Meadows nearly died — but kettled protesters who arrived anyway, a
court has heard.
in the retrial of student protesters Alfie Meadows and Zac King,
appearing in Woolwich Crown Court on charges of violent disorder.
A philosophy student at Middlesex University, Mr Meadows was rushed to
hospital for emergency brain surgery after he was allegedly struck in
the head with a police baton during 2010's London demonstrations
against tripled tuition fees.
But an IPCC-led investigation was put on hold last year after police
brought charges against Mr Meadows instead - for violent disorder.
Mr Johnson - a former head of the Territorial Support Group who
oversaw the controversial policing of 2009's G20 protests - told the
jury yesterday he was behind the Met's tactical response at Parliament
Mr Johnson said he had expected protesters to try and “make their
point” in front of Parliament but stewards would tell them to move on
to Victoria Embankment to prevent overcrowding.
When they did not, the commander ordered a “containment” — cutting off
all exits from the square except a passage up Whitehall.
Officers had reported “serious violence” as protesters threw flares
and used sections of fencing to force their way past police lines to
Parliament itself, he said.
“The only way I thought I could prevent that breach of the peace was
to contain in Parliament Square,” he said.
Prosecutor James Lofthouse said video footage played to the jury
showed Mr King "clearly was not on a continuous rampage" but "he very
clearly participated in some of these mass scuffles".
Likewise Mr Meadows "was rarely far at all from the front of the group".
The trial continues next Monday.