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heavy-handed policing at stop the war demo in london (pics)

rikki | 06.08.2006 00:49 | Lebanon War 2006 | Anti-militarism | Repression | London

between 8,000 and 150,000 people (depending on who you believe) marched in london on saturday afternoon, calling for a ceasefire now. police seemed often heavy-handed and out of control, and there were at least a dozen arrests.

bush and bliar
bush and bliar

police take no chances outside us embassy
police take no chances outside us embassy

police shoving crowd at emabssy
police shoving crowd at emabssy

a line of thugs right across the road
a line of thugs right across the road

cordon at downing street
cordon at downing street

journalist arrested
journalist arrested

samba die-in
samba die-in

sit-down protest
sit-down protest

let him in!
let him in!

olmert banner
olmert banner

one of many downing street arrests
one of many downing street arrests

pointless road clearance
pointless road clearance

bush cctv
bush cctv

woman dragged away and arrested
woman dragged away and arrested

shoes of the dead
shoes of the dead

nazi banner
nazi banner

outside the american embassy, territorial support group police suddenly flooded the road and formed an arbritary barrier in the middle of the crowd. they then began pushing forward, shoving and occasionally hitting people in a pointless show of thuggery. there were several arrests, and then they were suddenly recalled and the march returned to peace. totally pointless!!

later i saw simila tactics near downing street. as i arrived a line of police were pushing people from the right hand side away from the gates of downing street. when challenged, the senior officer could not explain under what legislation he was acting. one member of the press was arrested in a scuffle.

the 'rhythms of resistance' samba band arrived and staged a die-in opposite downing street. others gradually joined the sit-down, although stop the war coalition stewards were urging the passing crowd to not join in, and police quickly surrounded the sitting protestors. after some twenty minutes, the samba band moved on, but some activists tried to use pipes to lock on on the ground, and were viciously arrested by police before they managed. i witnessed one young man being held face down on the ground with his neck bent to one side and his face being pushed hard down onto the road.

at this point, i witnessed the most pointless show of strength and bullying tactics as van loads of police poured out onto the road. they started pusfhing people randomly, seemingly confused as to their own orders, but then began 'clearing the road opposite downing street. people on the pavement were left alone, but i witnessed another five arrests. after this little show, they all got back in their vans and the road filled with demonstrators once again. what the hell was the point of that other than intimidation and harrassment.

in parliament square, police were also involved in scuffles and several witnesses told me they'd seen a woman being kicked by police.

later on, barbara tucker and steve jago took up their customary position outside downing street. once again, for simply holding a banner with some words on it, barbara was violently assaulted. i saw the handcuff marks several hours later and her arm was swollen, and the skin broken. she was charged with 'obstruction of the highway' rather than the usual 'unauthorised demo' offence. steve jago was charged under section 5 of behaviour liable to cause harrasment, distress or alarm, and he received a beating and an £80 penalty fine (blair's new summary justice!) - he will take the matter to court.

it is clear from today that police are instructed to use thuggery and violent tactics, and are particularly targetting peaceful campaigners against blair's genocide.

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Hide the following 10 comments

police&stwc in partnership.

06.08.2006 08:49

Thanks Rikki

Great pictures and report.
It would seem the stwc stewards are worse than the police.
Again they show no solidarity or support for direct and spontaneous actions on demos.

They are shameful. i remember going on a march after the ESF, passing downing street myself and fellow activists decided to have a spontaneous sit-down in the road. 3 of us started initially then more people joined in. within minuets we had about 70 people sat in the road. the stwc stewards freaked out and seemed more concerned than the pork to break this action.

Why don't these Leninist control freaks join the police force and be done!!


shameful STW

06.08.2006 11:26

When we stopped outside the US Embassy with a banner ("CHARGE!") a stop the war steward stood in front of us encouraging people to move on. when my mate tapped him on the shoulder to ask why he was trying to block us, a copper asked the steward if he wanted my mate to be arrested! the steward said "if he touches me again"!! what a bunch of kents.

how many people were arrested in front of the US Embassy and have they been charged or released?

Stop the Coalition

why sit down on the route of the march?

06.08.2006 12:02

stwc may or may not have political motives for discouraging sitdowns but if ppl sit down on the route of the march then the stewards have a pretty good reason for keeping ppl moving, namely the potentially tens of thousands of ppl behind the sitdown being forced to stand around wondering why the march has stopped for no apparent reason.



06.08.2006 14:02

Alternatively stewards could also encourage people to join the sit-down protest or at least refuse to break the solidarity of the march and hold the march stationary in support of the sit-down protest to prevent police violence.

It really does come down to how much organisers are prepared to co-operate with the police.

And how much of a power trip individual stewards are on.

All together now

combining a sit down with the march

06.08.2006 18:26

I think we could be more self-organising in these situations and try to make sure that the march can continue while as many people as possible join the sitdown. Apart from anything else the people on the sitdown need the march to carry on going past so that more people can join in (although the slower the better as the police vans are at the back).

person on sitdown

A serious question

06.08.2006 18:43

I understand that Indymedia UK regular's like 'rikki' have spent more time in the past attacking people like me (either here or behind the scenes) than they do Blair.

