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report and pics on nhs demo and actions yesterday

rikkiindymedia(At)gmail[dot]com (rikki) | 18.03.2012 14:55 | Health | Policing | Public sector cuts | London

a peaceful protest to save the nhs yesterday became a blockade of whitehall and then a march through the streets of london. as TSG officers were deployed, there were some incidents and injuries, as well as a controversial incident with some gun-wielding diplomatic protection police.


blockade in whitehall
blockade in whitehall

breakaway march begins
breakaway march begins

TSG cordon attempt
TSG cordon attempt

cordon failed - on the march
cordon failed - on the march

rambo fantasist
rambo fantasist

sit-down in front of DPG van
sit-down in front of DPG van

double cordon in the strand
double cordon in the strand

on the march again
on the march again

mum's banner
mum's banner

no care
no care

final kettle at southampton buildings
final kettle at southampton buildings

police asking for details
police asking for details

'some rights reserved' - free for credited non-commercial use, otherwise contact author for permission

the protest began at about 2.30 outside the department of health near the cenotaph in whitehall. quite soon, a couple of hundred people spilled out across both sides of the road and formed a peaceful blockade. police redirected traffic and allowed the blockade to continue for some time, and there was a sound system, some chanting, and a generally positive atmosphere. the protestors included quite a wide demographic, with health workers, doctors and nurses, students, pensioners, a few children, alongside contingents from the occupy movement and ukuncut.

one of the groups involved had provided prior socpa notification and so it was not an 'unauthorised' protest under socpa legislation (which is due to be finally repealed at the end of this month, replaced by camping criminalisation under the police reform and social responsibility act).

the protest was scheduled to run until 4.30 with an attempt at a direct action agaisnt a primary health care provider to follow it. however, at shortly before 4pm a group of people led the crowd north along whitehall. as they set off, suddenly dozens of TSG officers ran out from where they had been lurking down the side alley next to the defence dept.

in their light-blue baseball caps, the TSG surged across the road and attempted to contain the breakaway crowd with a cordon. other police tried to seal off the pavements, but one side was weak and people soon ran through there forming a crowd behind the police line. realising the futility of the operation, the police gave up the cordon, and a jubilant crowd marched up towards trafalgar square with a large 'occupy' banner leading the front.

at the south side of trafalgar square, by the charles statue, some protestors sat in the road. unfortunately, one of the first vehicles delayed by the action was a red police van with several armed diplomatic protection police in it. there is no reason to believe they had been called to the protest - it was just bad timing that there were travelling past at that moment.

however, their reaction to the stoppage was extraordinary, especially officer D762 who lept out of the van waving his gun dramatically in the faces of the blockers and screaming at them to 'move now'. this sad bully was clearly enjoying himself, and after scaring many of the sitters out of the road, he beamed as though he'd just had a little orgasm. that such disturbed and needy boys should be in charge of guns is a concern, but some twitter reports that armed officers were purposely deployed against the nhs protestors were rather dramatic and exaggerated, and the proposal that there is an official media black-out on the story is, i think, unlikely.

at least three more vans-worth of TSG joined the group of police who were running behind and alongside the protestors as they continued east along the strand. the target for direct action appeared to be a virgin active health club on the strand, (as virgin are one of the providers set to benefit from the health bill), but police formed a line infront of it, and with more TSG vans (in what was turning into a remarkably large police operation for quite a small demo) approaching from the east, a double cordon soon surrounded a hundred or so protestors.

obviously this level of operation was completely blocking the strand, and it appeared that a command went out that it would be better to allow the march to continue as by now there were a hundred or fewer people involved, including a large proportion of harmless looking health workers, mums, and even a few quick-footed pensioners. so the kettle dispersed and the group set off along the road east round aldwych and towards the city.

there was no longer a clear destination, and a couple of dozen police ran alongside as the chanting crowd walked east past the high court. some people were calling for a visit to the occupy site recently evicted at st paul's, but others decided to walk north up chancery lane. this turned out to be a bad move as a TSG cordon appeared at the north end, and turning into a side street, soon around 50 protestors were soon kettled in a little back street called southampton buildings.

various reasons were given for this kettle. an inspector explained to me that everyone was being held while the route of the march was inspected for any signs of criminal damage, and to give time for any reports to come in of criminal activity along the route. he was unwilling to repeat this justification on film - i can't imagine why he was suddenly so shy about it.

a chief inspector came up with a slightly more feasible excuse - that the group had been involved in obstructing the highway and therefore were liable to cause a breach of the peace, so were being held to prevent any potential breach.

either way, after about 30 minutes, people started to be allowed to leave, each interviewed and asked for details by police - some complied, others refused. those refusing were perhaps held a little longer but were soon allowed to disperse. a small group, about 20 or so, did go to st paul's for awhile.

at the southampton buildings kettle one woman was injured after being pushed over by police. there are also reports of police violence at the north side of the kettle, on high holborn, with one person assaulted from behind. i didn't witness this incident, but there is a report and a call-out for witnesses on indymedia.

there were 23 NHS protests around the country yesterday.

there is another protest at parliament square right now with around 50 people attending (sunday afternoon),

tomorrow as the lords are voting on the bill there will be a protest at noon, with a vigil later.

rikkiindymedia(At)gmail[dot]com (rikki)
- Original article on IMC London:


Hide the following 20 comments

2 questions...

