Thursday, 28 May 2009

The day we kettled New Scotland Yard

Thanks to everyone who turned out on Saturday for the brilliant demonstration against police violence. It was an angry, united protest, and we managed to (pretty much) entirely surround New Scotland Yard!

It was interesting to note the police attitude to the demo. Other than some half-hearted attempts to clear the road outside the Yard at the end, there was little police intimidation.

Have a look at some of the videos of the day below on our YouTube playlist.

Yesterday the campaign had another boost - the lecturers' UCU union is the latest to affiliate nationally!

Our next action will be a protest outside the office of the IPCC on 10 July. More information to follow...

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Saturday: Get ready to march and kettle!

Don't forget! 3pm, Trafalgar Square, this Saturday!
Just a few days to go now before we march from Trafalgar Square to New Sctoland Yard to kettle the police... Please note the map of the route on this site.

We have been picking up more support this week, with Sussex and Essex Students' Unions affiliating. Today we also have the great news that the public service PCS union has become the first national trade union to affiliate!

Today London's Green Party MEP, Jean Lambert, said this is a press release to publicise the protest:

"It was horrifying to witness the heavy-handed tactics employed by police on the streets of London during the G20 summits in April, and deeply disturbing to learn of the death of Ian Tomlinson, an innocent man. This Saturday we will remember Ian Tomlinson, Jean Charles de Menezes, who was killed four years ago, Brian Douglas who died in 1995, Blair Peach, who was killed 30 years ago, and all those people – more than 1,000 – who have died in police custody since 1969.

“Of course we recognise that the police face an increasingly difficult task in keeping our streets safe, but there must be no trade-off with our civil liberties.

“The police should be helping to rid our streets of violence – not adding to it. The breadth of support for the UCAPV shows that people from all backgrounds are no longer prepared to see civil liberties undermined and threatened by the very force which exists to protect us. We must ensure that public trust in the police is rebuilt, and that respect for human rights becomes a fundamental principle of modern policing.”

Friday, 15 May 2009

Saturday 23 May - Stop Police Violence, Kettle New Scotland Yard!

Saturday 23 May - assemble 3pm Trafalgar Square
March via Downing Street to New Scotland Yard.

The United Campaign Against Police Violence has called a national demonstration to highlight the issues of police violence and demand justice for those who have died in police custody.

The police tactic of "kettling" demonstrators - essentially detaining protestors and bystanders without charge - will be turned on its head on the protest, when we kettle New Scotland Yard.

At the end of the protest there will be a naming of the dead for those who have died in police custody, led by the families of the bereaved who have yet to receive justice. Over 1000 people have died in police custody in the last 40 years - yet no one has been found responsible.

Protestors will demand the disbanding of the Territorial Support Group, the resignation of "Independent" Police Complaints Commission chair Nick Hardwick, justice for those killed in police custody and for the right to protest.

John McDonnell MP, chair of Labour Representation Committee, said:
"Increasingly, evidence demonstrates policing of major demonstrations has got out of control and specialist police units have been acting with virtual impunity.

"This campaign is about achieving democratic control over policing and securing protection from state violence and harassment for members of our communities."

Mark Serwotka, General Secretary, Public and Commercial Services union, said:
"The right to protest is a fundamental right which in these times is more important than ever. That's why everyone should support this campaign to ensure people can protest without the threat of brutality."

The Sean Rigg Justice and Change Campaign, said:
"We believe in standing up for our moral and human rights and for speaking for our loved ones who can no longer speak for themselves - Christopher Alder, Brian Douglas, Roger Sylvester, Azelle Rodney, Mikey Powell, Ricky Bishop to name a few... They are among thousands who have received no justice for their death and their blood is crying out from beneath the grave - these lost lives must not be forgotten, their cases need to be re-opened and re-examined, like that of David Oluwale, so that true justice can prevail.

"For Sean Rigg, Paps Ullah, Ian Tomlinson and many others we expect independent investigations that are robust, fully competent and unbiased towards the police in their search for the unequivocal truth - the IPCC are not fit for that purpose . Overall we demand full accountability of police officers who kill due to violence or negligence - why should they have impunity from prosecution? No Justice, No Peace!"

