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So what has changed, the police, the media or the evidence?

Wotsit | 19.04.2009 06:25 | G20 London Summit | Repression | Social Struggles

Almost since it began our police force have been injuring and sometimes killing citizens with batons and other forms of violence.

Serious concerns were raised at the death of Blair Peach in 1979 but there was a lack of direct evidence. The mainstream media seemed unwilling to directly blame the police when such incidents took place, though TV did show some police violence in 1985 at the miner's strike. Then came the internet, slowly at first but ever growing apace. No longer reliant on the tame mainstream media, activists took the opportunity to voice their disquiet and published photos of police violence at demonstrations, which was largely ignored, despite pictures of bloodied heads.

Suddenly, with the G20 in London on April 1st everything seems to have changed. The mainstream media is full of it. The explanation is simple, incontrovertible embedded video evidence from truly independent citizen journalists with no establishment editors to reign them in. Straight onto YouTube, where it cannot be ignored, and thence to TV and online newspapers. Still pictures can be easily doctored or be misleading but it is difficult to ignore a continuous unedited video.

Now police methods are being widely questioned, especially containment or 'kettling' which was first used against those celebrating Mayday 2001 in Oxford Circus and by Euston Station. Then there is the question of police deliberately concealing their badge numbers, hardy something new!

So what will happen now? Will the police alter their methods or be encouraged by government to carry on as usual? We are already seeing attempts to stop citizens and tourists alike filming in public places and being ordered to delete their camera pictures, using the catch-all excuse of anti-terrorism. Then there is pre-emptive policing, now being used to prevent alleged organisers from attending demos. How will police suppress political dissent in the future and a peaceful majority continue to be punished and brutalised for the wrongs of a violent minority?



Display the following 14 comments

  1. What's changed? — Bourdin
  2. The police — Sam
  3. Fantasy World — n
  4. When did kettling start? — Wotsit
  5. Kettling — Sam
  6. It's video — Jeb
  7. Signs of the times — Harlequin
  8. actually — Rastafari
  9. Kettling at Mayday 2000 — keith
  10. Kettling comment — anon
  11. There is not a lot new in the Policing. — John Ashton Cowhill, Oldham 1819
  12. Kettling and arrogance — Stroppyoldgit
  13. Violence & Propaganda — Harold Hamlet
  14. Dear stroppy old git — John Ashton Cowhill, Oldham 1819