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Further evidence from the Kingsnorth demonstration of police abuse of powers.

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/jun/21/kingsnorth-protester-arrests-video-complaint

I don't think that this is acceptable behaviour for police officers.

My question after I'd seen this was - if you see a number of people in police uniforms doing that to someone who may be your wife, mother whatever - if there is no id presented and they will not give their numbers, are you not justified in thinking these might not actually be police. With this reasonable doubt in mind, how could they bring a charge against people who might have waded in to defend their friends from attack?

I can't but think that there is a large cultural element in this - those officers have decided before they get there what type of people they're dealing with, what rights they should and should not have, and how they deserve to be treated.

I am also tiring of the somewhat pointless argument that 'oh it's not as bad as China/Italy/Greece/Mars/the Pharoah Islands or whatever', as if that makes everything ok. The only reason that this is the case is because people have taken on board the issue of human rights and the protection of citizens by setting limits on what the police should and should not do.

I think that this is a culture within the police service, considerable numbers of whom appear to have no appreciation of the role of legitimate peaceful protest within democractic societies, and more importantly their roles and limits of their powers.

Certain units of officers appear to have no reserve at all in jumping to the use of disproportionate powers with people they obviously hold in extreme contempt. My reading of the situation is actually that a significant number of groups within the force only have an interest in keeping things as easy for them as possible, not policing a democratic state. They don't appear to value rights and so see no need to uphold them.
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Comments

  • SkiveSkive No discipline. No morality. No respect. New ForestPosts: 15,269 Skive's The Limit
    Bunch o cunts.

    Not suprised though. The police are all too often heavy handed and unreasonable, I've seen it plenty of times.
    Weekender Offender 
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Police brutally against hippy protestors, is this really such a suprise?

    Police actually get a significant and reasoble punishment for their actions, now that would be something!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    And just to point out that this footage was shot by the police themselves and obtained under Freedom of Information.

    This suggests that the officers involved thought this was acceptable and legal behaviour.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    As horrid as it looks I don't believe in trial by media, I'll wait to see what the IPCC has to say on the matter.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Fair enough; although I would love to see what possible mitigating evidence there will be for this...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ShyBoy wrote: »
    As horrid as it looks I don't believe in trial by media, I'll wait to see what the IPCC has to say on the matter.

    This.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm actually quite shocked.

    The protest arrests and incidents from london to me seemed justified to some extent (some obviously weren't...)

    Here, I just fail to see exactly what the 2 women were doing. Yes the one asking for the numbers was being a smart arse annoyance but the photographer?!?

    I fail to understand why some cops hide their numbers it does irritate me. I proudly display mine and tell anyone who asks (except obnoxious people) my name and give them a card because I know I've got nothing to hide.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    No quite, you don't have anything to hide but they DO; and here's what I can't work out - they've got no numbers showing, the woman is only told in passing that she's being arrested after they've bundled her, without a charge being mentioned as far as I can see.

    Amid this bunch of gorillas taking collective leave of their senses, they have the presence of mind to force this woman's face into the camera and tell her SHE's being filmed, as if it's a slight on her conduct.

    In my view this could betray two things;

    1) the officers involved think this is acceptable behaviour, and so there's a massive collective failure in that regard.

    2) they believe that the evidence being collected can only be used against the protestors and not against them, which is the more scary interpretation (and mercifully as it turns out, wrong).

    What scares me is that rational human beings think this is acceptable behaviour, that this is proportionate and appropriate to the job that they do.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Not enough film in my opinion to get a proper picture of what happened.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Not enough film in my opinion to get a proper picture of what happened.

    Even though this is shot entirely by the police themselves; this is their own evidence; there's plenty enough there to see the situation which precipitated the arrest, the degree of force used and the fact that they refused to give their numbers and badges.

    What else would you need to see? I love the way this infinite benefit of doubt line proceeds in the court of public opinion -

    If there's an accusation and witnesses, the witnesses are often assumed inherently unreliable and there is no video or photographic evidence - police win via benefit of doubt.

    If there's a photograph involved, immediately the cry goes up 'out of context' - police win via benefit of doubt.

    If there's video shot by non-official sources, the cry goes up 'unreliable/tampered/faked/edited etc.' without any evidence of this going on. police win on benefit of doubt.

    Now when we have video shot by the police themselves, clearly showing a number of questionable practices, still there's not enough evidence and police win on benefit of doubt.

    Tweety - I realise you didn't come down on either side, but the point I am making here is that the benefit of doubt is so horrendously skewed towards the police that it gets ridiculous alot of the time.

    And on what grounds either? Every time this happens the same tired, worn, nasty and slanderous statements get made about how anyone who takes part in any kind of civil protest is a sponger/down and out/subversive etc. when even a cursory look at the makeup of those at Kingsnorth shows that many of the people that the police are targetting are conventionally law abiding, productive and educated members of society with families and involvement in their communities.

