest. He supports letting the police get rough with us because he thinks anyone who doesny tow the labour party line is dangerously radical. He’s a big boy – if he wants to be a politician, he needs to learn to handle some peaceful protest (and maybe actually representing the views of students might be a good idea in his position too)

    Oh and I don’t care if he’s LABOUR CAPSLOCK, Labour are vile. I’ll happily work with the people inside Labour who want to change it for the better (even though we disagree on tactics) but we shouldn’t be working with the elite of the party that took us to war and bowed down to businesses and stole all our money – nor the wee wanks like Porter who aim to be that elite

  9. Aaron says:

    I was pointing out that the chant of “Aaron Porter we know you, you’re a fucking Tory too”, which the Free HRC seems to be so proud of, was in fact completely idiotic chant seeing as he was at a Labour Conference. No comment on Labour itself.

    To claim it was a “peaceful protest” is ridiculous. Since when was harassment and false imprisonment peaceful?

    Can’t you see how you portray yourselves to the university community whom you claim to represent?

    • welshboi says:

      Labour/Tory same shit different shade.
      It was a peaceful protest unless your definition of ‘peaceful’ is being polite and asking nicely for crumbs which achieves sweet f.a. Porter claims to represent the student body but turns on them the moment they stand up for themselves, he deserves being made a twat of.

      • Aaron says:

        You clearly didn’t read my post. As I have stated several times now, peaceful does not involve threatening behaviour. Actions such as those taken today will not help resolve the issues. Aaron does not represent Glasgow Uni since we are not members of NUS. The Free HRC has, however, claimed to represent “us” on a number of occassions.

      • gwenhwyfaer says:

        Actually, peaceful protests have frequently involved the use of behaviour which can be interpreted as threatening. A crowd of people marching unstoppably at you is going to scare the crap out of you, no matter how peaceful that crowd’s intention – or how little resistance it puts up when you start hitting it with your batons or riding your horses into it.

        (Note that I’m not passing comment on this particular protest, only on your assertion about non-violent action in general. Or are “non-violent” and “peaceful” no longer synonyms…?)

      • Chris says:

        I’m actually getting angry over this. @welshboi quote “Labour/Tory same shit different shade”

        Please read up on the values and history of each party. Labour has traditionally had the support of the trade unions (admittedly this changed under the Blair premiership) in doing so it was for bigger administration and government, the introduction of equality laws and the pursuit of a better social ideals. I have to ask who supported the EU’s employment bill. That same bill that guarantees holiday pay, a national fair minimum wage and sick pay. You can blame Labour for a lot of things (and I mean a lot) but before you go against every party and make broad general accusation unfounded and disgraceful for someone who I presume has been taught basic debate skills at least research your point.

        The conservatives have tried twice to repeal this act, in fact to date they have presented three bills to government that have been blocked by the civil service equality council.

        I support neither but I hate broad accusations and baseless statements.

      • welshboi says:

        Labour vs Conservative
        Anti Working Class policies? Check and check
        Warmongering? Check and check
        Erosion of civil liberties? Check and check
        Attacks on education? Check and check
        In the pocket of business? check and check
        Yup, same shit, different shade.

      • welshboi says:

        Forgot to add.
        Hideously racist immigration policies? Check and check

  10. Ross says:

    I want to stand up to cuts as much as the next student. Behaviour like this is criminal and makes us no better than a government that assaults students on demonstrations. Shame on these people, not only for their actions today but that they will put people off marching on Wednesday.

    • welshboi says:

      So a handful of students mocking and taking the piss out of someone who supports them being assaulted and beaten by armed thugs is the same as armed thugs beating and assaulting unarmed protesters? Nice equivalence there…

  11. FIGHT THE CUTS says:

    The people who did this are idiots. I am marching on Wednesday and proud of it – we need to fight these cuts at every level. Criminal behaviour like this is thuggish, undemocratic and undermines our entire movement. I say shame on the people who did this – the Free Hetherington should distance themselves from this and I shall not be returning to the building until they do.

  12. Ewan says:

    I’d just like to echo the sentiment that today’s protest was in no way peaceful. The photo’s you have published as well as the description of the incident you have put forward yourselves protray and act of bullying, harrasment and physical intimidation, which are clearly criminal. I also find it bizare that a number of you think you can use the disgraceful actions of the police to justify your own. The issues surrounding higher education and it’s funding go far beyond one man.

    There are a number of individuals who I can sympathise with involved in the occupation of the Hetherington, who despite my disagrement with them, are clearly rational people with good intentions. This clearly is a movement divided and while those who err on the side of bullying and harrasment are alowed to perpetrate crimes whilst claiming to act in the names of the students you will continue to alienate yourselves from the majority of those you claim to represent and your argument will not only be lost, but much worse ignored.

  13. “I’m sure all Glasgow Uni students appreciate the time you can dedicate to these endeavours.”

    I don’t know if they do, we are merely offering something that people can take or reject. Obviously some people will take, some will reject. Today’s small protest against Porter is really a sideline issue compared to medical training classes, discussions on a cycling project, chats on transhumanism, a rally on cuts, a presentation on wealth taxes, wikileaks, the abolition of work, yoga etc. These don’t make the news, but they are the majority of what we’re up to.

    Anyway, dislike and support for actions such as these. So goes it.

    • Emma Goldman says:

      No – it’s not a sideline issue. It is symptomatic of the way that you are perceiving yourselves.

