Socialist Worker

Police arrests follow anti-racist protests in Cardiff

Issue No. 2746

Protest after Mohamud Hassans death

Protest after Mohamud Hassan's death


Activists in Cardiff, South Wales, are pointing to a wave of arrests and police inquires against anti-racist protesters.

They say the intention is to intimidate people from further demonstrations and blunt the search for justice.

Those facing charges or potential charges took part in demonstrations after the death of Mohamud Hassan.

One Muslim man says he was dragged from his bed by six plain-clothed South Wales Police officers and arrested—for shining a torch at a police officer. 

The man says he was handcuffed and hit in the back of a van.

The voice.wales news site has transcribed the man’s testimony at a recent public Zoom meeting of the Justice for Mohamud Hassan campaign

Police

The man, who wishes to be anonymous, said, “You know, it's a very sad story, you know, what happened to my Mohamud. The police, they're not good people. 

“The other day I was arrested by South Wales Police and I was dragged out of my bed. They forcefully entered my room. I've got a business and sell shoes. And these guys have come into my room acting like I'm Pablo Escobar.

“Honestly, I'm telling everyone here, those who are protesters, those who are actually known to the police or not. You guys need to watch out because these guys are cracking down.

“They don't give, you know, mind my language, they don't give a shit.

“These guys will come after you. And the stuff they did to Mohamud they can do it to anyone else.

“They were trying to get me done for assault because I shined my torch in the police officer’s eyes.

“So I pointed it at them because everyone was supposed to shine their lights on the police. Obviously, I'll do it again. I'll do it again. A million times. How is my man trying to claim that got blinded by an iPhone torch?

“When the police officers stop and search young kids every single day in Cardiff, London, wherever it is, and they shine the torches in their eyes. Isn't that not blinding them?

“I'll be fighting. I'll be fighting. Even if they send me to jail. I'll never back down from the police.”

This experience is far from the only example.

Death

The South Wales Police released a statement this week seeking to justify how they had handled the demonstrations after Mohamud’s death.

He was arrested at his home in January on suspicion of breach of the peace but released without charge the next day.

Mohamud died that night, and his relatives claim he was assaulted in custody.

A series of protests followed. Now police are taking action against those who took part.

The statement says, “A 30-year-old man from Roath was arrested on suspicion of affray. He is alleged to have thrown a number of missiles at officers and members of the public. He has been released on bail.

Vigil marks month since death of Mohamud Hassan after contact with 52 cops
Vigil marks month since death of Mohamud Hassan after contact with 52 cops
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“A 19-year-old man from Grangetown was arrested and charged with assaulting an emergency worker and using threatening words or behaviour.

“A 19-year-old woman from Newport was arrested at 11am on March 5 in suspicion of assaulting an emergency worker. She fully admitted the offence, and accepted a caution.”

The phrase “emergency worker” applies to police officers.

These cases follow protest organiser Bianca Ali being told she has to pay a £500 fine or request a court hearing under coronavirus laws.

She told Socialist Worker, “They will never keep me quiet, I will always speak out against injustice.”

The right to protest is under increasing threat. It’s crucial to keep taking to the streets and to fight for justice for Mohamud and all victims of police.

Stand Up to Racism Wales Online Rally, Saturday 13 March, 11am. Speakers include Bianca Ali and Zainab Hassan, Mohamud Hassan's aunt. Details here

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