    Meanwhile a public body with known histories and elements of racist, fascist (literal not perjorative usage), subversive and undue violence against the population enjoy incomparable moral privalege in the eyes of many, who are so ready to paint their victims any convenient colour.

    I fully support the argument that the actions of the police service need to be put in the wider context of their normative day to day contributions which don't get reported. But there are two sides to this argument, the other of which is recognising that certain elements of our police service in this country are demonstrably unable to police demonstrations without recourse to undue violence, and therefore need to be exposed and challeneged.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    To be fair i watched it without sound, i will watch it again with sound later and see if that makes any difference.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Tweety wrote: »
    To be fair i watched it without sound, i will watch it again with sound later and see if that makes any difference.




    I watched it with sound, and the woman who was initially arrested was being extremely irritating, she irritated me and I wasn't even there. Saying that, she never did anything illegal. She doesn't swear, she doesn't get within less than a couple of feet of the cop, and all she keeps asking is "what is your number" and "you have to tell me your number".

    Once she's arrested they then turn their attention to the photographer who doesn't say anything and never gets within 6 feet of the officers. She is arrested for obstruction......


    Yes, I agree with you that we've not seen the entire video, but what we have seen isn't good.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    mmm like he said, this is not an arrestable offence; yes she could have taken a different tone, having said that I can see why she'd be behaving that way after what had gone at that event; the police were getting in people's faces, being aggressive and confrontational way before anything else (at the Camp in general, which has been documented), so I don't really think this is surprising. And also this pales into insignificance with what follows.

    The level of force and degree of restraint used on both of them is ridiculous.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Ok i have watched it again with sound and tbh i don't think its that bad and very weighted as usual. I don't think they should have done the neck and i think they should have had thier numbers displayed but other than that i don't think it was that bad.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Tweety wrote: »
    Ok i have watched it again with sound and tbh i don't think its that bad and very weighted as usual. I don't think they should have done the neck and i think they should have had thier numbers displayed but other than that i don't think it was that bad.


    The actual arrest is on the par for normal police tactics. I'd expect anyone being arrested who decided to resist or play silly buggers to be treated the same.

    Although the obvious question is what did they arrest her for? Ask Marmite, is she actually comitting a crime other than being annoying? That is what makes this, imho unnaceptable.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    He watched it with me and said that what they did wasnt abnormal and that it depends if she was getting in the way and it wasn't a peaceful protest then they were well within thier rights to keep her locked up until it was over.
    Said without knowing all the facts he cant really say.
  • SkiveSkive No discipline. No morality. No respect. New ForestPosts: 15,269 Skive's The Limit
    Tweety wrote: »
    Ok i have watched it again with sound and tbh i don't think its that bad and very weighted as usual.

    Weighted in what way? It was footage taken by the police themselves. I don't suppose your opinion is influenced in any way - with your other half being a copper? What do you you think of the police's actions at the demo's in London earlier this year? Ian Tomlinson?
    These women wern't there to protest they were there to document the police's actions - something from experience I know the police hate.

    As Martin says I find it amazing that in every instance where police actions are questionable that they are given the benifit of the doubt and their actions justified. If you want an effective and fiar police force you have they have to be accountable when they do behave wrongly. This attititude that they can do no wrong is just plain stupid.

    I've seen it first hand, I've been on the wrong end of bad policing and it's not nice. It's not easy to complain either. Yes you get cunts and 'bad eggs' in every occupation but the police attracts more simply because of the nature of the job and the power that comes with it. The police more than any other institution should be trying to show that they're doing their best to root these bad eggs out. Unfortunately this doesn't seem to be the case.

    It comes down to the fact that even in isntances where they do behave badly they get away with it. This is why people don't trust the police I don't blame them.
    Weekender Offender 
  • SkiveSkive No discipline. No morality. No respect. New ForestPosts: 15,269 Skive's The Limit
    Tweety wrote: »
    He watched it with me and said that what they did wasnt abnormal and that it depends if she was getting in the way and it wasn't a peaceful protest then they were well within thier rights to keep her locked up until it was over.
    Said without knowing all the facts he cant really say.

    If she was obstructing them why no charge?

    This is what's wrong in this particualr insatance. They may have been irriting the police but it's not a crime.

    They were arrested simply to stop them recording police behaviour and then no charges were pressed because they hadn't done anything wrong. That is not the actions of a responsible and truistworthy police force.
    Weekender Offender 
  • SkiveSkive No discipline. No morality. No respect. New ForestPosts: 15,269 Skive's The Limit
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0-g01kwi1k&feature=related

    Police telling the media to go away whislt they 'resolve the sitution' or they will face arrest.

