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brian haw assaulted and then arrested this morning in parl square

rikki | 04.03.2009 11:41 | SOCPA | Repression

brian was assaulted by a worker putting up barriers in parliament square this morning. his hand was bleeding after the attack, but rather than arrest the culprit, or even (in case of doubt) both, they've instead arrested brian, supposedly for the theft of a key! solicitors are trying to find his whereabouts.

normally on wednesday mornings, barriers are placed along the pavements around parliament - this is some sort of security operation around prime minister's question time, although what it is supposed to actually achieve is anybody's guess.

this particular wednesday of course, gordon brown is in america, so it would seem even more pointless.

normally the barriers are placed without fuss, but this morning there was some sort of altercation, and one of the workers assaulted brian, causing an injury to the hand that brian burnt when he saved a tamil protester from burning himself alive last week (see story at

although brian's hand was quite visibly bleeding after the attack, police arrived at the scene and arrested brian, letting the the attacker get away. witnesses say that they feel brian was arrested to cover up the assault.

a solicitor from bindman's is presently trying to find out which police station brian has been taken to, and whether he has been formally charged with anything.

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04.03.2009 21:47

brian was held for six hours at west end police station. during that time he was not interviewed. he refused to sign bail but was thrown out anyway and was taken by ambulance to have his injuries recorded and checked. his back is in a bad way after being kneeled on by one large cop. eight police were involved in the actual arrest, and even some cops ran over from parliament to join in (something they rarely do - they just stood by and watched when a 4-year old child fall out of a bus the other day!).

witnesses have told me that brian became involved in an altercation with one of the workers putting up barriers (for the non-existent prime minister's question time). the worker threatened brian saying 'i'm going to burn you down', and he ripped the dressing from brian's burnt hand, which caused the open wound to start bleeding. after being attacked, brian snatched a key used to lock barriers together, to stop the barriers being put in front of his display. police came over and grabbed brian, throwing him to the ground and pinning him down.

they took a witness report from the worker, but ignored brian's allegations of assault despite his clearly injured hand. they then said they'd take a statement from him at the station. he was taken to west end central, and held there for six hours. after six hours, an evaluation has to be made by police over whether they can hold him longer. during that time they had made no attempt to take a statement or interview him. they bailed brian on suspicion of theft, assault and obstruction.

after discussions with his solicitor from bindman's, brian refused bail, saying that the police had any evidence they needed, and should hold him and take him to court in the morning if they think they have a proper case against him. he refused to sign the bail form. an ambulance then took him to hospital.

brian is taking legal advice over his position. it has happened several times before to parliament square campaigners that police arrest and hold them over some incident, then bail them, sometimes more than once, and finally drop all charges. it is a pattern of harassment that is often repeated. by not signing the bail, campaigners are hoping to test this technique legally. brian clearly offered to have the matter dealt with expeditiously, and the police don't seem to have any good reason not to take him up on this. the bail form could well be legally unenforceable under these circumstances.

cctv will no doubt show who actually behaved threateningly, and how brian incurred his injuries.