      “medical training classes, discussions on a cycling project, chats on transhumanism, a rally on cuts, a presentation on wealth taxes, wikileaks, the abolition of work, yoga etc”

      Listen to yourselves. Really! Do you not realise how pompous you sound?

      Get real. As time goes on, the more you do and say is making the community as a whole laugh at you and dispise you.

      Stop pretending – you are enjoying free food and free utilities. You are not educating anyone. Worse, you are making all of us laugh at you and giving anarchism a bad name.

      • welshboi says:

        “Emma” I don’t really think you know anything about anarchism to be honest. Just from reading your comments. Anarchism isn’t about meekly asking for the state to be a bit nicer or engaging in polite discussion with the bourgeoisie and it’s agents.

  14. london student and occupier says:

    The vast majority of us salute you, your occupation and today’s actions.

    Another national wave of student occupations will no doubt soon follow your lead – while students nationwide will continue actions like today’s to send Aaron Porter a simple message – we implore you in the name of the broad student left to not run again for NUS president, should you wish to do so these sorts of actions will happen every single week.

  15. Hector says:

    The Hetherington Research Club prided itself as a non-political envirnoment for staff, postgrads and ‘mature’ students. Perhaps you should consider conducting your infantile behaviour from more suitable premises. If you genuinely want to work towards securing funding from the university management, with a view to seeing the club re-opened, then you should dissaociate yourselves from recent behaviour, narrow your demands and change tactics asap!

    • Emma Goldman says:

      Well said, Hector!

    • welshboi says:

      Or you could just get involved you know…

    • Wolfie Smith says:

      And it may be worth noting that the Free Hetherington and the people who carried out the fantastic action are most definitely not the same thing.

      I fully support both.

      Since Aaron Porter was such a violent person attacking the students, he needed to be kettled and I fully support the kettlers and comend their restraint in not bashing him on the head till he had a brain haemmorage… the kind of action Porter condones for peaceful kids in Westminster.

  16. I think Polly Toynbee said it all, really. http://bit.ly/i3HgNS

    • Emma Goldman says:

      Nice blog from you, renie 🙂

      • Ta. Free Hetherington, there’s no shame in admitting you were wrong, or maybe even issuing an apology (though by the comments on this thread and the way some are defending the non-existent right to bully, I’m doubting that’ll happen any time soon). Perhaps people would respect you guys more for it.

  17. John says:

    What an absurd defence. Lets get real. As a mob against a lone person you chased him down, mobbed and falsely imprisoned him on the basis of his political beliefs. What cowardice, unable to muster argument or command sufficient support to draw real media attention you resort to harrasment.

    I am Left, I oppose the cuts, authoritarian security messures, march against illegal wars, and deplore police tactics and so I say with a clear conscience that you are squalid, political thugs.

    • welshboi says:

      So should those quislings who are more concerned with their future political careers be free to walk the streets without being confronted by the people they turn upon?

      • John McKee says:

        First off, you breach Godwin’s law, are massively guilty of Reductio ad Hitlerum, and therby lose this argument. Considering the prima donna outrage at a metaphorical comparison to Vichy France, you have some temerity to then compare Porter to Nazi collaborators.

        Secondly, in answer to your question, yes. He should be able to walk freely. Why? Because liberty of movement is a foundational Right of our political and real society. When you use superior physical force to remove that liberty on the basis of his political opinions, you are guilty both criminally of false imprisonment and morally of attacking freedom of expresion; thereby damaging the political discourse of this counrty. You are physically intimidating a person for their views, and by extention all others who hold those views.

        Inicdentally, if you wanted to challenge him, then we have a mechanism for this in civil society. We call it debating.

      • welshboi says:

        Actually I called him a traitor; it doesn’t matter that the Quisling himself was a Nazi collaborator the word itself is now used merely to describe a turncoat. You lose. 😛

  18. Carson says:

    “Behaviour like this is criminal and makes us no better than a government that assaults students on demonstrations.”

    Really? REALLY? Lol, I must’ve missed the meeting on how a few people shouting at some knobhead is the same as the wholesale dismantlement of public services, threats to the future of our education and polis clubbing teenagers with big sticks.

  19. A says:

    The reason so many people dislike porter is this:
    He applauds students taking action, yet refuses to put his own career on the line when so many students go into occupation and risk disciplinary action and explusion by having occupations, like these guys do, or joining in on a march in which he himself may be kettled.

    He tries to ‘lead’ a ‘student movement’ yet seems incapable of proposing anything other than a talking shop with those in power or A-to-B marches. Even if your personal politics dont support direct actions, you have to admit that he could be doing more to achieve the aims he himself has set.

    I can understand an action like this doesnt have the best visuals to it. Nor is it really fair to just corner someone and deprive them of dignity like this. But its also the only way that students really have a chance of reminding people like Porter that there are people out there making serious commitments to stop the things he claims to oppose, and that those commitments are made via tactics beyond the ones he has so far pursued.

    You can’t expect students in occupation to stand idly by while a man who tries to reap all the credit and none of the blame for their actions waltzes in and out of a meeting of members of a party who set the ball rolling for the total privatization of higher ed.

