Tuesday, April 07, 2009

'If you've nothing to hide, you've nothing to fear'

The Guardian obtained this footage of Ian Tomlinson at a G20 protest in London shortly before he died. It shows Tomlinson, who was not part of the demonstration, being assaulted from behind and pushed to the ground by baton-wielding police

Read the full story of Ian Tomlinson's death at the G20 protests

update: from Girl

Rachel, I hope you don't mind my adding to this thread, that people are calling for an independent inquiry - NOT run by the police/IPCC - into these events, and I want to suggest to your readers that they can write to their MP demanding that they raise this as a matter of urgency in the House.

You can contact your MP using Write To Them - it only takes five minutes, and I urge all those who are disgusted by the images and actions on that video to please write to their MP requesting an inquiry as soon as possible.


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10 Comments:

Blogger Tom Paine said...

A friend of my daughter's who was there told her that the police focussed on soft targets in preference to the violent anarchists, some of whom were attacking other protestors. She witnessed a 14 year-old girl struck on the head with a police baton when she fearfully tried to leave the area, having become separated from her friends. Tellingly, she also reports that police officers were initially friendly to her group of [naive young] eco-protesters, but that their attitude changed markedly after they were taken on one side for a "pep talk" by their officers.

April 07, 2009 11:11 pm  
Blogger Michael Bentley said...

I joined a Facebook group called 'Protest Against police Intimidation' - the creator, Andy May, is organising a protest against the police. Worth joining to keep abreast of developments on this issue.

The whole thing is just appalling and I can't see thr future of peaceful protest looking too good. Was anyone brought to justice for the death of de Menezes? The government and police will probably use the tiny violent minority to justify even more repressive laws and tactics than have been used already.

April 07, 2009 11:38 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

It's bad. Really bad.

I feel utterly dreadful for Mr Tomlinson's family as well, as his last moments are shown over and over again. They did not ask to walk into a media storm.

Watching the story running, twisting, turning for over a week, and not having time to write; seeing how it was spun as police battling to save a man in a hail of bottles (shades of vaulting over Stockwell barriers with a bulky jacket trailing wires) and protesters saying, no, the police hit him, the police didn't go top help him, it was passers by and demonstrators...has been sickening and disturbing.

There is a great deal of anger already. It is dangerous for everyone when levels of cynicism and despair about politicians and police reach high levels.

'The summer of rage' is beginning to look like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

For everyone's sake, for the sake of justice and peace on the streets it is essential that there is a public inquiry and that the officers who stood by as Mr Tomlinson fell are suspended, the incident fully investigated, and the requisite condemnations and apologies made as fast as possible. Along with a full review of police tactics at demos, including kettling and use of force. Because lots of people were pushed, shoved, walloped, corralled, threatened, frightened and angry that day. Including teenagers, older people, passers-by and yes, including police officers

April 07, 2009 11:59 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

And almost all of it could have been avoided.

April 08, 2009 12:00 am  
Blogger Rachel said...

And before it even happened it was widely predicted. Not the death, but the abuse, the kettling, the penning, the malevolent shittiness of it all. It was set up as a ruck. It was even called 'Operation Culloden' ffs.

50,000 people marched on the previous Saturday. Peaceful protest can be done. And we need it now more than ever.

April 08, 2009 12:07 am  
Blogger Fidothedog said...

Appalling, but even after all the photos and video clip I expect there will be another expensive whitewash of this.

April 08, 2009 12:40 am  
Blogger Andy Ramblings said...

The thing is, some of those coppers seemed to enjoy the event a bit too much. Check this site.

April 08, 2009 8:12 am  
Blogger jailhouselawyer said...

Perhaps the Guardian journalist should be charged, with filming the police under terrorist legislation, for obviously bringing the police into disrepute?

April 08, 2009 11:44 am  
Blogger thegirl said...

@jailhouselawyer The footage of the police attacking Tomlinson without provocation was not shot by a journalist (at the Guardian, or elsewhere). It was filmed by a New York banker, who decided to hand the video to the Guardian after seeing that the police had denied having any contact with Tomlinson prior to his death. This banker felt the family deserved to know the truth, and that justice should be brought. But yes, theoretically, s/he could be charged for filming the police under that stupid "terrorist" legislation.

Rachel, I hope you don't mind my adding to this thread, that people are calling for an independent inquiry - NOT run by the police/IPCC - into these events, and I want to suggest to your readers that they can write to their MP demanding that they raise this as a matter of urgency in the House.

You can contact your MP using Write To Them - it only takes five minutes, and I urge all those who are disgusted by the images and actions on that video to please write to their MP requesting an inquiry as soon as possible.

April 08, 2009 4:11 pm  
Blogger Cookiemouse said...

There is a word for what the police did to Mr Tomlinson. Manslaughter. If I did that to anybody that's what it would be. People are talking about this incident everywhere I go in Amsterdam, a city where the English no longer have a good reputation. Looking at this video, I can see why. I feel ashamed of my country after watching it.

April 09, 2009 4:58 pm  

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