Pushed Too Far

The Guardian are claiming an exclusive tonight with video of Ian Tomlinson, the man who died during the G20 protests being pushed to the ground by police. There’s no clear injury that looks to have killed him but he is known to have collapsed shortly afterwards.

The footage is sickening and reinforces all that is wrong about the notion that kettling and being strong against protests is just a necessary evil. It is never good to excuse violence by the government against it’s citizens. I accept that there may come a time when violence is necessary but nothing shown in the Guardian video seems appropriate.

What annoys me further is this quote from the IPCC in the same article:

“People are putting pictures on the internet, writing on blogs and talking to journalists. But we really need them to talk to the people who are investigating what happened.

massive edit
If you google the IPCC you get a rather annoying website. If I had a complaint I’d probably want to phone someone. There’s no central phone number and instead you have to pick a region first. If this was someone who’d just collapsed and died in the street and there was no police involvement we’d ring 999. We as citizens understand that. So why is the IPCC harder to get hold of? Surely it’s in their best interests to make it easy to take evidence?

We need a better way, firstly of policing demonstrations and secondly of investigating misconduct in the police. And looking at the goings on in Westminster of late a way of upholding standards there might be handy too. Bah, I hate everything tonight.

4 thoughts on “Pushed Too Far

  1. SpudTater

    Good grief!

    From the body language it looks like he possibly made some rude and/or sarcastic comment to the police… but aren’t they supposed to be above that? Or have they devolved into just another gang of thugs roaming the streets giving people hassle for ‘looking at them funny’?

    I find it ironic that the person who finally came forwards with the video evidence was a fund manager. No doubt mutterings of “that’s gratitude for you” will be emanating from certain quarters.

  2. Alex Post author

    I am stunned. I expected some incompetence but the man was so clearly not a threat and yet still they lashed out. Inexcusable.

    I’ve decided to write to my London Assembly representatives but I can’t decide if it’s better to write to the lot of them and give my e-mail address to the BNP or just to contact one of a friendly colour.

  3. Tom

    @SpudTater: ‘devolved into’?

    The horrible bit is that there’s nobody with the power to do anything about this with the inclination to do so. Labour’s home secretaries have been the most authoritarian nutjobs available. There’s no way the Tories will do anything that might compromise their Law and Order credentials (fine talk about liberty notwithstanding). The media have had every opportunity to get serious about overpolicing in general for years, and have consistently passed it up (despite the effect it has on, eg photography, which you might think they’d give a toss about). The Lords of Appeal in Ordinary (are they the Supreme Court now?) ruled in favour of the police in the Oxford Circus May Day kettling case.

    I think we’re still due an ECHR verdict on the Oxford Circus case, BICBW. A fine thread to hang your hopes on, though.

  4. Alex Post author

    @Tom Jenny Jones on Newsnight seemed certainly to have the inclination, her power stops at being on the Met advisory board but she was being very strong in her criticism.

    In more depressing news, this story was offered to the BBC for their 6 o’clock news but they turned it down for being too London centric.:

    When the Guardian offered this astonishing footage to the BBC News at 6, apparently the response was “No thanks, we’re not covering this, we see it as just a London story.” Great news sense down there at TV Centre.

    It ran as the third item on the 10 O’Clock news but in a short piece that whilst it noted that there were awkward questions utterly failed to ask them.

    Fingers crossed for the ECHR.

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