At 5pm this evening, Indymedia and solidarity activists and friends of Brad turned up outside the Mexican Embassy in London to show solidarity with the uprising in Oaxaca and the state murder of Indymedia journalist Brad Will, 36, of New York City. Initially, there around 30 people, but this quickly swelled to a mass of 60-70 or more people. The initial presence was marked with banners and a small noise demonstration, before the Indymedia Tricycle turned up, followed thereafter by a samba band and audiovisual equipment.
The promised presentation of Brad Will's final footage then was played on the front of the embassy, to the delight of the crowd, who began to quieten down to listen to the soundtrack and view the harrowing footage. Within just a few minutes, a police officer obstructed the viewing by standing in the doorway of the embassy; another then attempted to stand in front of the projector, an obstacle easily overcome by moving the tricycle forward just a few inches. More officers moved in, to obstruct the viewing, and the samba band struck up again. The noise level increased, the police shouting that they weren't stopping the screening (what?!) and the samba band responding in style with more and more noise, beautifully combined with the crackling sounds of the protests in Oaxaca.
As the noise level increased, the police became more and more heavy-handed, far outweighing the scale of the protest. By this time, there were numerous people (passers-by) stopping to enquire what was happening... And then the police pushed forward. The drumming continued, but truncheons were now drawn. A sudden push, and the screening was abruptly halted. The audio-visual equipment was moved back as van loads more cops turned up, the police response became more and more violent. A 2 minute warning was given to demonstrators to move back to the middle of the road, but then - barely within the beat of a drum - there was a surge forward by the police, beating demonstrators back with their truncheons.
Several of the samba players were grabbed. Some of these were "escorted" back to the middle of the road, where the police played the 'nicely-nicely' approach, others (including rumours of a passing cycle courier who had stopped to find out more of the protest) were arrested. In total, 5-7 people - as yet undetermined - were taken back to West End Central Police station on Saville Row in London.