Socialist Worker

New evidence of police violence at G20 protest

Guy Smallman, a Socialist Worker photographer, witnessed police violence on the demonstrations on 1 April this year. This series of photographs taken in sequence by Guy that day are part of the massive amount of evidence that shows police assaulting pr

Issue No. 2147

A Forward Intelligence Team inspector (red shoulder flash) is seen arguing with the crowd.

A Forward Intelligence Team inspector (red shoulder flash) is seen arguing with the crowd.


The sequence of images above paint yet another disturbing picture of the events surrounding the G20 protests. They were shot just after the police had regained control of the area around the Royal Bank of Scotland.

The situation was tense but also calm. An inspector wearing the distinctive blue-shouldered jacket of the police Forward Intelligence Team (FIT) is seen arguing with someone in the crowd in front of him.

There is a clear gap of at least two meters between the heavily armed Police and the press and protesters. Suddenly without an apparent reason a Territorial Support Group (TSG) sergeant, to the inspectors’ left, charges into the crowd, beating people with his baton.

He does this twice and seems to be aiming for the protesters heads. Police guidelines are very clear on this – a truncheon blow to the head is only permitted when an officer’s life is at risk. So what was the justification?

A WPC from the TSG is also seen stepping out of her line to beat unarmed protesters.

Another worrying question raised by these images is the behavior of the (FIT) inspector. He is pointing into the crowd where the sergeant has been hitting people. At who? And for what purpose?

As the most senior officer present he does not seem to have any problem with the behavior of his subordinate. If anything he seems just as fired up as the others.

The pictures do not show who or what the TSG sergeant is hitting out at. So if the police think that the actions of their officer were proportionate, or that he was protecting his own or colleagues safety, they can release the video that they were shooting of the entire incident.

A Territorial Support Group (TSG) sergeant charges into the crowd swinging his baton.

A Territorial Support Group (TSG) sergeant charges into the crowd swinging his baton.


The same sergeant launches another attack into the crowd.

The same sergeant launches another attack into the crowd.



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