Police hospitalised three anti-cuts protesters and injured several more in central London last Sunday.
Demonstrations organised by UK Uncut successfully shut down stores on Oxford Street, including Boots and Vodafone, in protest at the firms’ legal tax avoidance.
One activist tried to push a leaflet through the closed door of Boots to explain the action to workers inside.
When a police officer tried to arrest her for “criminal damage” other protesters tried to help—and police sprayed CS gas in their faces.
Gordon Maloney was one of those sprayed by police. He told Socialist Worker, “The demo was one of the most fantastic protests I’ve been on—we got a great response from passers-by.
“When the police tried to arrest a woman, people instinctively went over to see what was going on. A police officer grabbed me around the neck and when I turned around he sprayed me in the face.
“It was completely disproportionate and out of order. I can’t see any reason for it other than to intimidate people. But it didn’t work—more people came to join us.
“Boots workers took us into the store and gave us free eyewash.
“I’m even more determined to protest now.”