By Charlie Kimber
Downloading PDF. Please wait... Issue 2856

Cardiff: why people raged at the police in Ely

‘It was like a police invasion’, says eyewitness Gethin
Issue 2856
A car on fire in the middle of a neighbour hood in Ely, Wales

Scenes from  Ely in Cardiff, South Wales, on Monday night (Picture: John Urquhart/Twitter)

Ely in Cardiff exploded in anger against the police on Monday night. Gethin, one of those who were on the streets, told Socialist Worker, “The people I know, we all hate the police.

“We hate what they do to us and the way they try to throw their weight about. They can fuck off out of here, that’s what I think.

“Early in the evening, we heard that two kids on scooters or off-road bikes had died after the police chased them or chased a car that hit them. That’s very likely. The police care more about making another arrest for their figures than if some kids from around here live or die.”

Later on Tuesday the two teenage boys who died in the crash were named locally as 16-year-old Kyrees Sullivan and 15-year-old Harvey Evans.

“Some people threw stuff at the police. Good for them, I say. They smashed a police car. Good. OK, stuff goes on that maybe wasn’t best organised, but it’s the police who set all this off. Blame them.

“They ran at us with their truncheons out, all tooled up, threatening and hitting people just standing in the street. They were police on horseback at Ely police station. Police on horses, they’re from another world.

“I don’t know what will happen now. We want to find out the truth, and we want the police out.”

Sandra, another Ely resident says, “The police don’t care. I know Sophie Russon, she was one of the people who was in a car crash in March and the police didn’t find them for two days. Two days. Three people died there, and Sophie and her friend were stuck in the wreck. What are the police for?”

The mood in Ely exists in many other areas. It’s a pent-up rage against the cops. But it’s also against the system they defend—austerity, racism, endless Tory rule, and politicians who don’t speak for ordinary people.

Over two-thirds of children in the Ely East area live in “income deprivation”—deep poverty. No wonder people want to rise up.

They have to watch every penny while the Sunday Times Rich List showed last weekend that Britain’s 171 billionaires have increased their haul by £31 billion. Their wealth is up £400 billion in a decade while millions face hardship.

South Wales assistant chief constable Mark Travis said on Tuesday, “These are scenes we do not expect to see in our communities.” He should expect more— and so should the Tories and everyone else who stands for this rotten system.

  • Gethin and Sandra are pseudonyms

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