  20. katem says:

    There’s an awful lot of very emotive language from some people – ‘mob’ for example – get a grip people! a small group surrounded him and chanted stuff – and frankly if he can’t take the heat he should bloody well get out of the kitchen!
    I’m a parent of two teenagers who are worried about their futures and when my 16yr old tried to politely speak to Aaron Porter before the Manchester demo about tuition fees he was extremely rude and dismissive of her – frankly I can’t see that he’s interested in anything but furthering his own career and now he’s been found out he goes around whining about intimidation – yeah well what about the intimidation of thousands of pounds worth of debt that students face in the future? It’s clear he’s not interested in a fightback any more – well for some of us it’s a necessity!

  21. Ewan says:

    “A small group of people surounded him” One of whom was wearing a riot helmet and, if you look at the photos provided by this website, the rest were all clearly shouting in his face in a manner which can only be described as threatening.

    I am no fan of Aaron Porter or the NUS as a whole, but these tactics are completely inapropriate in any kind of political discourse. This was not a well organized mass demonstration, or a peacful protest, this was a group of people setting out to intimidate and frighten an individual.

  22. JayL says:

    Some extraordinary displays of uninformed, crypto-Christian, bourgieous moralising in these comments. (Take a bow, ‘Emma Goldman’.) Aaron Porter is a careerist hack whose anti-democratic, anti-student collusion with the government and the police deserves to be protested. Those genuine progressives who confronted Porter today, in a non-violent but properly enraged fashion, deserve to be at the centre of any broad movement against this repulsive government and its campaign of immiseration. The rest of you should staunch your bleeding liberal hearts by joining the Lib Dems.

    • JayL says:


      • Emma Goldman says:

        Empty rhetoric, JayL

        I really hope you are not a GU student, as such rantings show you up as uneducated and ill informed.

        Now, if you can, why don’t you start again and try to present an argument?

      • Pravda: on crypto-Christianity says:

        “crypto-Christian”? Congratulations on learning part of a vocabulary designed to exclude and alienate people.

        And accusing people of moralising is a pretty weak defence of immorality.

        If you want to actually moderate the effect of the cuts, try including and engaging a wide range of support rather than talking amongst yourselves.

      • welshboi says:

        “Emma”, are you a GU student? I am and I’m an anarchist who has been involved in anarchist politics for around 15 years. Not got a clue who you are but you certainly are not an anarchist and JayL is right you would be better off joining the LibDems. At least there you bourgeois moralising would be acceptable.
        @Pravda. “accusing people of moralising is a pretty weak defence of immorality.”
        Are you for real?

  23. Pingback: Leave Aaron Porter alone! « No comment

  24. Bobitybob says:

    This is a highly embarrassing read for those who want to maturely and seriously protest the cuts to the university not just play Wendy house and rebel against what they perceive to be the norm *yawn* it’s so cliched and more like an episode of the young ones.

    This is what happens when children throw their dummy out the pram. It’s no better than high school bullying and from an outsiders perspective only serves to damage your cause,

    If you want to be taken seriously then you need to behave like rational adults, not arseholes getting caught up in a moment of childish folly.

    You are not acting on behalf of the university, you are doing it for a story when you’re old, middle class, well off and boring,

  25. Jim says:

    Hilarious – all this ill-judged behaviour serves to do is alienate you further from GU students, past and present. You are aware that Glasgow University voted overwhelmingly not to join the NUS a few years ago? It seems somewhat ignorant to go after the leader of an organisation that the student body at Glasgow democratically declined to have represent them.

  26. donAlvar says:

    I find the reaction to what happened with this ambitious twat very funny. I cannot help but think how bland the life of someone that think that is “criminal” and so outrageous must be. You do not have to go far to see something way more violent than that, against someone less deserving of it, just have a look at the police dealing with protesters.

    I will file these reactions in the same folder with the political correctness tide that tries to turn center-to-left movements into a bunch of harmless clowns. Sticking to the politeness manual will very likely prove useless against this coalition, which in turn do not seem to need any need to stick to any restriction at all, law included.

  27. Sarah says:

    This is such a heap of shit – young Labour masquerading as concerned citizens and students is so laughable.

    Porter agrees with the kettling of student protestors by GENUINELY scary police with horses and weapons. A few people surrounding him wearing a jokey riot helmet and saying slogans gives him a TINY taste of what that might be like. GOOD!

    Also, this highlights and interesting breed of insincere back slappers – folk happy to associate their support with the free HRC when it’s politically convenient for them but all up in our faces screaming ‘BULLIES! IDIOTS!’ when we actually act in the ethos of the free HRC bh acting RADICALLY. I don’t really care if the free HRC is too radical for new labour hacks. You’re always welcome to come and get involved and use the free services but this hysterical and phoney reaction is totally against the ethos of protest, free education & creating a community willing to fight the cuts and those who impose them

    • Hector says:

      People supported the Free HRC not because it was “politically convenient”, but simply because they loved their club. Maybe they were perhaps naive in not realising that both the building and the Hetherington name were going to be used to back all sorts of ‘radical’ (as you say), student protests.

      • mohkohn says:

        By “people” – I think you mean some of the former membership and other customers. We totally agree that it is sad that there is no postgrad/staff club. We are incapable of opening one. We are, however, capable of opening and running a protest occupation, and using such as an organising base against the cuts.

        I’m neutral on the protest itself, but Aaron Porter is not on our side and should not be made to feel welcome at Glasgow.

    • Emma Goldman says:

      Psuedo argument and empty rhetoric. I’m really afraid that you are a student, Sarah.