    The police have a policy of fucking off people with camera's so they they don't capture any dodgy antics they might get up to. Same reason they cover their faces and hide their numbers.
    Weekender Offender 
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Skive wrote: »
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0-g01kwi1k&feature=related

    Police telling the media to go away whislt they 'resolve the sitution' or they will face arrest.

    The police have a policy of fucking off people with camera's so they they don't capture any dodgy antics they might get up to. Same reason they cover their faces and hide their numbers.

    The copper seems to be doing everything he can to avoid actually arresting the bloke.

    Now I don't know what was trying to be resolved, but its perfectly possible that rather than trying to cover up dodgy antics they were worried photographers might exxacerbate a tense situation
  • SkiveSkive No discipline. No morality. No respect. New ForestPosts: 15,269 Skive's The Limit
    The copper seems to be doing everything he can to avoid actually arresting the bloke.

    For what? Arresting people just because you don't want them there is not a good enough reason for me.
    Now I don't know what was trying to be resolved, but its perfectly possible that rather than trying to cover up dodgy antics they were worried photographers might exxacerbate a tense situation

    Do you really think photgraphers should be prevented from documenting protests and the way the police deal with them? This is the event where Ian Tomlinson died. If that hadn't been captured on video the cops would probably have stuck to the story that he'd hadn't been assaulted by the police and that other demonstrators had prevented aid being given to him - a story they had to change after the video evidence emerged. We need people to document police actions and we need the freedom of press.

    It just gets me how every instance where police actions are in question they're excused. Time and time again.
    What about these instances. Acceptable behaviour?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OOew1UAT3k
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXFMIbkKMMc&feature=related
    Weekender Offender 
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Now I don't know what was trying to be resolved, but its perfectly possible that rather than trying to cover up dodgy antics they were worried photographers might exxacerbate a tense situation

    So the arrest with no charge? That logic belongs in the Soviet bloc. There was no 'situation', because there was no conflict taking place until the police decided to jump on people, without telling them why - that is what happened, that is what is shown.

    It's so easy for people who've never seen the police beat someone up to just see nothing but right in their actions.
    I'd expect anyone being arrested who decided to resist or play silly buggers to be treated the same.

    SILLY BUGGERS?! You're standing around lawfully taking photographs and then four large aggressive people jump on you?! And they're playing silly buggers...sure...

    I worked for two years as a first aider at a big club in Birmingham and drunken violent louts got a damn site more respect than peaceful protesters have; and I think it's to do with a culture from which many police officers are drawn, e.g. what is acceptable and not acceptable, irrespective of the law.
    He watched it with me and said that what they did wasnt abnormal and that it depends if she was getting in the way and it wasn't a peaceful protest then they were well within thier rights to keep her locked up until it was over.
    Said without knowing all the facts he cant really say

    It was a totally peaceful protest, as was Bishopsgate. Anyone who cared to take even a cursory look at the available evidence would realise this. But as we've said before no one's bothered about that. I would suggest that if that response is considered normal then the problem is bigger than I thought.

    All the logic behind this is all from the police side, there's not a bit of concern for facilitating a public gathering or lawful protest in any of their actions. Their behaviour has consistently demonstrated, almost without variation, that the tactic is to prime the population for conflict, throw large teams of officers with invasive and provocative tactics at benign and peaceful people, and then to cover up and/or lie to the public.

    What astounds me is that each one of these claims can be backed up, they aren't even that controversial if you look at the evidence - this isn't a conspiracy theory, it's historical record. But of course we will continue to give a particular section of society, from which the police are drawn, the benefit of the doubt whenever this happens.

    And the stupid thing is that it doesn't have to be this way, because they are more than capable of doing this without recourse to violence. But this will never end until the underlying assumptions of police officers about the people they are dealing with are challenged - as they needed to be with the sus laws.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    So the arrest with no charge? That logic belongs in the Soviet bloc.

    Wouldn't the charge be under Section 14 of the Public Order Act 1986? The peeler even quotes it at the start of the video. The video also ends before anyone is arrested
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Skive wrote: »
    Weighted in what way? It was footage taken by the police themselves. I don't suppose your opinion is influenced in any way - with your other half being a copper?


    Weighted in the way the video was put together.
    One example of ott people who put it all together, the body restraints bit, asking if it was really nessesary to body retrain her, simple fact is yes it was, she wasn't complying, its standard practice that if people are like that then they will be restrained so no one gets hurt.
    Having my OH being a police officer doesnt change how i feel about the police. I have always had respect for them.
    Maybe having always been on the right side of the law makes my view different to yours? Sure there are bad ones out there.
    I don't dispute that.
    I don't agree that they aren't weeded out alot though.
    I know of one no far from home who has been sacked and done for stuff recently.

