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Report from Wandsworth ‘no to evictions’ protest

Paul Brandon (repost) | 19.08.2011 20:01 | August Riots | Policing | Social Struggles

Tonight I approached the senior police officer at the ‘ No Evictions’ protest in Wandsworth, South London and asked him a question.

Why had he just arrested a man? The best answer he could give ” he was whipping up the crowd “… his colleague added he was ‘ swearing’. In fact the gentleman in question had indeed used that dreadful and clearly very naughty F word and pointed out that capitalism was not a very good economic system. He also advised the police they had ‘ transferable skills’ and should get out while they can. It would appear he had a point as it all went down well, but did not amount to ‘whipping up the crowd’

The truth is it was a very peaceful protest. It became less so when the police headed towards the crowd with a video camera as they gathered to have their picture taken by a photographer from the Wandsworth Guardian. It was a completely unnecessary and a highly provocative move. The police then harassed and generally intimidated those present. What started as a protest over an eviction outside the leader of Wandsworth Council house turned into an issue of freedom of speech in post riot Britain.

The protest followed on from Wandsworth Council serving a single-parent family with an eviction notice after the tenant’s son was charged over recent disturbances.

The nature of the demonstration revealed itself with ongoing chants of ‘ 1 2 3 4 evict the Tories not the poor’ rang through the air in the streets of this Tory borough. Home made placards expressed the injustice of the polices of Tories both locally and nationally. Wandsworth Against the Cuts and Right to Work both made its presence felt by highlighting the £70 million cuts made by the council along with the placards - ‘ Evict the Tories’

The protest was called in response to the eviction notice via facebook. It went as follows………. ‘ This is the home address of the council leader of Wandsworth Council. They have served a single-parent family with an eviction notice after the tenant’s son was charged in court over disturbances during the recent troubles. This may be within the letter of the law, but it violates all sense of justice and fair-play. Indeed, it cannot do otherwise, because its aim is not justice but revenge. Forcing a mother and her son into homelessness isn’t the answer, it’s a disgrace. Let’s send a clear message that we will not accept this spiteful attitude. Ravi Govindia – not in our name – not with our money.

Paul Brandon (repost)
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