By Tim Hardy
The livestreams and photographs coming from today’s Occupy London action are deeply distressing. The police are acting with impunity, seemingly unconcerned by the fact that their behaviour is being witnessed. There are many images to review and videos to watch but the sequence in this video from 8.52-9.22 stood out immediately.
As the policeman in the front pulls back at 8.52 you can see one of his colleagues in the background has his gloved hand clamped over the mouth of a woman who is seated. As the video continues, you can see quite clearly how distressed she is by police behaviour.
[Update: another image from a different angle via @TheJanieMac]
Whatever you think of Occupy, whatever you think of protest, whatever your politics – this is unacceptable behaviour and the police officer in question should be suspended from duty immediately. There needs to be an urgent review into policing of peaceful protest like this.
With the police behaving with such open aggression towards peaceful protesters, how long will it be before they kill another innocent again?
[EDIT: update 13 May]
There were further reports of excessive force being used against women last night including:
A police officer is muffling/suffocating a non-resisting woman with his hand. #m12london—
Jacob Richardson (@jjarichardson) May 12, 2012
@wyrdsisterz sends the following video showing:
May 12th 2012 peaceful protest against global economic injustice outside Bank Of England, women targeted, pulled from peaceful assembly, arrested and being man-handeled by 8x City Of London Police, arms handcuffed behind back, 4 on top of her, Police kneel on her neck and then neck braced by 4x City Of London Police, she unsurprisingly has an aniety attack.
[Update: we’ve been unable to track the police officer involved so far, however this is supposedly his boss – ]
BB (@blacbloc) May 13, 2012
[More video here including an interview with the woman who was threatened by the police with having her children put into the custody of social services because she was a protester : Eleven arrests during peaceful Occupy London protest at the Bank of England]
If you were involved in or witnessed any of these incidents please contact Green and Black Cross at firstname.lastname@example.org.