Socialist Worker

Dawn raid for protester who stroked a horse

Issue No. 2233

Paul Saville, a student from Bristol, was arrested in a dawn raid a week before Christmas.

Paul says he was held by Avon and Somerset constabulary without adequate food or legal representation for over 12 hours, after he joined a student protest on 25 November.

The reason? Paul had stroked a police horse.

Cops claim this was a means to “distract” them while another protester threw a firework.

During the dawn raid they confiscated Paul’s laptop, hard drive, mobile phone, notepads and even his coat.

He was held without charge after his arrest, and not questioned for 12 hours.

He says he was denied two of his three meals, phone calls, and medical assistance when he suffered a panic attack.

Suspicion

On 31 December a 16 year old student was arrested and questioned on suspicion of violent disorder and criminal damage in Whitehall on the protests on 24 November.

She was arrested in connection with alleged damage to a police van, which police left in the middle of the protest.

She has been bailed until June.

She is the 52nd person to be arrested in connection with protests that day.

Police have harassed students on protests since the movement erupted in November with the occupation of Millbank Tower—over 180 have been arrested in the weeks that followed.

The police are escalating their programme of intimidation, ensuring a heavy presence on later demonstrations.

The government and the right wing media claim that it is students that are the thugs.

But many have witnessed appalling acts of police thuggery, including charging horses into tightly packed crowds.

And the internet is full of video and photographic evidence showing riot cops lashing out at students with batons, and hitting them with shields.

Alfie Meadows needed to have extensive brain surgery after being hit on the head by a police truncheon.

Twice on one protest they dragged protester Jody McIntyre from his wheelchair.

Meanwhile, in Northern Ireland, the trial of two students began this week.

Gerry Carroll and Simon McConville were part of the Day X3 protests against the rise of tuition fees.

The state is desperate to drive the students off the streets, fearing that they could help inspire a wider revolt.

We must stand up to them and ensure that there is a wave of solidarity with all those who have been injured and victimised by the police.


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