      In which case can I suggest that you give up your posing and ranting and actually get your head into some books and earn your right to talk to those who have actually taken the time to study these issues in a proper academic manner.

      Also – kettling is NEVER funny. The pictures did not look funny and, much as anyone might dislike Porter, no human being deserves to have their human right violated (yes, violated) like that.

      Please vacate 13, Uni Gardens, Sarah. You are giving GU students a bad name.

      • Hector says:

        mohkohn, all I’m saying is that the Hetherington as an organisation still exists, and it’s name is being used for completetly different intents and purposes (unfortunately the building is already lost to us). A large number of ex members, committee and staff, current postgrads and university staff feel very uncomfortable with the way the Free Hetherington occupiers are conducting their efforts.

    • Emma Goldman says:

      Oh – and FREE services? Not so. The Uni are paying for these, and it is coming out of some budget. At a time when Estates and Buildings are being told they have to make cuts of 11-15% and that an additional cut of 11% of staff salaries must be made, do you not think it is immoral of all of you to steal (yes, steal) the extra utilities bill from GU?

      You are using extra lighting, and the Uni are having to pay overtime for security for you. That will lead to further job losses in the future.

      Shame on you and your pseudo-socialist reasoning.

      • Sarah says:

        Just saying ‘pseudo’ lots and ’empty rhetoric’ does not make your *rhetoric* any less *empty*.

        I’m not in 13 uni gardens so it’d be a bit hard for me to vacate it.

        To repeat: don’t care what some labour hacks posing as concerned citizens think.

        Off to bed, enjoy sitting on the blog all night writing ‘hear hear’ after every other fake concerned citizens’ posts, it must be really fulfilling for you to be making such a positive change to the university, and such a positive contribution to teh internetz

      • Just a point of accuracy – we’ve talked to the security guards, they are not doing overtime, they are doing their usual shifts, just in a slightly different place. Also the lights and heating were on all year whilst the building was closed. That is all, goodnight.

      • welshboi says:

        For fucks sake, you call yourself Emma Goldman but have you ever actually read anything written by or about the woman? You are the worst kind of liberal.

  28. Ewan says:

    “Non-violent”? Again, I refer you to the photos, this is physically intimidating behaviour which could be fairly perceived as threatening violence.

  29. Scott says:

    Congratulations to all those involved in completely undermining student protests against the cuts by “kettling” Aaron Porter.

    I am no fan of the NUS and proudly campaigned against the University of Glasgow joining it a few years ago. But by employing these tactics, however “hilarious” or “ironic” they may have been, you’ve done a disservice not only to people who are campaigning in more legitimate ways, but also to everyone who democratically voted against joining the NUS a few years ago.

    • welshboi says:

      you’ve done a disservice not only to people who are campaigning in more legitimate ways, but also to everyone who democratically voted against joining the NUS a few years ago.

      • Scott says:

        Because we ran an anti-NUS campaign that was about informing the student populace about the reasons as to why the NUS were not only not suitable for the Universty of Glasgow, but also that they were ineffective and wasted too much time on non-student issues. It was not about name-calling and bullying.

        We deemed it against our best interests to be seen attacking the NUS from any stance other than one of complete fact least it undermine our argument.

        Moving to the present day, this behaviour that a minority of your group exhibited has shed a poor light on what otherwise has been a very good campaign.

        I do not agree with the HRC being given money from the university to reopen, but i do agree with the other aims of this occupation.

  30. Chris says:

    Shouldn’t Mr. Porter be announcing his resignation, after overseeing a tripling of university tuition fees? I don’ know much about student politics, but he appears remarkably ineffective.

  31. Matthew says:

    “You are not acting on behalf of the university, you are doing it for a story when you’re old, middle class, well off and boring”


    Or perhaps you’ll look back and feel embarrassed.

    Or perhaps you’ll not even realise how daft you all are.

    Nah just kidding. Keep it up folks, spirit of Cairo and all that.

  32. Chris says:


    You come across as a bunch of nasty, petty and pathetic little people. As someone who was sympathetic to your cause I now couldn’t care less what happens to you and that building.

    On another note does it make you feel big and proud to gang up and pick on someone who is politically active? The fact that his opinions may differ from yours though justifies your behaviour, afterall we should all agree on everything, that’s how a good society works.

    Finally perhaps you should spend less time occupying a building in your ‘sleeping bag and jammies’ and actually go to classes (something some people would love to be lucky enough to do) as the spelling and grammar in this post is horrendous and an embarassment to the University you attend, as is your behaviour in general.

  33. Nice one! Mr porter should be chased out of every self respecting educational institution he dares to enter!

    We at anti cuts action didn’t realise it was violent to hold hands in a circle, so thank you to the people commenting on this article for enlightening us.

  34. Dee says:

    Haha this is fucking brilliant, good stuff.

    Some of these comments are just a joke. A few people surround for a very short time, jokily, some Labour-party careerist dickhead who tries to contain the student movement into totally tokenistic and ineffective protests and supports riot police beating up and kettling the students he claims to represent. And that’s somehow equivalent to riot police beating up protesters, or the destruction of the livelihoods of ordinary people everywhere due to the austerity measures? lol. Liberals are just the worst, most irrational, moralistic, inconsistent twats aren’t they? (My favourite comment is by ‘Emma Goldman’ (eh?!), “no human being deserves to have their human right violated (yes, violated) like that” – that irrational indignation is just priceless.)

