Freedom to Party | 10.05.2007 17:19 | Repression
The Student Union appeared to be backing the students but their tactic of playing things down is only helping the police and betraying the students they are purporting to support. It gives the police courage to continue with their violence. It happened 18 months ago at the Aspire party; it will happen again.
Years of dealing with repression from the state has thought us that the best way to get 'justice' is to make a noise, to shout as loud as possible about it and use the negative publicity to put the police on the back foot. The students need to stay united and vigorously demands for justice and censorship of the police's action. They need to stay strong in the face of attempts to divide them by singling out individuals and to water down statements by apparatchiks in the student union, the university and the local council. Do not forget that the police were acting as savage monsters, assaulting and wounding innocent people for the sake of it. This is the action of thugs and it should not be allowed to go unpunished.
Let the media know your side of the story; show them the injuries and brutality of the police. Contact your local councillors and police authority, demanding action from them. Why not hold a demo outside the police station so slamming the message home that police brutality is not to be tolerated.
For those of you arrested by the police, get a good lawyer. Ask for Harrison Bundey, local solicitors experienced in dealing with police repression. Dont make a statement – the police use them to intimidate and convict you and others. NEVER accept a caution: these will stay with you the rest of yours life and are tantamount to admitting to guilt; plus the police can still prosecute out, and all you've done is made it easier for them. Police only offer cautions when they have next to no evidence: dont do their work for them, especially when they are trying to protect themselves.
If you were wounded or traumatised by the police actions – sue the bastards; dont let them get away with it. Large lawfirm Irwin Mitchell (www.irwinmitchell.co.uk) specialise in this. First, get a doctor to examine and document your injuries as soon as possible. Get a friend to take photos to record them. And collect the details of as many witnesses as possible.
Demand that the student union represent you and fully express your anger with the police actions.
If you were there make a written complaint to the police – write to them at
The Professional Standards Department
West Yorkshire Police Headquarters
PO Box 9
They have a form for this available at www.westyorkshire.police.uk/files/docs/complaint-form.pdf
and copy the complaint into
The Independent Police Complaints Commission
Unit C, Cedar Court Office Park
Denby Dale Road, Calder Grove
Wakefield, WF4 3DB
Do not let the police fob you off – demand a formal investigation into the behaviour of the police on the night. The police will try every trick to dissuade you but by law they have to investigate what happened. You dont have to name any particular officer; you can name the Chief Constable who had ultimate responsibility – his name is Sir Norman Bettison. But what ever you do, stand strong, seek advice but persevere as next time they may actually kill or permanently maim someone.
What happened was a brutal and unnecessary assault on peaceful party goers; there was simply no excuse for setting dogs on people walking away or battening young women in the face. Stand up and don't let the police get away with it.
For more information on your rights see
Freedom to Party