The anti-war march in Manchester was realtively peaceful, and so was the rally in Castlefield, until the police, unprovoked, tried to seal us in. About 30 protesters, many of them (but not all) Muslims, were held at a corner in Bridgewater Street at 4pm, much to the dismay of many protesters. The police said they would be released if they the remainder of the crowd were to disperse, but we stood our ground as we realised they could easlily arrest them if we were to leave. The police tried to pesuade us to move to the pavement, and tried to surround even more of us when reinforcements came. They then resorted to heavy-handed tactics, and shoved us. At least one officer was not wearing his number, and I witnessed him, and another officer, deliberatly shove us. Later, I felt a officers hand grab me roughly, and I was told 'Aren't you intellegent? There's the pavement.' They threatend even more of us with arrest if we didn't leave the area, even those who were on the pavement. The confrontation finally stopped 10 minutes later, with the protestors relesed, but however, I obseved people in police vans, and later heard that they had definately been arrests made. Our group made our way to the police station in Gower Street, and I attempted to make a complaint about our treatment by the police. We were told that there we had to see an Inspector, and the nearest station with an Inspector was 3 miles away! We also learnt they the people arrested were being held until the protested had completely died down in the area, and we exchanged contact details with a member of a group which had members arrested.
The police oppression was caught on camera, if anyone has any evidence that can help the people who were arrested or otherwise ill-treated by the police, make it available to them, if you were on the Manchester protest and were arrested, or had any of your group arrested, post your contact details so people can contact you with any useful information. Sadly I cannot help anymore, as I am based over 40 miles away in the Stoke-on-Trent area, but if anyone can help these people, do so.