    Also – Aaron Porter was egged in Manchester, and cream-pied, twice, in Oxford. No doubt other incidents elsewhere… He’s made it clear what side he’s on, and he should not be welcome anywhere near campuses around the country.

  35. Colm Delaney says:

    A sad indictment on the decayed state of the Labour Party in modern Britain. Back in the good old days of Attlee and Wilson such a conference would have been full of working union men who would have snapped a bunch of pompous halfwits with delusions of relevance (such as yourselves) in half without blinking. What unfortunate times we live in.

    Also, big up to the guy wearing the riot helmet. Real classy. Of course this is supposed to be representative of the oppression of police kettling tactics, right? Not because you’re terrified for your pretty little face.

    Cowards and hypocrites.

  36. J says:

    I would like to congratulate the protestors on this amazing feat. I don’t know what I prefer – the using of tactics you appear to claim to oppose, attacking someone with no link to what you were protesting at all, the pathetic grins on the faces of those doing the kettling in the pictures above, the shameless gloating about scaring and harrassibg someone or the sheer foolish and founded belief that your actions will in any way reduce the number of cuts provided atglasgow. By behaving so childishly in associating your name with the Hetherington you have almost ensured it’s total closure – not just the already lost building but the remains of the organisation itself.

  37. YouFascistFucks says:

    Ever heard of democracy? It’s a voting system that affects real change. I don’t like Porter, so I brought up a motion of no confidence against him at my Student Union. It didn’t pass, so the majority vote wins. That’s a brief example of democracy.

    Congratulations on you thuggish behaviour. The far right would be proud of you.

    • Yorkie Bar says:

      The fact that you would compare the above to the violence of the far right strongly suggests that you have never met anyone on the far right, and certainly haven’t experienced the violent side of their politics. Desperately trying to tar a handful of students holding hands with the same brush as those who attack and kill people based on their race is absolutely absurd, and typical of liberal politics that sees any and all acts of ‘violence’ as equal.

      The level of humourlous whingeing on this thread is truly breathtaking. “You’re just as bad as them,” “Aaron porter was democratically elected,” “You shouted ‘tory’ at him but he’s LABOUR,” etc. etc. Get a clue. You know who else was democratically elected on the platform of a nominally left wing party? HITLER. 😉

  38. Keir Hardie says:

    I support this action as being in the best tradition of the labour movement

  39. Scabby Red Jumper says:

    I am furiously cancelling my subscription to your paper (and I was so totally supportive until this point, honest I was).

    I thought fighting the cuts was all about allowing people with RED (yes RED) jumpers to cut stuff! I never that when you said you were against something you would actually oppose it! INDIGATION!

    If I were you I’d go on blogs on the internet telling the people opposing stuff I’m totally also against to stop it.

  40. Roddy says:

    I have three degrees from Glasgow, have worked and raised funds for the university and care deeply about it’s future.

    The actions of those who threatened Aaron Porter, unpleasant as he may be to some, constitute breach of the peace and assault in law. They also are against the Sponsio Academia of the University-which you may recall
    you sign every year when you matriculate.

    As such those involved should face criminal charges as well as discipline from the University authorities. Taking the information back to Mummy and Daddy that you’ve been excluded from higher education and have a criminal record would be just the thing to cheer up their Easter.

    You are not free thinking, committed protesters; merely posturing, unpleasant wee gits the University would be well shot of. Well done for tiring a legitimate concern about the Hetherington into a swaggering bullying session. Fuds

    As such, l

  41. Dee says:

    “the using of tactics you appear to claim to oppose, attacking someone with no link to what you were protesting at all, the pathetic grins on the faces of those doing the kettling in the pictures above, the shameless gloating about scaring and harrassibg someone or the sheer foolish and founded belief that your actions will in any way reduce the number of cuts provided atglasgow.”
    Right, let’s look at this point by point, since supporters of this action are being accused of empty rhetoric.
    First, you criticise them for the “using of tactics you appear to claim to oppose”. There are two responses to this. One is to laugh – it is borderline insane to equate a few people laughingly surrounding someone (who is careerist who sold out those he claims to represent, and support brutal police attacks on students), without even touching him for hardly any time with a mass kettling operation and beating up of students and others. The second response, which I favour, is that actually there’s nothing in kettling that is innately wrong. It’s that the kettling by cops was used as part of a defence of a program of austerity, and to defend capital (which is always what cops will use kettling for, incidentally). I would support communities kettling fascist demonstrators, and I imagine others would too.
    Secondly, they are accused of “attacking someone with no link to what you were protesting at all”. What?! We’re talking about a closure of a building as part of an attack on education generally. Aaron Porter is supposed to represent students, instead he condemns direct action and sells his students out. If you don’t see the link then I don’t know what to say.
    Thirdly, you slag them off for “the pathetic grins on the faces of those doing the kettling in the pictures above” – that’s basically the equivalent of an ad homeinin attack. Anyway, why shouldn’t it be fun?
    Fourthly, you dislike “the shameless gloating about scaring and harrassibg someone”. He’s a twat who sold students out. He supports (and he is a person with power and influence) people scaring and harassing the shit out of school students and others, as well as beating them up and leaving them out in the cold in the middle of the night in a city they may not even live in. He’s decidedly on *their* (the bosses and politicians’) side. And for all of that all he gets is a jokey surrounding by a few people for a very short time. So what if he was scared and felt harassed? He deserves a taste of his own medicine, and it wasn’t a big thing anyway. It’s a lot lighter than tens of millions of people get everyday in the UK from bosses, abusive husbands, bullies and the like. I wonder why people make such a big deal out of it? Funny, the liberal conscience, isn’t it?
    Lastly, you lament “the sheer foolish and founded belief that your actions will in any way reduce the number of cuts provided atglasgow.”. That belief doesn’t exist. Nobody has said that action will stop the cuts at Glasgow. You are making things up. The only thing that will stop the cuts is a sustained mass campaign of direct action, making the campus ungovernable and the cuts impossible to impose.
    (P.S. I love your use of the word “provided” – as though cuts were a public service. A tip for the future – it kind of gives away the ideological perspective you’re coming from…)

