Citizen Action Monitor

In rousing speech, 15 year old student warns UK ruling class: “We will fight back!”

No 97 Posted by fw, December 13, 2010

IMPORTANT UPDATE — Sept 21, 2011: THE RODNEY OWEN McCARTHY SPEECH HAS BEEN REPOSTED ON YOU TUBE. See it below. Thank you Bill Tumminaro, wherever you are, for this update.

In a rousing speech, to a resounding round of cheers and applause, 15-year old student, Rodney Owen McCarthy, put the UK Ruling Class on notice:

“Let the word go out . . . We’re going to stand up and we’re going to fight back!”

Watch his inspiring presentation here in this 4:50-minute You Tube video, which, before it was removed for from Tube so far, had over 277,000 views. My transcript follows.


You know, this was meant to be the first post-ideological generation, right? This was meant to be the generation that never thought of anything bigger than our Facebook profiles and our TV screens. This was meant to be the generation where the only thing that Saturday night meant was X-Factor. I think now that claim is quite ridiculous. I think now that claim is quite preposterous.

I think now we’ve shown, <loud applause> now we’ve shown that we’re as ideological as ever before. <applause> Now we’ve shown that solidarity and comradeship, and all those things that used to be associated with students are as relevant now as they’ve ever been. <clapping>

You know the most incredible thing that happened on Wednesday – I went down, I thought I would go down on lunch break and then get back in time for lessons – perhaps I should have known they’d put the guy in charge of the G-20 in charge. Perhaps I should have been more concerned for my life than I was going to get done [in time] for lessons. But when I tried to get out and was told that it was a sterile area, by police officers standing and not letting anyone out, I thought well that’s why we need a university education. If we don’t get one we’ll end up in police uniforms. <laughter>

You know, when I was kettled in there, I was with thousands and thousands of school students who’d come down with their ties around their heads, in their school uniforms — and yeah, they were cold – who’d come, who’d never been on a protest before, who’d never joined a political party or been involved in a political movement before. We didn’t have any economic knowledge or political degrees. They were there because they believed in something. They were there because they believed in something bigger. And they were there they knew that either – you know, there weren’t a million choices. There were two choices. Either they laid down and took whatever they threw at them or they stood up and fought back. And so those school students who’d never been involved in anything before, they stood up and they fought back. <applause>

And when they were in that kettle, being kettled in by police, you know, the word went round as we sitting huddling around fires, sharing what little food we had, and the word went round – people said: We know what they’re up to. We know they don’t think we’re a danger to the public. I’m 15 years old. People there were as young as 13. We know they don’t think we’re going to run riot through the streets of London. We know what they’re up to. They think they kettle us now, we’re not going to come to a demonstration ever again.

<In an ever-ascending voice> Well, “Let the word go out from today!” people said.

Let the word go out next Tuesday!

Let the word go out about next week and next month and next year that <crescendo of cheers> they can’t stop us from demonstrating!

They can’t stop us fighting back!

And however much they try to imprison us in the streets of London, those are our streets and we will always be there to demonstrate!

We will always be there to fight!

People who had always thought that the police were people on the other end of the telephone line to help if there was a burglary. People who had always thought that the media were just those friendly newspaper men to give them that unbalanced picture of the facts. People learned a lot last Wednesday. People learned a lot as they huddled around the fires and then emerged from that kettle to see headlines like “VANDALS” on the Evening Standard that afternoon. People learned a lot when a police van was left in the middle of the road so the police could tow it away and show the whole public – Look what vandals these people are. People learned <applause> a lot.

So the message that goes out from last Wednesday is very clear.

We are no longer that post-ideological generation!

We are no longer that generation that doesn’t care!

We are no longer that generation that is prepared to sit back and take whatever they give us!

We are now the generation at the heart of the fight-back! We are now the generation that will stand with everyone who’s fighting back!

The inspiring thing I think was that just after Wednesday, hundreds of people joined the Facebook group – school students joined a Facebook group in solidarity with RMT [National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers] members on strike. Those are people who previously thought, <applause> who previously thought, the tube strike was something annoying because it stopped them getting into school. Now they think they’ve got to link arms and fight back with everyone. So we want to show solidarity with everyone who’s fighting back. We hope you show solidarity with us and send a strong message to this government that they can’t throw their cuts at us.

We’re going to stand up and we’re goingto fight back! <Loud cheers>


Rodney Own McCarthy. Remember that name. I think we’ll be hearing a lot more from this young man.

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This entry was posted on December 13, 2010 by in counterpower of one, leadership, political action, student & youth counterpower and tagged .
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