I understand that as it becomes clear that everything people like me have said about Blair is true, people like 'rikki' suddenly find a need to appear 'reformed' and re-assure those around them that they are now capable of 'seeing the light'.

My point is this...

When we stopped outside the US Embassy with a banner ("CHARGE!") a stop the war steward stood in front of us encouraging people to move on. when my mate tapped him on the shoulder to ask why he was trying to block us, a copper asked the steward if he wanted my mate to be arrested! the steward said "if he touches me again"!! what a bunch of kents.

the above comment did NOT come from 'rikki', who simply engaged in a 'safe' attack on the police, but from a participant who expected the organisers of the demo to by sympathetic to the aims of the demo. Constructive criticism of the demo or the people that organised or controlled it would be clearly useful in ensuring improvements in the future. Repeating for the millionth time that the police are Blair's uniformed thugs serves no purpose whatsoever here (using that evidence to demand that PR visits by the police to your local school are banned would, on the other hand, be very useful indeed).

-it is NOT their job to lead, or take obvious leadership positions.
-it ***IS*** their job to attack people like myself when possible by being (as loudly as possible) 'amused' or 'annoyed'. This way, their loud opinions attempt to guide the flock away from 'dangerous' influences.
-it ***is*** their job to warn the flock against obvious in any case wolves, while persuading the flock that those things that look like 'wolves in sheep's clothing' are actually sheep after all.
-it ***is*** their job to persuade the sheep that clearly useless activity is, for reasons too sophsticated for the sheep to understand, useful after all (and notice how nicely this connects to the long time methods of organised religion).
-it ***is*** their job to re-assure in whatever way possible, that Blair's agents currently in leadership positions are to be trusted as the best people for the job.
-it ***is*** their job above all else to be as flexible as possible to changing circumstances, and to appear to have NO PRIDE, and thus be willing to reverse previously held opinions, so that they may always take best advantage of the current situation (an advantage they have over Blair's agents in leadership positions, who weaken themselves with the sheep if they appear to reverse THEIR positions)

My question is this. Who here thinks that Blair's security services did not notice the existence of Indymedia UK? Who here thinks that Blair spends hundreds of millions (actually, the real figure is much higher) on his security services, so that they can fail to do what you and I could easily suggest would be useful to do, if we were evil enough to be willing to act as a consultant to these services? Who would Blair rather have semi-officially posting demo reports on this site? And if Blair would obviously prefer one of his own people, how hard would that be to arrange?

How would we know. Ever hear of 'red flags'. For example, in proper legal systems (not ours), a women who reports a rape with little to no collaborating evidence is tested according to a whole series of know 'red flag' indicators that have previously proved commonplace with those that make false accusations. One or two red flags mean nothing. However, when enough red flags are found, the police investigators are able to proceed on the basis of this evidence (YES, RED FLAGS ARE ANOTHER FORM OF EVIDENCE). It should as no suprise that in the UK, Blair states in this specific that no attempt should be made by the police to determine if the women is making a false accusation (which is why the rate of conviction for this offense in the UK is so low- although proceeding with 'he said, she said' no evidence cases is also to blame). BLAIR DOES NOT CARE ABOUT RAPE CONVICTIONS. BLAIR DOES CARE ABOUT DISSUADING PEOPLE IN THE UK FROM UNDERSTANDING THE MECHANISMS OF 'RED FLAGS'.

I don't make wild accusations or predictions. I simply take the information that all of us have access to, and process that information as well as I can.

Many regular posters to Indymedia UK simply trigger as naive. Poor information skills. Vunerability to Blair's vastly expensive and well thought out propaganda campaigns. Infantile defense mechanisms (eg., name calling, as with 'bliar' or 'blair is a puppet'). Fear based pseudo-optimism (as in 'blair gone by xmas' or 'the worst cannot happen because it is too horrible to comprehend'). Now in saying this I do not mean to be cruel, but merely wish to point out that Blair will ruthlessly exploit any weakness, and these are all profound weaknesses.

Some posters trigger as anything but naive. I expect to find Blair here in proxy, and I am certain that I do. The idiot racist trolls may or may not be on the payroll (and you would be shocked to learn that the most vile, crude, and pathetic sputterings are often used very carefully by the security services). The slightly more coherent support of Blair and Israel is likely to be unofficial (and the kind of 'fan' activity that Israel has been formally asking from its 'tribe' in the last few weeks). The distraction propaganda ("I'm a WW2 nazi fighter, and I'm here to tell you that the most important thing that you can do during this time of Hitler's rampages is worry about this random racist on a nazi run service who is attacking the German people") and the censorship of people like me that expose it, is certainly official, but poorly thought out.

No, the real reason for all the above 'noise' from various forms of obvious (or debatable) pro-Blair activity is to mask the really important activity- that which represents Blair's 'shepherds'.