    • Colm Delaney says:

      Protip: Line spacing is your friend.

      • Dee says:

        It’s true, I should’ve done that. Thanks for the protip, I’ll bear it in mind next time. Any response to the content itself or are you more about the whole snide one-liners thing?

    • J says:

      1. The difference between your kettling and police kettling is not the scale. Its that the police kettling has the democratic power of the state in order to do so. In other words, they aren’t just intimidating people, they are accountable for their actions. Unlike you.

      2. Aaron Porter is in no way linked to you as a Glasgow Uni student! He represents those students at NUS Unis – which GLasgow isn’t. He won’t have heard of the Hetherington until you nuts harrassed him – it’s not his job to look after that!

      3. Why shouldn’t it be fun? Really???? If police kettlers grinned and smiled then you’d be the first to call for them to be shot, I’m sure. And actually quite rightly – because it’s meant to be a containing tactic – no-one should be getting pleasure out of it! That’s just a bit sadistic!!

      4. If you don’t have a problem with hte idea of kettling why do you mind him supporting kettling? “a jokey surrounding by a few people”?? Those people don’t look to be having a joke and a laugh with him – half are screaming at him and half are laughing at his discomfort. A great show of humanity.

      5. So you conceed you aren’t actually going to change things for the better? Don’t you think that people who make decisions might actually take a stance against you – you’re harming your own interests!! “Sustained campaign of mass action”? Er…..no. Hijacking a cause to use personal vendattas is not that. Don’t make yourself feel better by pretending so.

      (P.S. I meant provided in hte legal sense, as in as currently stated. I have no political affiliation or belief. I do however take personal offence for people abusing others in any context)

  42. Dee says:

    “Back in the good old days of Attlee and Wilson such a conference would have been full of working union men who would have snapped a bunch of pompous halfwits with delusions of relevance (such as yourselves) in half without blinking. What unfortunate times we live in.”
    I’m not fan of the Labour Party, past or present, but to be honest I would hope that even they would spot a scab when they saw one. Do you really think your “working union MEN” would have rushed to defend, violently by the sound of your description, someone who claims to represent student interests and yet is against free education being surrounded for a very short time buy a few pissed off students against cuts?

    • Colm Delaney says:

      I’m assuming you’re of the fairer sex, albeit the rabid nutjob variety, since only they’d be so petty as to capitalise “MEN” for no adequately explained reason like it’s some sort of horrible insult.

      Anyway, petty comments aside…

      I’m saying the working union men (look Mum, no capitals) would sniff out what your mob are in a second. Comfortable, well-off, self-righteous nonentities who have neither had to worry about being provided for, or providing for others in their short meaningless little lives. Any threat of difficulty, physical or otherwise, and you’d all go scurrying off home.

      The fact that one of the first things you demanded is that the power and heating be kept on in the building sums you up. “FIGHT THE MAN! (just for God’s sake don’t expect us to make any sacrifices for it)” No doubt you’ll also be demanding the university takes no action against anyone who joins or supports the occupation.

      When you’re stuck in a dingy, wet, cold, disused building with no free amenities and food, with the knowledge that even if you succeed in your aims you may face expulsion for the sake of your political aims, then you’ll have my respect. Until then, no movement worthy of the name, be they left-wing, right-wing or apathetic, needs your arrogance and stupidity.

      • Dee says:

        I capitalised “men” to highlight the stupid and sexist view you have. Your response, especially “you’re of the fairer sex, albeit the rabid nutjob variety, since only they’d be so petty as to capitalise “MEN” for no adequately explained reason like it’s some sort of horrible insult” speaks volumes about your attitudes.
        I’m not part of the Free Hetherington, just stumbled across this blog, thought it pretty cool, and defended the actions in these comments.
        The rest of your comment isn’t so much an argument as one long ad homeinin and the message: Man Up!

  43. Anon Uni Staff says:

    What you have done here is illegal. Blocking Antibes “escape route” is one of the only reasons where assault by the “prisoner” is legally allowed, so him hitting the camera out of someone hands is completely justified.

    These protests are a joke, the “meeting” in the QMU was a joke. You are barking completely up the wrong tree. The GUU representative was the only speaker who spoke smartly about any of these moves.

    The University has a choice in this climate, to increase fees, or make cuts. Regardless of their decision, you would be choosing to protest. you are an embarrassment to the MAJORITY of Glasgow students. Protests like these have NEVER been staged by a MAJORITY. Think about that when you’re planning your actions. You are pushing your personal points of view, not that of an entire student body.