    I haven't got time to look at the other links atm.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Can't hear it, at work, but I'm assuming that it's correct - this doesn't change much in my view because when she asks 'for what' they don't answer with this

    Also, this being the case, can someone help me understand how these powers could reasonably have been operated
    Section 14 - Imposing conditions on public assemblies
    provides police the power to impose conditions on assemblies "to prevent serious public disorder, serious criminal damage or serious disruption to the life of the community", but the conditions are limited to the specifying of:
    the number of people who may take part,
    the location of the assembly, and
    its maximum duration.

    :confused: Stumped, sorry!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Maybe having always been on the right side of the law makes my view different to yours? Sure there are bad ones out there.
    I don't dispute that.
    I don't agree that they aren't weeded out alot though.
    I know of one no far from home who has been sacked and done for stuff recently.

    Always being on the 'right side of the law?' - my Dad ran a football team in a community on the South Coast for about 30 years. Weekly, vadalism and threats from local youths were common - the police were not interested. Not one conviction throughout the whole of the 1990s, despite this being a weekly occurence from small scale stuff to large fires (of barn size).

    Then one Sunday he's out in his car, getting some milk for the tea bar. He's in the middle of an estate on a Sunday afternoon - and if you want to find crime in this particular town, that's where and you'd find it. So this police car pulls up alongside him, both looking and giggling at him, then pull in behind; they do this three times. Eventually he pulls over and asks them why.

    One copper, his mate still laughing says 'oh your tax disc had slipped'. Dad gets a pen and paper out to take his number, the old bill says 'what are you doing?', Dad tells him, and they both become aggressive while Dad remains calm, and the two panicing coppers start coming out with the 'don't do that-don't talk to me like that' etc. spiel that they tend to give when flustered.

    He also had a friend who suffered from schiezophrenia - now if you don't really know alot about this disease it can seem quite scary and conjure up images of knife-wielding maniacs etc. but the reality is far from that. It is an horrendous disease for sufferer, and often results in people having to be sectioned.

    It has been well known that police officers have and continue to be horrendously untrained in dealing with these people. So this friend of my Dad's was being questioned over a civil matter, not involving any kind of violence or risk of flight etc. He has a family, has owned his own business for 20 years and has been deeply involved in the community through football for longer.

    What happened was they saw his mental health history, which included no violent behaviour, just that word, and turned up at his door, asking him to come with them, which he did, picked up his coat and turned to go with them.

    With his wife and sons behind him the officer then ceremoniously dangled a pair of cuffs in front of his face, to which he replied, in calm voice without moving 'there's no need for that'.

    At which point the officer behind instantly pepper sprayed him while his colleague clubbed him to the ground while his spray happy friend cuffed him.

    To this day his sons get scared when they see a policeman.

    In my few dealings with the police, and never as a suspect, I have had one shining and genuinely wonderful example of community policing with vulnerable people in Birmingham that was heartening. I am sorry to say that my other experiences have been between contempt and violence.

    It gives me no pleasure to demoralise people in public service; for my part and from the little I know it appears to me that for such important office I think many officers are under paid, overworked and sometimes not receiving adequate training and support. But rights and freedoms will only be protected if people challenge undue use of force, inappropriate behaviour in public office, and authoritarianism. This includes holding the police to the standard expected of them in an open society.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Can't hear it, at work, but I'm assuming that it's correct - this doesn't change much in my view because when she asks 'for what' they don't answer with this

    Also, this being the case, can someone help me understand how these powers could reasonably have been operated



    :confused: Stumped, sorry!

    :confused: Are we talking about the same video - I'm refering to the one Skive posted, where the peeler makes clear what Act he's working under (and even says they an come back in half an hour).
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    No it would appear we aren't :D - i was thinking of the one where the women were bundled to the ground - that's what the thread originated on so I assumed you meant that.

    Haven't seen any of his additional videos yet.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    http://www.injusticefilm.tv/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=44&Itemid=39

    May have been posted before but this was shot over a period of seven years and released in 2001 - and so does not contain any post-911 stuff. Screenings have been repeatedly raided by the Police, despite it winning significant praise for reporting and journalism of the issue we are discussing here.

    It can be read about here:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2002/apr/18/artsfeatures1

    I'm not meaning to demean the work of individual officers but I really do think we are a little collectively naieve sometimes (and I include myself in this) about our own history of respect for human rights.

    The film Taking Liberties is also a good one - although I cannot find a similar link to the download site.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Martin, you misunderstood where I was coming from.

    What I meant was anyone who was arrested and resisted or played silly buggers, ASSUMING there was an actual reason for arresting them. But yes, those are standard police tactics in that sort of situation.

    It's a shame the events leading up to it weren't quite so by the book.
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