Indymedia UK is a known hub for anti-Blair activity (no matter how sad that may seem- although I would say that the British need to be self-depreciating is a significant mistake on tasks like this). Indymedia UK will thus get a level of attention from Blair's people that most of you have been brainwashed into thinking belongs only in the realm of spy fiction. A 'demo', suprising, represents a 'real' threat to Blair (more because their are almost no things left on Blair's 'threat' list, given his successful power grab). A demo is 'neutralised' when the demo is under the control of Blair's own people, they succeed in having the participants follow Blair's plan, and the post-mortem by those that took part is forced to focus on the police, and not those that neutered the demo from within on behalf of the state.

You will perhaps understand now why people like 'rikki' are triggering so many 'red flags' with me.

Oh, and understand as well that 'red flags' have their FALSE opposite, let's call them 'white flags'. These 'white flags', ironically used to serve the same purpose as the 'red flags' in the sense that people are supposed to look out for them and note their frequency. 'White flags' are the things that Blair's agents do or say to try to convince you that THEY are on YOUR side. For instance, if a 'dangerous influence' has proved impossible to neutralise for the 'shepherd', the 'shepherd' will start to borrow 'safe' words and phrases from that 'dangerous influence'. This, of course, is known as 'driving into the skid' (when you 'go with' something, rather than 'against' it, in order to take back control).

Is it possible that people behave weakly here not out of malicious intent, but by accident? IT IS NOT ONLY POSSIBLE, BUT PROBABLE, GIVEN THE PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE SKILLS BLAIR HAS AT HIS DISPOSAL. (Blair attempts to create self-censorship and limitations in his would-be enemies using the method of 'imprinting'- sometimes called 'social engineering' - achieved most commonly with adults using mass media drama, eg, 'soaps', newspaper columnists, and so-called 'news analysis') However, if a person stabs you by accident, or on purpose, you have still been stabbed. You would thus like to live in a world where people do their very best NOT to stab you by accident, and you will thus feel fully justified in correcting people who indulge in dangerous and irresponsible behaviour with knives.

Their is no personal dimension to my words. Since Blair revealed himself as a total evil bastard (probably before his first election victory with hindsight) I have zero tolerance for those that claim to oppose Blair, but would spend more time attacking people like myself than Blair (and I am, of course, refering to attacking the position held, not attempting to hone the methods via constructive criticism. which if genuine is always useful). For instance, when Fisk attacks the internet for daring to drop the censorship and manipulation that mark the work of so-called 'journalists' (paid whores) like himself, that is one 'red flag' that requires no others to reach a conclusion.

If I have trodden on the toes of genuine people, I meant to. Why? Because anyone whose foot now hurts needs to raise their game, and RAISE IT NOW. If your actions are indistinguisable from one of Blair's agents, you may as well be an agent for all the good you are doing.

Conversely, if Blair's agents attempt to respond to my words, it will do them no good, for if they change to satisfy me, they will have to become intdistinguishable from a powerful warrior against Blair's evil, in which case they are at least harming their master as much as the real thing.

The logic of the last two paragraphs is inescapable, and is the single greatest reason my words are so often attacked. Activism must be making a visible (screw the Blair friendly "trust us, it's working behind the scenes") positive difference, or else it is not activism. Just as a medicine is defined as that which actually heals. THE INTENT AND THE RESULT ***MUST*** COINCIDE. Where you have intent alone, you have 'snake oil' (look it up if you don't know the term).



06.08.2006 19:04

Introducing HT 351- a man with a face like a smacked bottom and an attitude to match.

As I was with a companion who had been pushed around by an unidentifiable officer(two pips on shoulder, what rank is that?), I decided to confront this officer and ask for his warrant card. As I approached the officer, I walked past HT 351, who turned his shoulder(possibly on purpose), bumping into me slightly. Thinking nothing of it, I turned my head and said sorry(possibly too quietly, I'll admit). HT 351 then told me that: "If you bump into me once more i'm going to...[Inaudible]." He also told another unidentified member of the public to "shut up!", after they had said something to him, possibly challenging him on his previous outburst. I would like to point out that I did not intend to bump into HT 351 and am sorry for that. I daresay if i had intended to hurt him I would have used the end of my placard, since it was sharp enough to gouge the bastard's eyes out with.

I put that sticker on the camera.

rikki=not a stooge

06.08.2006 19:27

Twilight, your concern about government infiltrators is both rationable and reasonable, I have seen them myself too. However, Rikki is not an infiltrator. I suggest you have a conversation with him and then you will understand that he is sincere. It is a sad thing that we need to be so guarded, but it is necessary nonetheless. Thank you for listening.


not about being in league - the law and stewards

06.08.2006 21:09

If a demo is legally organised, named individuals have to negotiate with the police, and provide stewards. They are held legally responsible for what happens on the march or whatever. So whether STW are in league with 'the authorities/cops/etc' is irrelevant - once you go on one of these marches, what you have described is the stewards role. Your role is to ignore them, to incite others to ignore them, and to do things that are more effective than marching A to B. You could even organise a little direct action yourself (along with at least 2 mates)...

For legal info, check out Free B.E.A.G.L.E.S. and the Activists' Legal Project

a little info in these matters


06.08.2006 23:07

The freeB.E.A.G.L.E.S legal resource centre for UK political campaigners is at:

Check it out!