    I worry about what you will do whn you get out into the real world. You will become another addition to the long list of ex-students who feel the need to keep involved with student life. Take a long look at yourselves.

  44. Squeak says:

    I’m no middle class, but thanks for playing, Labour hacks.

    Hector, are you ever going to stop being a professional concern troll? You haven’t done ANYTHING to help out at the Hetherington, but you’ve done plenty of moaning from the sidelines when others who were actually working at or attending the old Hetherington are now in the new one, helping out, running the pub quiz, actually BEING there. Quit yer whinging.

    Nobody hit Porter, nobody threatened him physically, nobody fuckin TOUCHED him. But he smashed someone’s camera, which in his own view surely makes him a perpetrator of violence against property, eh?

    You might, before you start chatting about how we should show solidarity with an absolute traitor who doesn’t represent me, doesn’t represent the best interests of students, think about how your own party sent him out alone because they were tired of having us standing outside the door at our own uni. Solidarity begins at home.

    • Reality Check says:

      This just caps it all off. You people know absolutely nothing about anything.

      “Nobody hit Porter, nobody threatened him physically, nobody fuckin TOUCHED him. But he smashed someone’s camera, which in his own view surely makes him a perpetrator of violence against property, eh? ”

      In Scotland an assault is constituted not by “touching” someone but by putting them in fear for their safety. Thus “kettling” (which I would be suprised if there was no contact involved in that) and chasin the guy around the Westend all qualifies as an assault. You are honest to God the least educated bunch on the planet. You cannot go around behaving like this, the applies to you, the Sponsio Academica applies to you. You cannot choose which laws to opt in and out off. You are political boot boys and the worst kind of bigots.

      • Hector says:

        @ squeak we did more than you will ever know, and it was certainly not from the sidelines. but where were you at the time??

  45. Dee says:

    J, thanks for the reply.

    1. The state – whether the government is Labour, Tory, Lib Dem or any mix of them – is attacking workers, students, pensioners and the unemployed. Some people happened to vote for one or other of the parties, it doesn’t really matter to be honest – the ballot box was never going to give us anything other than cuts. ‘Democratic mandate’ is just silliness – we don’t make the decisions that affect us, some people choose to vote for parties which are all do pretty much the same thing who in turn make decisions (although really they just respond to the economic imperative of the day, and defend capital unconditionally). They objectively intimidate people – and probably most people thought that was pretty shit of them. Is that accountability? Because I don’t see tactics changing anytime soon. I agree the difference isn’t just in the scale though. The difference is that one is involved in the defence of capital, the upholding of austerity measures and the attack on ordinary people, the other is some pissed off students surrounding a twat who sold students out and has come down firmly on the side of capital. (I’m not a student at Glasgow and haven’t been involved in FreeHetherington, btw)

    2. There’s this great thing called solidarity. Porter sold out other students. Solidarity has a practical element too – the fight against cuts to education will not be defeated through one campus fighting back successfully, it’d take a more general movement. Thus through Aaron Porter’s selling out of students all students suffer. There’s your link, it’s really not that hard tbh.

    3. Right, this is getting ridiculous now. Again, you equate riot police’s kettling for hours on end, with a few students kettling Aaron Porter. It’s not just the differing scale of the kettles which matters though. Like I say above, what matters is that one side is involved in the defence of attacks on ordinary people, and the other is ordinary people fighting back. Having said that, if the kettlers were wearing full riot gear and smashing him over the head with truncheons and grinning then I would find that disturbing. But plainly it wasn’t anything like that.

    4. I mind him supporting the kettling of the students he claims to represent, not kettling in the abstract. The students were no doubt – justifiably – pissed off, but they didn’t use any violence or, afaik, even touch him!

    5. Of all your ‘points’, this has got to be the very weakest. No I don’t concede we’re not going to change things for the better. No I don’t think this constitutes a sustained campaign of direct action. I don’t think, and I doubt the Free Hetherington lot do either, that this action will stop the cuts at Glasgow. I think you’d have to be pretty mad to believe that. Your arguments are so consistently straw men it’s difficult to take.
    It’s a personal vendetta in the same way that people who dislike David Cameron or Gordon Brown because they fucked them over is a personal vendetta – i.e. that’s at best a pretty weird term to use.

    You “do however take personal offence for people abusing others in any context”. Any context? Really? I just don’t believe you unless you’re the biggest hippy ever. When I went to school I was bullied for a time, one time I swore and stuff back at them – that constitutes abuse I think. I trust you’re consistent enough to take “personal offence” on behalf of my poor oppressed bullies. Aaron Porter’s scum much worse than them.

  46. Notgary says:

    This was incredibly childish and counter-productive behaviour on the part of those of the Free Hetherington who were involved. No longer can they claim the moral high ground when they’re quite happy to employ the tactics used by the police against peaceful demonstrators.

    Unless I’ve missed something in your article, your path only crossed with that of Aaron Porter because you went out of your way to intercept him, not to discuss with him the failures of his policies while in office, and his failure to those he was supposed to represent, but just to intimidate him. What exactly do you hope to achieve from that other than painting yourselves as immature thugs.

    Do you really think that the police, Conservatives, or anyone else who is involved in the cutting of education funding, will look at this and think “Wow, these people mean business, we need to watch out or they’ll come for us next”? No, they’re thinking “Hey, now we have an excuse to turn up the heat on them. In the interests of public safety of course”.

    You can kiss Free Hetherington goodbye.

