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ESF: arrest at stage at Trafalgar Square

an eyewitness | 17.10.2004 21:38 | Globalisation

A group of people went to the stage area at Trafalgar Square to report about the arrests that had occurred. The "Stop the War coalition" stewards would not allow anybody to enter the stage area. The police went directly through the backstage area, apparently called by the organisers, to brutally arrested an activist. Altogether, 9 activists were arrested on October 17th during the ESF demonstration and taken to Charing Cross police station.

I was standing a bit further away from the stage speaking with friends. What I saw was an extremely brutal arrest. As a group of people gathered at the entrance to the stage area (Alex Callinicos was seen standing there most of the time beforehand), they met up with aggressive stewards from the "Stop the War Coalition" that did not want to allow anyone to go onto the stage to make a public announcement about the arrests that had occurred. Finally someone managed to get on the stage to denounce the arrests.

Before the brutal arrest I saw, massive amounts of policemen assembled at the back of the stage area. They then opened the fence to the backstage area, obviously with the consent of the organisers. They marched through the area at the bottom of the stage to harrass the group of people argueing with the stewards. They brutally arrested an activist by dragging him fast through this backstage area by his arms and legs. Eight to ten policemen then cornered him right up against the wall, and violently thrusting themselves upon him with his head down towards the ground, fencing him off from other people's view that were standing around the police. "You are crushing him!" people shouted, worried that he would be badly injured, they were certainly endangering him and looked as if they were taking into account that he would be badly hurt. More policemen came to disperse the croud, shoving people out of the way and finally dragging him away.

an eyewitness


Display the following 4 comments

  1. what a suprise — george
  2. arrestee in court at 10am — stinky
  3. stwc stewards — steward
  4. Witness — witness friend