IMC'ista | 01.11.2002 18:55
Just before 9pm last night at the halloween anti-war protests in london, 'Devilish May', a video activist volunteering for indymedia was assaulted by police.
The protest in parliament square and outside Downing st had turned into a free form march through the streets. At one point she cut through some back streets to get ahead of the march and just off the Strand she filmed the police grabbing a young lad on a skateboard and kicking him on the ground. They then threw the skateboard back into the strand and him after it. The same police then grabbed another young lad wrestled him to the ground and again then proceeded to kick him.
As she was filming a policeman turned to her and said "Right love you can go to!" - then picked her up and threw her into a group of protestors, then as she fell to the ground one of the police kicked her several times in the back.
At around 9pm outside the LSE just near Houghton Street a well known photographer taking pictures of the police arresting two people was threatened and violently pushed over a bicycle onto the ground, falling heavily.
Cameraman Threatened With Arrest
At the same time outside LSE another volunteer indymedia reporter trying to film the police making arrests was himself threatened with arrest if he did not "leave the area". At that time the protests were over, the last student demonstrators dispersing and the majority of the police getting back into their vans when a snatch squad rushed into a small crowd on the pavement and forcefully grabbed a student stop the war activist. He was bundled into a police van. Understandably the remaining protestors were angry about this, but the situation was inflamed by the arrival of some very aggressive police. Soon and a young woman was arrested, dragged by her hair and carried by several officers and also thrwon into a police van. The police were constantly pushing people and being abusive. As the person videoing tried to get a clear shot of the arresting officers numbers a policeman (with his id numbers covered over) rushed towards him shouting "I told you to leave the area at the Cenotaph, what are you still doing here?". Incredulously the camerman commented that the cenotaph is miles away from the LSE and anyway that was hours ago. "It doesn't matter I've told you once, now if you don't leave the area immedialty you'll be coming with me!" replied the cop. When the cameraman asked the policeman if it was because he was filming that he was being singled out for arrest the policeman denied this just as a colleague standing next to him pushed another photographer into the side of a police van to stop him taking pictures.