Police are yet again planning to “clamp down” on and criminalise people attending the Notting Hill Carnival.
They have insisted that carnival begins at 9am and the last float is judged at 6.30pm so that the parade will have left the road by nightfall.
But this is not just the police being killjoys. They have stated, “We’ll be running an operation across London targeting people on their way to the event.”
Doug from Brixton told Socialist Worker, “I go to carnival every year with my family and my mates. The police are putting more pressure on all the time.
“They’re trying to kill carnival. They don’t like people all together, partying and having fun. The trouble only starts when the pigs start kicking off.”
Rodney from Brixton added, “They target us black men every day on the streets. Now they put even more effort into it before carnival has even started.
“No wonder no one trusts them. They’re racist.”
Operation Razorback is the annual police operation around carnival. Last year this included detaining over 150 people at the Oval for hours on end.
This year the operation will be headed up by Commander Bob Broadhurst – infamous after being in charge of the policing at the G20 protests that ended in the death of Ian Tomlinson.
The operation includes over 150 letters being hand-delivered by police officers to “advise” people not to attend the event.
In addition the operation included a series of police raids with officers in riot gear in Battersea, Ealing, Tottenham and Southwark. The youngest person arrested was 14.
On the day of the carnival, the police plan to use Section 60 of the Public Order Act to stop and search people, without even reasonable suspicion.
Outside tube stations gangs of police will form lines to stop and search people entering carnival.
As ever, this will do little to stop crime – but much to add to the climate of alienation and racism felt by young people.