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Marxists have always maintained that at some stage the intensity of the class struggle affects even the "armed bodies of men" of the bourgeois state. Such an example was the police strike in Britain at the end of the First World War. In the late summer of 1918 the sight of 12,000 furious Metropolitan constables marching on Whitehall sparked panic among ruling circles in Britain. Under the leadership of the National Union of Police and Prison Officers, militantly class-conscious policemen conspired to overturn their role as the subservient body of the State.