UK Newswire Archive
Beginning March 19, it was visible. However, months of planning preceded it, including US and UK special forces and intelligence operatives on the ground enlisting, inciting, funding, arming and supporting violent insurrection to oust Gaddafi and replace him with a Washington-controlled puppet like in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
Following the use of bluetooth by police forces around the country in awareness raising schemes, the Met Police intend to encourage protesters to activate bluetooth on their mobile phones at the TUC March for the Alternatives demonstration in London on March 26th. This will allow the MET police to broadcast messages direct to marchers mobile phones. For background see astracasting.com
Alternatively protesters can text the police from their own mobile phones to opt into an info service where the police will text them updates. The same text service has been advertised to businesses in central london and to local residents.
Any protesters caught up in police kettling of the crowds can also rest easy, assured that the police will use their Co11Metpolice twitter account to communicate with them, along with dot matrix sign displays.
These new tactics from the MET police come after criticism following the G20 demonstrations, Climate Camps and the more recent student protests, and a series of reviews:
Policing Public Order
An overview and review of progress against the recommendations of Adapting to Protest and Nurturing the British Model of Policing
In the spirit of adaptability, a number of questions require urgent consideration.
• How can police participate effectively in and utilise social media to assist in maintaining the peace?
• How can police best prevent crime and disorder through:
- early interventions to disrupt those demonstrating clear criminal intent?
- target hardening the protest environment to reduce opportunities to attack or damage identified or treasured sites: for example can the reliance on the ‘human shield' provided by police officers be supplemented by better physical barriers to access?
• How can the tactic of containment be refined, progressively isolating problematic groups and individuals from peaceful protestors?
• How can more problematic groups and individuals be progressively isolated from peaceful protestors during containment?
• How can the peaceful or vulnerable be filtered away effectively from possible disorder?
• How can police communicate more effectively with different groups within the crowd using modern communication mechanisms?
• How can overt criminality in crowds be intercepted in an agile manner to protect the public as well as our precious buildings and iconic structures?
• Is the present command communication model sufficiently responsive in fastmoving and complex situations, and could a more devolved command allow officers to act with greater speed?
• How can the availability of accurate information be improved before, during and after events to enable protestors and the public to make informed decisions?
- Is there value in making the experiences of officers in the front line at these events available to the public?
Speaking yesterday at a press briefing jointly held by the TUC, Metropolitan Police and Liberty Assistant Commissioner Lynne Owens said:
"As you have heard the Metropolitan Police Service has been preparing for the March for the Alternative, with the TUC for some time. They are experienced organizers of these events, and we have continued to have a positive relationship with them, enabling us to develop a plan to facilitate their peaceful protest.
"We have structured our policing response to meet the needs of all those in London on Saturday, those taking part in the march and those going about business as usual.
"We police over 4,500 events yearly, however we consistently review and refine our practices. As such we have built upon and implemented some practices including our communications ability. One of the things that people who attended the protests at the back end of last year have said to us is that they didn't know what was going on or how to get information. I would urge people intending to be in London this Saturday to check our and the TUC website's in advance. If they are intending to take part in the protest they may like to follow events on twitter or sign up to our text service to receive live updates
"It is important that we appropriately set the mood for this day. The TUC are planning for a family friendly peaceful protest and we will do all we can to facilitate this.
"However, we would be naïve to ignore the chatter on some public forums and of course we have to plan for separate autonomous groups who choose not to be part of the TUC protest. I must stress that strong views can never legitimize violence and, whilst we are planning for a peaceful day, we will not hesitate to respond speedily to any criminal and violent behaviour. The public would expect this.
"We are rightly scrutinized in our response to these large scale occasions and as part of our commitment to openness and accountability we have asked Liberty to act as independent observers in the pre planning of the event and on the day, both in Special Operations Room and out on the ground.
"On the day itself, I would encourage those attending to speak with the stewards and my officers who are there to ensure that the day is successful and that people stay safe.
"The command structure in place is Gold Commander Simon Bray, Silver Ch Supt Adrian Roberts, and media spokesperson from now onwards in relation to the March for the Alternative is Commander Bob Broadhurst.
"Our hope is that people will come to protest peacefully. We have been monitoring open forums and sources, as you would expect. If there is violence the people of London would expect us to react speedily and robustly.
If the use of force becomes necessary, we will use the minimum force required in the circumstances to achieve our lawful objective of keeping London, its residents, visitors and iconic buildings safe, but we must be flexible enough to respond quickly.
