One of the two arrested was a journalist who had been filming the protest for a collaborative film about the G8. Here is his statement about the events surrounding his arrest.
Shortly after, I walked down Milton Street, the side street where the protesters had been placed behind a metal barricade opposite a side entrance to the Brewery. At this point I began to film the various costums and noise making implements along with the police guarding the gateway and what could be seen of the courtyard beyond. I also recorded the speeches made by demonstrators using a megaphone and the general audio-scape of the noise making for possible radio use.
With nothing new happening, I left the side street and returned to Chiswell Street in order to film public responses. I spent a few minutes doing this and then was about to go and film the main entrance to the brewery when the protesters started moving off. I filmed the group as they packed up and moved off assuming the demo had finished. However on reaching Chiswell Street they turned left towards the main entrance so I ran ahead to film their arrival. The protesters shortly reached the front entrance where the police had quickly mobilised a line in front of the gates. I filmed the reaction of the security and delegates within the courtyard beyond the gates. A speech was made over the megaphone which I recorded and I also filmed the BBC reporter who had emerged from within the building to film what was taking place in the street. Around this time I became aware of an arrest as shouts of protest eliminated from the crowd. I turned and moved to film the aftermath of the arrest and moved towards the other side of the road in order to get a better shot.
The police then started to move the remains of the group back down the road in the direction from which they came and I film from the opposite side of the road. Shortly I was approached by a couple of police officers who asked whether I was part of the demonsttration. I explained that I am a journalist and was then asked for my credintials so I showed them my NUJ card which the two officers scrutised carefully front and back for quite some time. During this time, the freelance photo journalist (who I'd spoke to earlier during the event) was taking pictures and I was filming the police examining my NUJ card. Also witnessing the incident was the police videographer who videoed the process.
With these two officers apparently satisfied with my credentials, I continued along Chiswell Street road to overtake the slowly moving group of police and demonstrators on the opposite side of the road. I then crossed the road just beyond the junction with Milton Street and began filming the approach of the group but almost immediately I was grabbed by a police officer who tried to push me into Milton Street along with the first of the protesters. Knowing that I would be in a poor position to continue filming events if I was forced down the side street I tried to explain that I was a journalist but was ignored and immediately told that I was under arrest. Shocked, I tried again to explain that I had just shown other officers my NUJ card and that it was in my pocket but the arresting officer pushed me violently up again the wall of a building and forced my arm up behind my back causing me great pain.
I noticed that the police officer who had just been filming me when I showed my press credentials on the opposite side of the road, was now filming my arrest but he offered no comment. My camera was then taken off me and switched off and I was roughly placed in hand cuffs. I asked for a receipt for the camera but was refused. I tried to keep my camera in sight at all times as I was concerned about what the police might do with my footage, but I unable to keep track of it as I was then lead away and placed in a police van.
On route to Wood Street police station the arresting officer tried to make conversation but I avoided engaging. He asked me my name to which I replied that had he bothered to look at my ID he wouldn't need to be asking me now and added that I thought it best to leave answering any questions until at the police station. I asked him his name but he just laughed so the small talk pretty much ended there.
At the police station I was forced to stand in handcuffs for about half an hour outside before being taken to the custody desk. When I was finally taken before the custody officer I was informed that I had been arrested for ignoring a section 14 order and explained my rights under PACE. At this stage I requested a copy of PACE, plus a pencil and paper (so that I could make notes about what had just happened) however these were never provided.
I was detained for around 10 hours before being released. I was charged and released on police bail. The conditions imposed with bail were that I do not enter The City of London and that I do not attend Derby or the venue of the G8 Energy and Environment Ministerial meeting on the 18th March.
The police retained my video footage, my video camera, my radio mic, my voice recorder, and the USB adaptor for my laptop. I formally complained that the bail conditions would make my daily travel anywhere within London really difficult and also stressed that the retention of my audio visual equipment would seriously undermine my ability to go about my usual work.
Since then I have attended the first court date and plead not guilty. The issue of the bail conditions came up and although I am now able to travel into and through The City of London, I am now prevented from going within 200 meters of a G8 meeting.
My equipment had still not been returned and I am to return to court for another interim hearing on the 7th April where a trial date should be set. [now cancelled]
In the meantime I have been suffering from pain and impaired use of my left arm as a result of injures to my shoulder during arrest. I visited my GP on the Thursday following the incident and was subsequently prescribed pain killers and referred to a physiotherapist. My consultation with the physiotherapist reveal damage to the muscles that hold my shoulder into it's socket and results in unbalance posture and limited and painful movement with the left arm. In order to ensure correct and speedy recovery of the effected muscles I now have to carry out a series of exercises three times everyday and I have further appointments to keep with the physiotherapist.
My camera and the rest of my equipment have still not been returned and due to court dates I have been unable to make arrangements to attend the 'festival of dissent' in order to further cover the build up to the G8 in July.
I have now heard that the charges against me, and the other person arrested on the day, have been dropped. I can't say I am suprised as it was obviously a waste of court time on a case that the police could not win. What did shock me however was the lies made in police statements and notes made on the day - lies which would have been contradicted by their own video evidence from the day as well as dozens of witnesses who could have been called.
As I write, over 35 police officers and other officials in Italy are being prosecuted for extreme human rights abuse during the 2001 G8 in Genoa. The police violence which left one demonstrator dead, 351 people wounded, and over 301 arrested, were well documented and covered around the world - but not in the Italian mass media which is controlled by president Silvio Berlusconi (millionaire media tycoon). With the G8 taking place in Scotland in just a couple more months it is vital that journalists are unrestricted in their ability to report on what takes place.