Jenny Jones, Green Party member of the Greater London Assembly and Metropolitan Police Authority, said:
"This is a demo with a difference - we are going to show the Met that we are tired of the illegal imprisonment that they call 'containment' and that we want them to change their attitude to protesters and become law abiding themselves.

"Change is hard, but the Met is losing public confidence and it's time they understood that their job is to reduce violence, not add to it."

Chris Nineham, Stop the War Coalition, said:
"What happened at the G20 was part of a trend. In recent months the police have attacked many of our protests. They have raided the homes of people who came on our demonstrations in solidarity with Gaza. They are trying to prosecute others who protested against George Bush's visit in 2008. This is a very important demonstration because the attempt to criminalise protest and intimidate protestors must be stopped."

Saturday, 9 May 2009



6pm, Tuesday 12 May 2009

The Karibu Centrel, 7 Gresham Road, London SW9

“The meeting will be an opportunity for Lambeth residents to raise any issues of concern with IPPC (sic) Chair Nick Hardwick.” - So says the Community Police Consultative Group for Lambeth (CPCG) website.

The United Campaign Against Police Violence is calling for those angered with the way the IPCC is squarely on the side of the police to come along, build the 23 May demo against police violence outside the event and put some questions to Nick Hardwick that he won't want to hear!

Friday, 8 May 2009

A great start! ...Now on to the demo!

All roads lead to 23rd May…

Stop Police Violence! Launch meeting report

We had a fantastic official start to our campaign this week. Around 150 people gathered for the launch meeting of United Campaign Against Police Violence in London on Tuesday. The rally heard from Green Party member of the London Assembly, Jenny Jones, Anna Fairclough from Liberty, Sam Rigg-David from Sean Rigg Justice and Change Campaign, Deborah Coles of Inquest, Andrew Burgin from Stop the War, Martin Smith from the SWP and Andy from Legal Defence & Monitoring Group. We were also privileged to hear from family members of both Roger Sylvester and Habib 'Paps' Ullah - both of whom died in the custody of police. A video of the meeting will be forthcoming on the website.

It was announced at the meeting that our forthcoming demonstration on Saturday 23 May will march from Trafalgar Square to New Scotland Yard, via Downing Street. We aim to "kettle" New Scotland Yard - let's give the police a taste of their own medicine!

The campaign is now well and truly on the road, so now we need to go all out to build the demonstration. You can download a poster for the event here. Click here to print off fliers.

We also decided that Thursdays would be devoted to building the demonstration - leafleting local tube stations and railway stations at rush hour. There is a huge amount of anger in society at the moment - over the death of innocent bystander Ian Tomlinson at the G20 protests, the huge number of people hurt and arrested following the Gaza demonstrations earlier in the year, the continual attacks on civil liberties and the attacks on the right to protest. We need to tap this anger and unite together in protest!

Gaza demonstration arrests

The Metropolitan Police today sent out a press release saying that six more people have been arrested over the Gaza protests in December/January. This takes the total number of arrests to 93. The press release states that this relates to "a series of demonstrations in central London descended into violence, with attacks on police officers and a number of shop windows being smashed".

What the police "forget" to mention is the sheer scale of repression on those wanting to take to the streets peacefully over the attacks on Gaza by Israel. For example, those marching to the Israeli Embassy were "kettled" (in effect, detained without trial) in the Hyde Park underpass, having been directed there by police. There followed a series of baton-charges and panic which, amazingly, did not lead to any serious injuries or deaths. Other reports indicate general levels of verbal and physical abuse by police officers, the penning in of groups of protestors for prolonged periods, and intimidation of press photographers. If the police wanted a violent confrontation they certainly went out of their way to ensure it.

The United Campaign Against Police Violence wants all those who experienced these actions by the police to join us in demonstrating for the right to peaceful protest on 23 May - and we would also like to hear from anyone who has been arrested for daring to take to the streets for something they believe in.