"Containment will be very much a tactic of last resort. If it does become necessary, again we have responded to feedback, and now have a dedicated Chief Inspector to ensure the swift dispersal of innocent and vulnerable people and to ensure the needs of those contained are considered. We will communicate with those inside the containment via Twitter, as well as face to face communications with officers at the scene."
The MPS Twitter account @CO11MetPolice will be running for fast time communication updating information about the march, and responding to enquiries as appropriate.
Leaflets will be handed out on the day of the march, and we will make use of matrix signs on the route.
Our website has a dedicated page re the march and will be updated with information, including the route of the march, road closures and questions and answers on what to expect on the day.
We have launched a texting service; to register text the word police to 83123, for updates throughout the 26th March. We will be making use of Bluetooth technology, please switch yours on. Officers have already been out meeting and speaking with businesses and local communities affected by the route on the 26th.
Today staff at the University of Bristol from the University College Union (UCU) were on strike over the proposed changes to the USS pension fund scheme. The proposals are currently to provide a two tier scheme, where existing members will continue with their final salary pension plans, but new members (or anyone who takes a substantial career break to start a family or because of illness) will be placed on a career average plan.
The USS pension fund is, and continues to be in good health, and UCU have proposed that any future stresses to the fund can more than be met by increasing contributions. Professor Brian Cantor, chair of the Employers' Pension Forum, has rejected UCU's request to continue talks, saying: 'we are not persuaded that it is appropriate to re-open formal negotiations, even with the involvement of Acas'.
Striking members of staff were joined on piket lines by numerous students carrying placards stating 'I support my lecturers.' A poll of Bristol University students conducted by the University of Bristol Union overwhelmingly found that students support the industrial action.
At 11:45 pickets gathered at Senate House, before a short march down to the Wills Memorial building where there were numerous speeches made by UCU representatives and students, along with a range of speakers who supported the action from groups including the NUT, Bristol and District Anti Cuts Alliance, and Anarchists Against the Cuts
For full size images and more photos go to: http://www.flickr.com/photos/17251154@N00/sets/72157626200733911/with/5549823243/
All images are issued under a creative commons 3.0 share-alike license, feel free to re-use and redistribute
UK threatens detainees' lives by withholding HIV medication
Most HIV+ immigration detainees helped by Medical Justice have been denied life-saving medication in detention according to our new research.
"Detained & Denied", based on the first ever comprehensive analysis of treatment of HIV+ immigration detainees in the UK draws on medical evidence from 8 independent clinicians who assessed the detainees. Many of the 35 men, women and children studied are torture survivors from countries where rape is used as a weapon of war.
As a result of denial of medication some detainees have developed drug resistance, necessitating more complex drug combinations which are inaccessible to many in the country they are being deported to. Without these drugs they may die within a few years, leaving their children orphans in a country some of them have never been to before. More than three-quarters of the people in our study who were deported, had little or no medication. The UK Border Agency (UKBA) tried to deport an HIV+ pregnant mother who had been given less than a month's medication even though it is critical that treatment is not interrupted during pregnancy, to avoid a newborn child becoming infected.
Noise will play a large part in the protests on Saturday. Here is an important announcement about the 2pm happenings, and more notes and call-outs for anyone interested in sound, making sound, and making mischief.
Soon after 2pm, in preparation for the events at exactly 2.11, samba bands and sound systems are urged to quieten down. People will begin to shush the crowd, and an eerie silence will come over London.
Then at 2.11, the noise (and the occupations) will begin.
If you have a sound system, please download the mp3 of air raid sirens, and let the Battle for Britain commence at exactly 2.11. If you play with a Samaba band or other music outfit, then please pass the message on and arrange quiet soon after 2 and an almighty din at 2.11
If you have a voice, tell all your friends - quiet after 2, shush the crowd, scream shout and make animal noises at 2.11.
You can also make a simple but effective natural megaphone with some stiff cardboard. Just form a cone shape and stick a basic handle on it. The bigger the better.
You can also isten to X26radio web stream broadcasts throughout the day, with regular protest news, and of course, the same quiet and big bang after 2. (http://london.indymedia.org/articles/7941)
Do you have a good protest song - something new, but easy to teach and sing. if you have an idea then just add a comment at the 'arts against cuts sound page (http://artsagainstcuts.wordpress.com/songschantsgamestheatre/), and share it with all
London choirs and vocal groups as well as anyone interested in helping with fliers, megaphones or sound systems, are invited to a meeting on Thursday at 272 High Holborn Room 305 on the third floor.
If you are able to help with distribution for half an hour to pass round the words of protest songs to the crowd at embankment on Saturday morning (from 11am onwards), then please contact <firstname.lastname@example.org> to offer your help.
