Based on the intelligence received, and the presence of "offending articles", the protestors decided not to allow the police to continue their journey to the peace demo. The activists claim that the police were uncooperative. The activists claim that they had no choice but to detain the police as some clearly had violent intentions, but it was impossible to distinguish between the violent police and the innocent police.
The protestors turned the police around and escorted them to London. Several police rang 999 to explain the circumstances, but the forced escort continued to London. While the group were idling in stalled traffic around the Shepards Bush region, the police were able to escape the escort by fleeing into nearby streets and parks. The Metropolitan protestors followed a group of police all the way to Hyde Park - harassing and intimidating most of the way.
The police have sought justice at the Divisional Court via a judicial review, but the result was unsatisfactory in-so-much-as the court ruled that the protestors were justified in preventing police from attending the demonstration, but they were not justified in detaining the police for nearly 3 hours. Now the case has reached the Court of Appeal, the penultimate British court available to the police. Both parties are seeking to overturn the decisions at the lower court which were not in their favour.
Police claim that their Human Rights were violated - the right to freedom of from arbitrary detention, the right to freedom of assembly, and the right to freedom of expression.
Support the right to police protests!!! Come down to the Royal Courts of Justice!
OK, obviously the above report is a parody!
However, nearly the same thing has taken place with the roles reversed (police / protestors), and the Fairford Coaches case is coming to a Court of Appeal near you (if you live in the South East, that is).
The police will be pressing for the right to detain innocent protestors, and the former coach detainees are pressing for the right not to be forced away from lawful demonstrations. If you are free on the morning of Thurs or Friday the 14-15 October 2004, please come down to the main entrance of the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand and support the right to protest!
We'll have a 1 hour demo outside the courts from 9am-10am both mornings. If you want to come in and watch the case you are fully welcome to come in - 10.30am-4pm both days. Ask at the desk for the specific court we'll be in. If you have a camera, you'll be asked to leave it in a shop on the opposite side of the Strand.
ps- Thanks for the pic Raphael Haik! The pic is from a terrific collection of London photos by Raphael at http://www.photoraf.com - He had nothing to do with the Indymedia posting. It just happened that he had a site with the perfect illustrating photo.
M. P. Farce