Live tweeting from the TUC march

29 Mar

I caught up with budding journalist Joe Dyke, who was live tweeting from Central London covering the TUC’s March for the Alternative, as well as the improvised protests staged by UK Uncut.

How was your smart phone helpful on the day?

“I obviously had it to live tweet, but I had Twitter up all the time and was following all the main figures in the movement, such as

The Fortnum and Mason protest at which Joe was present

people from UK Uncut. There were about 5 or 6  of them posting all the time so I could see where they were going. I also knew some contacts so was able to mix it up with ringing them to stay on top of it.”

Any examples of how you used your smart phone?

“I heard about Fortnum on Mason on my phone and I was somewhere north of Regent Street at the time. I was able to use the map function on my phone to work out a quick way of getting there without having to go through the crowds, which cut about 20 minutes off the journey. I ended up getting there about two minutes after the invasion so was able to see some of the really interesting stuff, such as the police getting attacked with paint. I then tweeted about this.”

With a number of mobile reporters present, were you able to cover anything unique?

“Yes. I went back towards Piccadilly and soon realised the police were going to kettle the protestors, so I dashed down Jermyn Street. It was there that some of the protestors had started a fire, which quite a few of the newspapers carried the next day. I was the first journalist there and tweeted about it. I think it got about 50 retweets and within about four or five minutes there loads of photographers there.”

What is the significance of Twitter with events such as this protest?

“In these situations it enables protest groups to stay minutes ahead of the police. Using certain hashtags they can they can make collective decisions really quickly, which is so much quicker than having one leader making the call. You could make an announcement to all their followers on Twitter who pick it up immediately and even if the police are some of those followers, they still only have the same reaction time as everybody else.”

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