Socialist Worker

Police show true colours with attack on Whitehall protest

Issue No. 2106

The steady erosion of democracy in Britain has been exposed by the way police handled last Sunday’s demonstration against George Bush.

Anti-war protesters were first banned from marching past Downing Street during Bush’s dinner date with Brown, and then denied the right even to deliver a protest letter to Gordon’s den.

When members of the Stop the War Coalition dared to lay their hands on a barrier protecting Whitehall, police responded with batons – something they are unlikely to have done without permission from on high.

For a long time police have avoided attacking demonstrations, aware that during the 1980s and 1990s this behaviour hardened hostile attitudes towards them. But Sunday’s police violence is a painful reminder of their key role as defenders of the state and the property of the rich.

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What We Think
Tue 17 Jun 2008, 18:38 BST
Issue No. 2106
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