18.03.2012 15:24

The police gun being waved:
1) was it pointed in the direction of the public at any point in time?
2) did it have a magazine affixed?



18.03.2012 20:27

You can see from the 5th photo in this sequence that the TWO machine guns BOTH had magazines loaded and that BOTH cops had their fingers on the triggers, ready to fire


Police thug D762 + Met police DPS firearms accidents

18.03.2012 20:44

One officer with a gun has collar number D762, and if you want to know how professional, well-trained and trustworthy these gentlemen are, it's not just that they're a danger to the public, they're so stupid one nearly killed himself, and in fact in the nearest the Queen and Prince Philip ever came to being assassinated was by another member of the Diplomatic Protection Squad

In 1994 an officer from the Diplomatic Protection Squad shot himself in the leg during target practice, and in 2000 one of his colleagues accidentally let one off on board the Royal Train, while the Queen and Phil were on-board, then fired a second shot while he was fumbling to try and find the fuckin' satefy catch -

Lucky Luke


18.03.2012 21:48

You can see from the 5th photo in this sequence that the TWO machine guns BOTH had magazines loaded and that BOTH cops had their fingers on the triggers, ready to fire

Its a Heckler & Koch MP5. Finger is definitely NOT on the trigger, it is in the correct place, extended along the weapon. Forming a habit of putting it underneath trigger guard in extremely dangerous as it is likely this habit would end up squeezing on the trigger accidentially. Trigger finger to always be extended from the trigger.

Notice pointing downward. Coupled with safety on, this weapon is being carried correctly as per best practice guidelines. You should not be giving advice on how to handle weapons if you have never been trained as this could lead to bad practice. Always seek correct training before using or advising on use of weapons.

ex forces

Best practice?!

18.03.2012 22:20

"Coupled with safety on"? What, like these well-trained professionals did when one of them fired not one but TWO shots inside the royal train? And since when was your visual acuity so hot you can see whether the safety's on or off in those photos? As for "best practice", since when was it "best practice" to wander round in public displaying a loaded weapon because your van happened to get stuck in traffic, you muppet

Nice to know however that D762 is reading this thread and posting excuses

Jean Charles de Menezes

Welcome to Northern Ireland

18.03.2012 22:24

A great demo at first with a good friendly atmosphere and lots of NHS workers, NHS groups and British Medical Association banners etc. However in terms of the UK Uncut action, while it was fun to see all the police kettles ultimately fail, the police did a pretty good job of slicing the protest up into smaller and smaller groups, so the lesson to be learned is that protestors weren't sufficiently alert in constantly looking out for and reacting to police movements, and weren't quick-footed enough to exploit gaps in police cordons when cordons broke down, with the result that groups that had been temporarily detained by police kettling didn't rejoin the groups that hadn't fast enough



19.03.2012 00:02

I now see the photos! they worn't displayed earlier.
Let's be honest about what we see!
Both weapons are pointing downwards, NOT at the public.
Both magazines are affixed.

The finger is NOT on the trigger on either weapon.
These combatants are NOT ready to fire.
What we can not know: is there a round in the breach and is safety catch on?

From what I see in the pictures I would NOT be inclined to neutralise these combatants. However if a weapon was razed in the direction of the public, I would not hesitate.

Now we know why we have gun control laws in UK, and it's not to protect the public!


leave these things to the big boys

19.03.2012 00:29

"Coupled with safety on"? What, like these well-trained professionals did when one of them fired not one but TWO shots inside the royal train? And since when was your visual acuity so hot you can see whether the safety's on or off in those photos?

i cant see the safety as its on the other side. But the weapon aint cocked so you aint got nothing to worry about, so its a moot point about what did and didn't happen on some train.
If you wanna fucking stop accidents might be a good idea to stop rioting as I seem to remember the rioters KILLED a multiple number of people. The rioters killed more people than the police did, so maybe it would be more beneficial to point your advice that direction and makes the riots safer towards innocent members of the public.

As for "best practice", since when was it "best practice" to wander round in public displaying a loaded weapon because your van happened to get stuck in traffic, you muppet

When do you get off telling other people how to do their jobs? And when a cop can and can't get out of the van? Who suddenly put you in charge? Just taking a fucking basic common sense guess by I would imagine it is a dumb-fuck idea for an officer to leave his weapon in a vehicle unattended. Duh! In fact, if they did - I'm sure you would be the first to complain so I guess that makes you an idiot for disagreeing with yourself.

