nuj journalist marc valee was seriously injured and as he lay shaking on the ground, the cop that assaulted him was pointed out to me by two different witnesses. U1219, photo shown above, continued to stand in line, and despite complaints to superintendent terry, he was not taken off duty. let's hope that when it comes to court it will be the end of this man's career, and the start of a long jail sentence, for willfully assaulting a professional journalist and hospitalising him.
meanwhile, a police briefing was overheard - the police were told they had no power to detain, threaten, or remove anyone from the square who was not actively demonstrating. that didn't stop them threatening, detaining and actively threatening anyone in the vicinity. stories are now emerging of many, many people being turned away from the area on threat of arrest, and unfortunately, far too many took these threats at face value. in fact, any such arrests would have been unlawful and the police knew it. where people did stand up to their lies, they were sometimes subject to violence and assault instead. i was personally assaulted twice, and physically moved by police acting unlawfully on another occasion, despite the fact i was cleary documenting the event rather than 'demonstrating'.
some of those arrested were held in handcuffs for several hours, only cheered by the sounds of the soilidarity samba band outside charing cross station in the late afternoon and early evening. this form of detention is unlawful under pace guidelines. one man had his home searched by cops without a warrant after they told his faltmates they needed to find something with his name and address on it to verify where he lived. this was unlawful.
one young woman was given a stop and search form after being forced to give her name and address, but she was never actually searched. another young woman was searched, but not given a stop and search from. bizarrely, when she said she was homeless she was threatened with arrest unless she gave an address, and police suggested she make up an address or face arrest - unlawful, but maybe not such a bad precedent for us all.
it would be useful to correlate other examples of police unlawful or violent action and put it all together. it might be very useful to human rights lawyers who are working on judicial reviews of this nonsensical socpa law.
i'd be happy to work on this if you want to send me your stories (off the record and not for publication if you like) - it would also be useful to all, if arrestees work together and compare prosecution and defence aspects of their cases. there's also a lot of folk out there who would like to know what's going on. suggestions of better ways to do this gratefully accepted, otherwise, i'm happy to do what i can if you want to send me info.
also those stories of people threatened and turned away from the area before the demo - they'd be very interesting, and if we can collect enough, perhaps there's scope for getting lawyers busy on a judicial review to stop it ever happening again.
he is still calling for witnesses especially any video footage of the actual assault.
if you have any info you can reach him on firstname.lastname@example.org