  47. Sarah says:

    I was involved in the anti-tuition fees protests back in December, and this really saddens me to see.

    Support was growing for the cause, and now there is all this negativity surrounding what originally was a good movement.

    Why kettle Aaron Porter? What did you hope to achieve from this? Because all it’s achieved is probably fewer people supporting the occupation – you are all nice/friendly people but this gives the totally wrong attitude now … people aren’t going to want to come into the occupation and attend all the events – intimidating behaviour like this shouldn’t be tolerated and I hope you now either make a formal apology (if you haven’t done already) and try your best to try win back the student population who are now probably reluctant to be involved.

    Also, maybe a different venue for the start of the protests on Wednesday, people aren’t gunna want to come to something that’s associated with this and the protests on Wednesday shouldn’t be shadowed by this.

  48. Monniejarbles says:

    I don’t understand the problem. I thought Aaron Porter liked kettling? Or does he only approve of it when it happens to other people?

    So a few students surrounded Porter to make a point about the tactics he has supported against his own union members. When he was unable to freely leave he got violent.

    I fail to see why this is causing such opprobrium – unless of course the supposedly angry posts on here all come from Porter’s cronies. I don’t deny that Porter felt threatened, but if he’d ever actually bothered to go on one of the demos called by the organization he so ineffectually heads, he’d have experienced much more intimidating behaviour and would perhaps have learned not to act like such a pansy. Of course, that would mean actually mingling with the people he supposedly represents, something his sycophantic pandering to the right has made impossible.

    Re: the comments on this blog. We saw similar smear tactics from Porter’s mob after the Manchester demo when entirely false accusations of racism were levelled at protesters. He’s obviously a vindictive little thug with no respect for civil discourse or the truth.

    • Notgary says:

      I don’t understand the problem. I thought Aaron Porter liked kettling? Or does he only approve of it when it happens to other people?

      I don’t understand the problem. I thought student didn’t like kettling. Or do they only disapprove when it’s happening to them?

      Hypocrisy and stupidity have always been the Achilles Heel of any revolution.

      • Sarah says:

        There’s a difference between ironic kettling with about 8 people and one backstabbing NUS official, and real kettling with scary riot police with the ability and the intent to hurt or even kill you.

        Breaking a window at Millbank is not violence. “Kettling” Aaron Porter is even less violent.

        All this stooshy on the Internet by a few affronted liberals, in the long run, won’t hide that truth.

  49. Mick McCart says:

    I would be interested to hear what the protestors alternative plan is to fund the university as you seem opposed to cuts and rises in fees. I assume it is to increase government expenditure for universities, but where do you get the money for that?

  50. Dave Kam says:

    Its nice to see a mobilised conservative youth movement taking the ‘big society’ idea and running with it. Some people have the impression that there are anti-Tory undertones in some small areas in Scotland, its encouraging to see a group standing up for Camerons message amidst adversity.

  51. Pingback: Top Posts — WordPress.com

  52. Looking on says:

    It’s not necessarily the action that you took but the integrity with which you did it and explained it to others after. It’s the bragging in the article, such an ugly trait in anyone, it’s not going to win you many supporters! Think more carefully about your integrity and the way you conduct yourselves before, during and after any action (grow up a bit for the sake of your cause – it’s worth it!).

  53. Scabby Red Jumper says:

    All the amateur lawyers on here…I can think of 1 precident.

    Few years ago, some Labour lackey MSP or something was stoating about quite the thing and a few folks ran up to him and said he was a filthy murdering war-criminal.

    He ran to his maw, the cops, the court, the whole shabang. And the judge told him (excuse my feminism) to grow a pair. The last judgement on such a matter in a Scottish Court went like this:

    “If this was the most frightening thing he has experienced in his career, then he must live a very sheltered life.

    “I could understand it more if he lived in some sort of tyranny, but that is hardly the case.

    “It is naive and unrealistic of a cabinet minister to think he cannot attract attention on the streets, especially at a time where a war is on-going.”

    And Aaron Porter may not be a cabinet minister (yet) but he is none the less an alleged representative of students including, regardless of the fact they aren’t in the NUS, the de facto “voice” of Glasgewian students in the UK media where he has consistently betrayed them and scabbed on them. Don’t give in without a fight because the fight to get education back from these people again will be harder.

    Porter has consistently sold out on the idea, defended by the people for successive generations, fought and literally DIED for; That from now on, through thick and thin, good times and bad, and no matter how rich the rich got or how poor the poor got…we all got free, universal education funded through general taxation. If we could do it in 1945 why not now? Getting the rich to pay to educate people like me as opposed to sending us up chimneys or down mines didn’t occur without a fight so why not fight to keep it?

    This is a war between those who know they could do with a bit less (those who support the idea of neccessary cuts) and those of us who know we can’t afford to give another penny to those greedy bastards and their political tools (in every sense) like Porter.

    Well done troops!

    • Wolfie Smith says:

      And need we point out it was Aaron Porter that attacked a student damaging a camera… It’s no wonder they had to restrain this vicious madman.

    • Hamish says:

      I don’t know much about that incident, but from your description it sounds completely different. The protest was completely legitimate until they proceeded to chase Porter through campus. Whereas that incident seemed to just involve the shouting at him bit (nothing wrong with that of course).

      I reiterate my question, what would they have done if they’d caught him? I’m not trying to imply anything, I’m genuinely curious.

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