Consider the soldier's mantra about keeping your rifle with you at all times........ duh! - why do you think that is dickhead? We're not exactly reinventing the wheel here based on your expert 5 minute analysis of watching die hard. These procedures have been born out of several hundred years of infield usage, everything is done the way it is for reason. Just because you are too dumb to know it doesn't mean it isn't right.

ex forces

Video report

19.03.2012 02:13


Thanks to "ex forces" for proving every point about these armed cops

19.03.2012 10:45

Thank you, D762, for visiting Indymedia to justify your actions yet again ----

> "I cant see the safety as its on the other side" - well, in fact you're lying, as the safety isn't on the other side, but you're right insofar as the picture's not clear enough to be able to see if the safety's on or off so either way thanks for proving that point

> "If you wanna fucking stop accidents might be a good idea to stop rioting as I seem to remember the rioters KILLED a multiple number of people" - which of course has absolutely nothing to do with peaceful protests against NHS cuts, point proven

> "When do you get off telling other people how to do their jobs?" - when those people are the kind of Lestrades who accidentally discharge firearms (see post about the police shootings on the royal train) and who kill Jean Charles de Menezes etc

> "And when a cop can and can't get out of the van?" - the issue wasn't that these 2 shouldn't have got out of the van, the issue was that they shouldn't have come out waving their fucking guns around. Try to keep up

> "It is a dumb-fuck idea for an officer to leave his weapon in a vehicle unattended" - there were several other cops in the van who could easily have "attended" these weapons, Lestrade

> "Consider the soldier's mantra about keeping your rifle with you at all times" - exactly the point, the overall political point that is, cops like you are too stupid to see that MILITARY rules of engagement are not appropriate in context of peaceful protests, stroll on


"anarchist" = troll

19.03.2012 10:49

"Both weapons are pointing downwards, not at the public..... The finger is not on the trigger on either weapon"?

As is the case BEFORE the cops shoot anyone


Rails = idiot

19.03.2012 12:38

"As is the case BEFORE the cops shoot anyone"

As is the case when they hold the weapon, day in day out. It's the 'safety position' pointing downwards, finger off the trigger.

Some people need to spend less time playing Call of Duty and more out on the streets

Not getting my info from XBox 360

From someone who was there

19.03.2012 18:09

I've got a much longer post, having been at both incidents so this is brief.

The first thing I saw of this protest was the coppers with guns jumping out of the van, BECAUSE the protestors started blocking their way, I can't be 100% but it looked like they were doing something else entirely, they were in with the rest of the traffic around trafalgar square. The pigs jumped out so quick they must already have had guns on, they were holding them steady as they moved around, pointing down. As soon as their way was clear they shot off (!)

Most police tactics, and some behaviour/ attitude on the day was appalling, I will be the first to say it, but let's not turn this into something it's not, or jump on an easy photo opportunity. The real issue is peaceful protestors, medical professionals who are getting f*cked over, being trapped and silenced by state-sponsored (for now) bullies. Just my opinion



19.03.2012 22:11

Q. "As is the case when they hold the weapon, day in day out. It's the 'safety position' pointing downwards, finger off the trigger"?

A. To re-iterate for those who can't read, this will ALWAYS be the case, EVERY time, in the split second it takes a cop to move from that "safety" position to the "position" of blowing someone's fucking head off.

And in this instance the fact remains that armed police should not have reacted to the presence of a peaceful protest by getting out of their van AT ALL

Q. "Some people need to spend less time playing Call of Duty and more out on the streets"?

A. Some people need to spend less time in the canteen wiping bits of Mars Bar off the pages of Andy McNab novels and a bit more time learning to distinguish between violent rioters and peaceful protests (see above)

Now, D762, do please fuck off

Edmund Heckler

someone who wasnt there but knows what he is talking about

19.03.2012 22:13

"As is the case BEFORE the cops shoot anyone"

Well theres a sweep statement by someone who is obviously clueless about guns and doesn't live in an area with gun crime. Muppet. Next time some gang nut goes around shooting people (oh look, happens virtually once a week where i live), we'll have you to thank for taking the guns off the police.

Cops need guns. Get over it. At least we dont live somewhere where everyone has an AK47 to fire in the air raining down lead on unsuspecting innocent passerbies like they do in some countries.


Big boyz

19.03.2012 22:17

"Leave these things to the big boys" says "ex forces". What a joke. "Big" as in fat, but not big enough to be able to confront a load of grey-haired NHS supporters without hiding behind a gun you gutless shower

Fitness test

Reply to D762.... AGAIN

19.03.2012 22:29

D762 / "some1" you were NOT "someone who wasnt there but knows what he is talking about" because a/ you were there, and b/ you have no clue what you're talking about. Your attempt to swing the point by talking about areas with gun crime just proves how thick you are, because a group of NHS supporters does not constitute "an area with gun crime". TRY>>> TO>>> FOLLOW>>> A>>> SIMPLE>>> LOGICAL>>> ARGUMENT>>> YOU>>> FUCKING>>> PLANK

The Game of War


19.03.2012 22:37



@Fuck Ian Bone

21.03.2012 20:28

Bunch of weaklings with big mouths and no muscle - get to the gym and lift big weights


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