Tag Archives: protest

Police Liaison Officer assaults press photographer

4 Feb

The video below shows a Police Liaison Officer hurl a member of the press across the pavement, ‘for her own safety’ during a protest by the English Defence League (EDL) in Slough on Saturday. Press members have claimed this was just one of a number of incidents in which Police Liaison Officers used excessive force against them on the day.

“For Your Own Safety!” – Police Liaison Assaults Press from Jason N. Parkinson/reportdigital on Vimeo.

Police in Slough also used horses and batons to drive back and disperse anti-fascist protesters who attempted to obstruct the route of the EDL march. Four arrests were made.

Police Liaison Officers were developed, according to the Metropolitan and Sussex police forces, as a way to enhance communication and dialogue between the police and protesters, and to facilitate the policing of peaceful protest. Instead they have largely lost the trust of protest groups, following reports that they have routinely engaged in the gathering of intelligence, harassed activists and enthusiastically enforced public order strategies such as protest pens, kettles and mass arrests.

Anger at police kettle of student activists

30 Jan

birm student kettle 2

Students have spoken out at their anger and frustration at being kettled, filmed and questioned at the end of a demonstration at Birmingham University last night.

There had been a national meeting, followed by a march and an occupation of Birmingham University’s Great Hall. As the students left the occupation, they were met by lines of police. They were then held in a kettle, in cold and wet conditions, for up to four hours.

One student told us she had struggled to cope with the cold and wet and the lack of toilet facilities,

“It felt like forever, I needed the toilet and it was so horrible and uncomfortable and cold. When I finally got out my friends had to hold me up I was so cold and drained. I felt really helpless and wanted to cry.

My friend was in tears – this was the first demo she’d been on. She doesn’t want to go on another one ever again. The police terrify her now.

They kept us like that to keep our morale down, to absolutely smash our morale. I just feel really bitter and angry”

Continue reading

Police violence at Stopg8 protest

12 Jun
photo;' rikkiindymedia

photo; rikkiindymedia

The following statement was made by the stopG8 group in response to the excessive level of force used against protesters yesterday (Tuesday).

StopG8 held a “Carnival Against Capitalism” in the West End of London today (11 June), demonstrating against 100 murderous banks, corporations, “dens of the rich” and other hiding places of power in the run up to the G8 Summit.

The carnival went ahead despite extreme pre-emptive violence from the Metropolitan and City Police, which caused a number of protesters to be injured. The police surrounded the StopG8 Social Centre on Beak Street, W1 from 10am, and then broke in through the front doors and from the roof later in the morning. At the demonstrations starting at 12 noon in Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Circus, police snatch squads violently arrested and assaulted more demonstrators.

People present in the Beak Street building report that the police used tasers, chemical sprays, and dogs, and hit unarmed people with shields and fists as they held their hands in the air or covered their heads. We are currently gathering witness statements and will release soon a detailed account of the attacks and injuries. We know that at least two people received serious head injuries, and many more were beaten. We are still waiting on reports from at least 30 people who were arrested.

“I could hear tasers going non stop for at least a minute,” said one witness, “I never heard anything like it in my life.”

A StopG8 spokesperson commented: “The police claim that they raided Beak Street because they suspected there were weapons on the building. In fact the only weapons were the police tasers, batons, shields, chemicals, fists and dogs.”

Bail conditions used to restrict protest

6 Jun

On Saturday 1st June the police arrested 58 people who had been protesting against plans by the British National Party to march to the cenotaph in Westminster. Anti-fascist protesters had breached restrictions imposed on their protest, having refused to be contained within an area designated by the police. Police confronting them used considerable force – eye-witnesses have described officers punching protesters, and one woman was taken to hospital with a broken leg. The police then carried out ‘snatch squad’ style arrests until two buses had been filled with handcuffed people.

