Friday, April 17, 2009

Bad laws, policing, the G20 and this is England.

There have been videos everywhere about the many virtually unprovoked attacks on G20 protesters by police, so I won't repeat them, but rather I will try to approach the unfettered horror that is political policing in England from my own direction to see if it resonates.

Two video clips of what passes for policing in this Country today have made a huge impression on me in the last few months other than those of the last few tragic minutes in the life of Ian Tomlinson.

In no particular order, the most affecting clip for me from the G20 protests was this one:

The attitude of the ordinary people standing in front of and up to the massed ranks of heavily protected, armed, ‘just carrying out orders’ and 'up for it regardless' blue and yellow shirted thugs who pass for constables nowadays is astounding. It made me shake with anger to see the police assault taking place and it made me glow with reflected pride that the peaceful crowd being attacked chose, as one it seemed and in complete opposition to what watching the video made me feel like doing, to stand tall and together, many of them with their hands in the air to show their peaceful intentions, chanting ‘This is not a riot.’

The crowd carry on like this whilst being beaten with police batons, hit with police shields (sic) and thrown violently to the ground, only to get up again and again until the police attack peters out for a lack of opposition was one of the most astonishing things I have watched in all the videos that have appeared after the event.
Not only is this staggering bravery in the face of overwhelming odds with the potential as well as brutal reality for very real personal injury but also it has the result of rendering the police attack impotent. For it is certain that the only conceivable reason for the 'order to attack', was to provoke violence from an overwhelmingly peaceful crowd, both to justify the G20 police actions and whatever further actions ‘they’, the police and their political mistresses, were intent on pushing through after what they hoped would be an as predicted day of violence and mayhem. Well it was but not as they wanted.

The second clip is one from the Climate Camp at Kingsnorth in August 2008, a compilation of some of the most amazing sound bites, images and attitudes that one would never expect to see happen in this country.

A while ago I showed my Mum, 83 years, Land Army, indomitable, Welsh and English in that order this clip of Terence Eden being harrassed by the ordinary police, transport police and terrorist laws, all just carrying out orders, and it had her in tears.
Her only verbal response was to disbelievingly murmur "This is in England?"

This visual record of police behaviour and 'only carrying out orders' at Kingsnorth is worse than that and gets worse and worse as you watch until the final act of manhandling uk subjects like bags of sand and wrestling them to the floor which is as disgraceful a display of personal, political and intentional uncaring state brutality as one could expect to see anywhere.

I haven't shown either of these clips to my Mum.

This is in England.

Are you afraid yet?