22-03-2011 22:31Recently the government in the German state of Mecklenburg Vorpommern (where the 2007 G8 took place), answered some questions about the operation of Mark Kennedy there, and his contract between ACPO and the German police.
Here is a terrible English translation, good only for understanding a broad overview:
22-03-2011 22:21This morning 5 members of the Rossport solidarity camp blockaded Shell Oil from accessing thier proposed compound in Glengad Co.Mayo.
22-03-2011 22:06Open cast mining specialists Celtic Energy say two of its directors are being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office about the sale of coal mines.
WHEN? Monday 28 March, 2011, 12noon-6pm
WHERE? US Embassy, 24 Grosvenor Square, London W1A 2LQ
(Bond Street / Marble Arch tube)
22-03-2011 20:24CAUGHT ON TAPE: Former SEIU Official Reveals Secret Plan to Destroy JP Morgan, Crash the Stock Market, and Redistribute Wealth in America
Metropolitan Police in Court over Protest Tactics
Judicial review of G20 Climate Camp containment and dispersal operation held in Crown Court
Days before mass demonstrations against cuts, the Divisional Court scrutinises the legality of kettling and use of force at G20 . The three-day judicial review of the Metropolitan Police’s handling of the Camp for Climate Action at the G20 protests is to start on Tuesday. The claimants challenge decisions to kettle them, use of overwhelming violent force, and the dispersal of protesters before the Camp on Bishopsgate was due to come to an end. The test case is the first of its kind to be considered by the Courts since the challenge to kettling at Oxford Circus on Mayday 2001.
On April 1st 2009, the Camp for Climate Action occupied a stretch of Bishopsgate, outside the European Climate Exchange. At about 7.00pm the police cordoned off the area at both ends, and prevented people from entering and leaving. During the evening, the police made a number of forceful incursions into the camp using batons and what were referred to in officers’ notebooks as “tactics” such as “shield strikes” and “fist strikes”. Images of police violence provoked great controversy in the media. At about midnight hundreds of police dispersed everyone from the street, using dogs, riot gear and further violence. The police plan to open their case on Tuesday by arguing that a DVD showing the systemic use of unprovoked violence should be ruled inadmissible by the Court. It is understood they will argue what the DVD shows is not relevant to the case.
The judicial review is challenging the decision of the police to initially contain the camp, the violent dispersal that took place in the early hours of the morning, and the police use of force against the camp. The judicial review is being taken by John Halford from Bindmans solicitors on behalf of two climate activists who were present at the camp, Josh Moos and Hannah McClure. He said today:
“Many countries around the world take their cue from Britain as to what is acceptable in terms of the policing of protests on the streets of their capitals. This case exposes the shameful fact that many police officers lack even a basic understanding of their proper role which is to facilitate - not suppress - non violent protest. That problem extends from the officers on the ground who used force on a peaceful crowd as a first resort, to their senior commanders, who gave no guidance that doing so was unacceptable. It is very troubling that the police continue to maintain that the policing of G20 was an overall success, and want to prevent the Court considering evidence that plainly shows that was not so.”
Trina Fellows, who was present at the Climate Camp during the police eviction in 2009 said:
“For all the controversy surrounding the G20 police tactics and the subsequent enquiries, very little seems to have changed. In the recent student protests, police officers were still not displaying their numbers, and indiscriminate kettling was still happening. We need this court case to hold the police accountable for the heavy handed, disproportionate political policing that is happening against protesters.”
Chief Superintendent Johnson, who was in command during the G20 protests is expected to be cross examined in court by the protesters’ barrister, Mike Fordham, about the police decisions during the G20 protests.
Following recent controversy over undercover policing of protest and the kettling of children on anti-fees demonstrations, the policing of protest is again going to be under public scrutiny at the end of this week as numerous groups are planning to occupy spaces and take direct action as part of the broader ‘March for the Alternative’ demonstration planned by the TUC.
Legal professionals have expressed concern that cases like this might not be possible in the future due to government proposals to dramatically cut legal aid.
Frances Wright, from the Climate Camp legal team, said:
“The ability to challenge decisions of public authorities in this way is essential and it is often low income groups who need access the most; for protesters and all those affected by poor policing it is especially critical given the inadequacy of the police complaints system."
22-03-2011 20:00Facebook under pressure from the state deleted the event from their website yesterday but it is still one and going ahead as planned: See this page for details: http://www.resist26.org Please bring a tent and a sleeping bag. The camp will be open from 4pm right after the TUC rally.