Socialist Worker

Protest to demand the truth and justice

by Siân Ruddick
Issue No. 2151

The family of Ian Tomlinson, who died during the G20 protests after being pushed to the ground by riot police, is seeking more answers about his death.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation into Ian’s death is yet to release the findings of the third autopsy carried out on his body.

Ian’s family has now formally asked the IPCC to investigate the possible failure of police officers to intervene in, or later report, the apparent assault on Ian Tomlinson and the possible use of a dog against him.

The IPCC has also been asked to investigate the content and timing of communications to the press by the Metropolitan Police in the immediate aftermath of Ian’s death.


Ian’s family also wants the IPCC to look into whether the officers acted quickly to offer resuscitation and first aid.

Jules Carey is the family’s solicitor. He said, “These are matters that have previously been raised with the IPCC but now they have formally been submitted to them as complaints.

“The family has no wish to divert the attention of the IPCC away from its primary focus which must always be the cause of Mr Tomlinson’s death, but they have a lot of questions and are looking to the IPCC for answers.”

The official launch of the United Campaign Against Police Violence (UCAPV) took place on Tuesday of last week with a rally in Friends Meeting House in London.

More than 150 campaigners, trade unionists and relatives of people who have died in custody attended.

Jenny Jones, Green Party member on the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA), spoke at the event.

She said police tactics used at the G20 protests, particulary against the Climate Camp protests on Bishopsgate, were aggressive and needed serious review.

Members of families whose relatives have died in police custody spoke from the platform and the floor.

Rupert Sylvester, the father of Roger Sylvester, was among them. Roger died in 1999 after being restrained by police outside his home in London.

Within 45 minutes he was in a coma and he died seven days later.

Rupert said, “The police are there for the state, they are not there to protect you and I.”

Anna Fairclough from the Liberty civil rights group, said, “There have been increasing restrictions on the right to protest.

“This has come both in the form of legislation and in the form of police tactics.

“Stop and search, and ‘kettling’ are now used regularly against demonstrators.”


Many people voiced criticism of the IPCC and how it fails to act quickly, letting investigations drag on.

The rally also saw the launch of the national demonstration against police violence, which has been called for 23 May in central London.

Protesters will assemble at 3pm and march from Trafalgar Square to Scotland Yard, via Downing Street.

Demonstrators are planning to “kettle” Scotland Yard, surrounding it and refusing movement in or out to give the police a taste of their own medicine.

It is vital that people attend this protest and book transport from across the country to come to London.

Trade unionists should download the motion on the UCAPV website and get their branches to afilliate to the campaign.

For more information and to download posters and leaflets for the demonstration go to »

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Article information

Tue 12 May 2009, 17:19 BST
Issue No. 2151
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