A ‘Mass Street Party’ is being advertised as taking place in Brighton & Hove, beginning at 12 midday, on Bank Holiday Monday, 4th May 2009,
Brighton & Hove is well used to hosting protests and demonstrations about all kinds of issues. When those protests are conducted within the law, the police presence will be restricted to ensuring that everyone is able to go about their business unhindered, while allowing protestors to make their point. In order to ensure this happens, the police are keen to meet with the organisers of the event being planned for the 4th May, to discuss how it can take place effectively, while minimising disruption.
I am extending an invitation to the organisers to meet with us to discuss their intentions, which will enable us to plan a proportionate response. Concerns about what is perceived as a repressive stance by Sussex Police towards such events can be alleviated if there is a dialogue between the police and organisers. This is a key factor in ensuring that we provide an appropriate level of policing.
If you are involved in the organisation of this event, please call Sussex Police on 0845 6070999 and ask to speak to the Events and Planning Unit at Hove Police Station. It will be possible for you to leave a message out of hours.
Assistant Chief Constable. Robin Merrett
Invitations were sent out. I am sure you were on the list. The public were all invited.
It may have got lost in the post. It may have been mislaid at your place of work. You are perfectly welcome to come. Who would exclude a minority such as yours from a multicultural event like this? That would be outrageous. It is not like a BNP Festival where you might be forced to stand outside for hours knowing that convicted criminals are freely mingling and discussing what minority they intend to target next.
Some health and safety tips that have emerged from previous public events. Partygoers realise it to be common sense: do not bring body armour, shields, non lethal weapons, batons, guns and so forth. It is a public party not a war zone. With a rich cultural heritage of conflict, everybody realises that you represent a group that has resolved differences of opinion with physical conflict. This is not appropriate in a party. That is not appropriate attire. That should be left at home. The Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army have long experience of "demilitarizing". You could take their example if you do feel the need to dress up.
There are good road and rail communications to Brighton and day trippers are expected. If you do invite friends or relations, please let them know that health, safety and the public good are a guide to the event. If your community members come down in gangs, wearing intimidating paramilitary uniforms everybody will shun them. It is nothing personal. Most people do not enjoy the wearing of paramilitary attire and feel distinctly uncomfortable around it. Some people feel remonstrative or provoked by paramilitarism. Should people arrive with such uniforms, it would make sense to instruct them to leave. The kind of gang-bully mentality is never welcome at a party. Those who think it is are, usually, the first to cause trouble. As you represent a group that has a tendency to dressing up, you might "facilitate" by ensuring none of those gangs arrive.
The organisers have taken a hands off approach this year - like every other year. This is a plain common sense approach. Every individual has different needs and expectations and needs to make different arrangements. The Organisers know it is best for individuals to make their own arrangements. That way people get out of the party what they put in. Just as some people like jelly and ice cream and others only jelly or only ice cream, the Organisers realise that forcing jelly and ice cream on everybody will cause tears before bedtime. So, if you wish to have jelly and ice cream, find some like minded party goers and arrange it together.
There has been much concern about masked and armed gangs chasing innocent partygoers and then holding them against their will. Everybody appreciates that you might like the day off, but facilitation might be best pursued by hunting down, prosecuting and imprisoning these thugs. It has been suggested they come from within your own community. As members of your own community remark upon Muslims, there is a community obligation for you to integrate and become part of the multicultural community. If these are members of your community, turn them over to the courts and let the full force of the law be brought to bear upon them. Help facilitate by bringing those in your own community who are - frankly - party poopers to justice for their wanton, willing destruction of this great Islands normal way of life.
Like every other year around May, there is a tendency fo exuberant and enthusaistic joy. It is the height of spring. All the communities that come together - and have done for more than two thousand years - do so for the sheer joy of community. With two thousand years of experience, communities know how to organise a party. There is nothing to facilitate.
While your help might be welcomed, it has, sadly become recieved wisdom that your community is frequently involved in violence, deaths, public disorder and intimidation. While nobody disrespects your choice of mingling with criminals, there is an increasing sentiment that the emphasis on criminality is unhealthy. Should you come to the party, leave your attitudes at home. Just because you cannot distinguish between criminals and ordinary people does not mean everybody else should suffer.
You invite the so called "organisers" for the event to make contact with yourselves, even though you know full well that the direct actions on the 4th of May will be up to the individuals involved in the protest. We do not act under any form of structure/orders, as your rank and file do. When your own plans, and the orders officers are following, go astray, violence is the only reaction your officers seem capable of, with murder and serious assault the result.
Your past actions policing the SmashEDO protests are reason enough not to entertain any thoughts of making any plans for the day available to you, even if they existed.
You have not as yet made a full public apology for the politically motivated, false arrests of protesters in the lead up to the high court injunction limiting our right to peaceful protest outside the "factory".
You have not yet released details of contact between yourselves and EDO/ITT, with serious allegations of the sharing of intelligence, and high level co-ordination between Sussex Police and EDO/ITT.
Furthermore, you have not investigated complaints against EDO/ITT, for breaking UK law on the export of military equipment to the Israeli air force, that has been used against innocent civilians, the recent Gaza conflict being an example.
Following the recent Police actions during the G20 protests, false imprisonment, and the use of deadly force, by the well trained paramilitary group - the TSG, , your actions on the 4th of May will be recorded and all evidence of any illegal police action, will be passed to the media and IPCC.
The Sussex Police quotes in yesterday's Brighton Evening Argus can only be seen as an attempt to justify police repression on the day. It is sad that quotes from Sussex police alluded to a violent protest, as you have no idea of the numbers attending or the routes etc.
I think you will agree with me, that on a sunny day, Brighton is a great place to enjoy yourself, with a great nightlife to explore, after a long day of protest!
The paper's frontpage headline calling the protest 'secret' is plainly a joke. Many websites give details of the protest, including this one and the SmashEDO site.
As a sign of good faith, would you be willing to issue a full statement outlining the relevant laws, and ensure that the members of the public are aware that you have no evidence of any violence being planned?
I am sure, that if you meet the above conditions, actually no more then your own responsibilities under the Law, then all the members of the protest will be available to take part in a full discussion with you on the 4th of May.
I looking forward to personally meeting you on the 4th of May, as I would like to discuss the framework for future Police / protest collaboration, under section 3 of the Criminal Law Act 1967, against EDO/ITT and the many other companies in the city of Brighton & Hove, that are involved in the illegal export of weapons.