Socialist Worker

Protesters challenge draconian police tactics

Issue No. 2255

Students, young people and workers are fighting the criminalisation of dissent.

They are challenging draconian police tactics, such as kettling and mass arrests.

Three London school students—Sam Eaton, Adam Castle, and Adam’s younger sister—are taking a case against the Metropolitan Police to the High Court.

They say police infringed their human rights and broke the Children Act of 2004.

Police kettled them in Whitehall during protests last year—in freezing conditions with no food and water, and no access to toilets.

The case follows a High Court ruling in April that found there was “no reasonable” justification for kettling of two activists during G20 protests in 2009.

The police claim to use containment as a “last resort”. This isn’t true.

And kettling is often accompanied by baton charges and mass arrests—with potentially lethal consequences.

Twenty-year old student Alfie Meadows needed life-saving brain surgery after being struck by police last December.

He will appear in court this week to face a charge of violent disorder—a charge he denies.

Bryan Simpson, another student, will plead not guilty to a charge of aggravated trespass.

Bryan joined an occupation of Millbank Tower during a 50,000-strong education protest last November.

The Defend the Right to Protest campaign is organising solidarity for criminalised protesters.

Merlin Emanuel, nephew of reggae star Smiley Culture who died in police custody earlier this year, will address a meeting on Wednesday of this week.

Jody McIntyre, who was twice pulled from his wheelchair by police during protests, will also speak. The Metropolitan Police disgracefully declared officers not guilty of mistreating Jody McIntyre last month.

We need a mass movement to resist the police and defend our right to protest.

Solidarity pickets will be held outside Westminster Court, 70 Horseferry Road, London, SW1P 2AX on these dates at 9am to support protesters:

Thursday 9 June, Alfie Meadows,

10 June, Bryan Simpson,

4 July, Fortnum and Mason occupiers

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Article information

Tue 7 Jun 2011, 18:23 BST
Issue No. 2255
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