The 58 people were all arrested for breaching conditions imposed on an assembly. They were taken to police cells, but none were charged with any offence. Instead they were released on police bail with instructions to return in July to be told whether or not charges would follow. Most were also given highly restrictive bail conditions, banning them from any form of protest and excluding them from much of central and west London. Continue reading

Netpol Solicitors List Updated

21 May

Netpol, thImagee Network for Police Monitoring, has updated its list of solicitors that are experienced in dealing with the police and protesters.

A spokesperson for Netpol said,

“A decent lawyer who recognises the importance of things like “no comment” during police interviews can make a huge difference to someone’s chances of defending themselves in court, or suing the police. Our list of solicitors list is an attempt to pool knowledge from across the movement.” Continue reading

EDF drop £5m lawsuit against activists after public outcry

15 Mar

no dash for gas logoAs No Dash For Gas report, energy giant EDF has dropped its £5m lawsuit against the activists who shut down the power plant in October for a week in protest at its environmental policies.

The civil lawsuit (on top of an ongoing trial for aggravated trespass where the defendants face possible jail terms) would have seen the protestors potentially losing their homes, and remaining in debt to EDF for most, if not all, of their lives. The £5m lawsuit was described as “legal bullying” designed “to shut down protest, chill dissent and prevent effective action in the UK against climate change”.

However, the public outcry and a Change.org petition have convinced EDF that the public mood is not with them and – realising they were committing what one PR consultant described as ‘reputational suicide’ – they have dropped the case.

Hear activists talking about the £5m case (defore it was dropped) here:

Sussex police: “If you intend to quit protesting, then tonight’s the night to do it.”

6 Jan

A tweet sent by Sussex Police Liaison on New Years Eve has angered campaigners, as it appears to show a less than positive attitude towards the right to protest. Police Liaison Officers say their role is to support protest rights by developing dialogue and communication, but they have faced attack previously by activists and monitoring groups who have accused them of harassing activists and exploiting trust to gather intelligence on protest groups

Continue reading

Wheelchair protesters injured by police

1 Sep

Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) have accused the police of unnecesary aggression at their protest yesterday at the Department of Work and Pensions. One protester was left with a fractured shoulder, another tipped from their wheelchair as police pushed through the crowd to try and stop protesters occupying the DWP building. One person was arrested for breach of the peace and obstructing police, and was later released on police bail.

The wheelchair users and other DPAC protesters had blockaded the entrance to the DWP while inside 12 activists from DPAC and UKUNCUT occupied the foyer area, and ‘locked on’ to make it difficult for them to be removed. Continue reading

End s60 stop and search

13 Aug

An open letter to Theresa May, Nick Herbert and Bernard Hogan-Howe has been published by a collective of organisations opposing police stop and search policy, including Netpol. The letter calls for, amongst other things, the suspension of s60 stop and search powers, which allow the police to stop and search whoever they wish, without any need for ‘reasonable suspicion’.

There is strong evidence that s60 is disproportionately used against the black and Asian population. In a recent study of protest policing published in July this year, Netpol found that

“s60 is also inappropriately used at political protests to target particular social groups, such as young people, or to harass individuals who are known political activists or associated with particular political groups.”

Continue reading

Critical Mass – Netpol criticise ‘disturbing ease’ by which Met felt able to kettle cyclists

6 Aug

On Friday 27th July, 182 cyclists were arrested by the Metropolitan police for straying too close to the Olympic venue. Netpol have been given a number of eye-witness accounts from participants in the Critical Mass which tell a highly disturbing story.

Those arrested were forced to tolerate poor conditions of detention, with some spending the entire night detained on a bus at Charing Cross, waiting to be booked into custody, without adequate access to water or toilet facilities. Some people were forced to spend an excessive amount of time in handcuffs, and access to legal representation and advice was patchy. All have also been subject to highly restrictive bail conditions, which in some cases have left people unable to work without breaching the conditions of their bail. Some have had to face a significant struggle to reclaim their own cycles.

But even more disturbing perhaps, was the disturbing ease by which the Metropolitan Police have felt able to carry out a strategy of mass arrest against a group of people whose primary offence appears to have been the act of cycling into East London. Continue reading

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