The Guardian and the Observer have finally started to report some of the truth over the murder of Ian Tomlinson:
“A riot officer came up behind him and grabbed him. It wasn’t just pushing him – he’d rushed him. He went to the floor and he did actually roll. That was quite noticeable. It was the force of the impact. It was all from behind. The officer hit him twice with a baton [when he was] on the floor. So it wasn’t just that the officer had pushed him – it became an assault. And then the officer picked him up from the back, continued to walk or charge with him, and threw him. He was running and stumbling. He didn’t turn and confront the officer or anything like that.
Anna Branthwaite, 36, freelance photographer, south London”
There is added poignancy in the fact that Mr Tomlinson wasn’t a demonstrator at all, just a local trying to ask the police to let him past their cordon. I had not heard the term “kettling” before the G20, but having twice suffered myself from the Metropolitan Police’s tactic of splitting demonstrations into groups, and then aggressively crushing demonstrators – and ordinary people who happened to be there, like Mr Tomlinson – into confined spaces, I was able to describe exactly what was going to happen before it happened.
“Each demonstration will be split up into several separated groups. Each group will be tightly corraled, penned in with barriers in an uncomfortable crush that feels threatening to those inside. Occasionally groups will be shuffled between pens. Most demonstrators will not be allowed to the destination point to limit the appearance of numbers at the rallies. Once it is over, people will be kept corralled for several hours, with no refreshment or (this is critical and no joke) toilet facilities. The tactic appears designed to create confrontation as people try to get out of penned areas to hear the speeches they came to hear, to escape the crush or just to find a loo. At the same time the argie-bargie thus deliberately sparked is confined to small numbers the police can contain.”
So this was no accident; it was the highly predictable result of deliberate over-aggressive policing that deprived Mr Tomlinson first of his right to go home after work, then of his life. Of course the chances of their ever being justice for Mr Tomlinson are nil, as long as the system is controlled by evil (and I use the word with care) men like Sir Michael Wright.
I maintain that there was something else very wrong with the policing on that day, in that peaceful demonstrators were – in scores of instances – subjected to the most vicious of attacks. Meanwhile tiny isolated groups of alleged “protestors” were allowed without hindrance to carry out acts of violence. The ever excellent Postman Patel has a picture that paints a thousand words.
As does Theresa
While is it not al little strange that the police were unable to deploy anyone outside the Royal Bank of Scotland to prevent this massive crowd of, err, five people and 28 press photograpers from breaking the windows, but were able to pre-position a police photographer inside to video it?