UK Newswire Archive
11-11-2011 22:27'Total policing' methods stop the setting up of Occupy Cardiff.
11-11-2011 18:02Doors now open for the Radical Routes Gathering 2011 in Nottingham
The little told story of the 20 or so people arrested at the end of the Nov9 student anti-cuts demonstration. They were prevented from dispersing, not allowed to head to the OccupyLSX occupation at St. Paul's, kettled, then all arrested - before being taken to Farringdon tube, where they were all processed filmed and released having been de-arrested and told they could not return to the area for 24 hrs.
There's one set of photos on demotix by Richard Rowland:
Below is an account published as a comment on another article - i'd be interested to see any other pics, films, or accounts of what happened.
The final kettle:
It was infuriating having to move when and where the police decided, because I was "obstructing them" if I stopped. And then having to stop when I really didn't want to, for the same reason.
But the final kettle was unbelievable:
the last of the protesters were leaving Moorgate the same way we'd arrived, again in a mobile cordon and with all the side exits closed. As we reached the Museum, people wanted to walk down to St Paul's, but were prevented from doing so.
Then, somewhere in Newgate St, our herders finally lost it and suddenly very impatient shouts of DISPERSE DISPERSE started coming from all directions.
People were incredulous, because there was nowhere to disperse and we were all trying to keep up with the speedy pace of march imposed by the police. When we reached the General Demolition sign in Holborn Viaduct, there was a small opening in the Snow Hill road blockade and the quickest managed to leave the cordon through there. On seeing that, a livid sweaty commander ran towards it shouting CONTAINMENT and YOU ARE ALL ARRESTED. At first it seemed a joke. Nobody had any idea what law they were meant to have broken.
Turned out the Section 12 was in force, even though the officer asked couldn't quite explain what that meant. He did agree that there had been no threat of serious public disorder.
The contained students, about 20 unlucky ones, were only conspicuous because of being kettled by ridiculous numbers of police.
Then they were marched through the busy Farringdon St, blocking the rush hour traffic and causing unprecendented congestion at Farringdon tube station. Commuters had to be redirected from the main station entrance and some were heard enquiring whether it was safe to use the tube, obviously worried this was about a terrorist attack. Then slowly, in the full view of the perplexed commuters, most of whom had probably never witnessed anything like it, the protesters were photographed one by one inside the station, before being sent away on a train, with a 24-hour ban.
Dateline: Central London, UK, 11:00-17:00, Wednesday 09 November 2011 – Uncowed by the viscious and violent attacks by police on the November and December 2010 student demonstrations, on Wednesday thousands of students, young people, education workers and their supporters marched on the City of London. Meanwhile, electrician building site workers, in dispute with their employers and demonstrating at the Blackfriars construction site, were being kettled by hundreds of body-armoured cops. As the British state tried to use its monopoly on street violence to keep the student march and worker demonstration separated, I delivered a solidarity message from the students to the sparks over the heads of the kettling cops. The filth also forced the student march away from the OccupyLSX St Paul’s camp, where a wonderful live music gig was happening.
Picture Prefixes Key:
OTO – OccupyLSX Teach-Out, Russell Square, London WC1B
SMD – Student March & Demonstration, ULU Malet Street WC1E 7HY to The Strand WC2R 0QN
EBD – Electricians Blackfriars Demonstration, Blackfriars station construction site, Queen Victoria Street EC4V 4DY
OLM – OccupyLSX Live Music gig, St Paul’s encampment, EC4M 8AD
NB: Click on any photo to enlarge it into a full-resolution version
COPS IMPOSE ‘DIVIDE & CONQUER’ KETTLING
Since the tumultuous events of May 1968 in France, every capitalist state has run scared of resistance to its rule uniting students and workers in a common struggle for a better world. On 09 Nov 11 there were FOUR forms of struggle taking to the streets of London:
1. Students and Higher Education Workers, resisting the attacks on tertiary education by the Con-Dem government
—» Nov9 website and National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts website
2. Electricians, defending their wages and working conditions against attacks by corporate construction capitalists
—» Electricians Against The World blog
3. Taxi Drivers, organised in the RMT union, resisting the attacks on their trade by Transport for London bosses
—» RMT press release, 07 Nov 11
4. Occupiers, organised in the OccupyLSX camps, building a direct democracy replacement for broken Parliamentary democracy
—» Occupy London website
And as you can read in the reports here at Indymedia London (see our Students Electricians and Cabbies take the streets feature article, and those to which it links), and see in the pictures posted here, the bosses’ state deployed over 4,000 cops with body-armour and long batons (with riot shields and rubber bullets in reserve) to try to ensure their ‘Divide & Conquer’ imperialist tactics would rule the day. As a single mobile photojournalist on a bike, breaking out of the ‘mobile kettle’ surrounding the student march was tricky enough; delivering solidarity greetings from students to sparks had to be done over the heads of kettling cops; and only campers and office workers got to enjoy the wonderful OccupyLSX live music gig organised by Joan Crump at the St Paul’s encampment.
COPS BREECH ‘FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY’ HUMAN RIGHT
“Somewhere in Newgate Street, our herders finally lost it and suddenly very impatient shouts of “DISPERSE! DISPERSE!” started coming from all directions. People were incredulous, because there was nowhere to disperse and we were all trying to keep up with the speedy pace of march imposed by the police.
When we reached the General Demolition sign in Holborn Viaduct, there was a small opening in the Snow Hill road blockade and the quickest managed to leave the cordon through there. On seeing that, a livid sweaty commander ran towards it shouting “CONTAINMENT!” and “YOU ARE ALL ARRESTED!”. At first it seemed a joke. Nobody had any idea what law they were meant to have broken.
Turned out the Section 12 was in force, even though the officer asked couldn't quite explain what that meant. He did agree that there had been no threat of serious public disorder. The contained students, about 20 unlucky ones, were only conspicuous because of being kettled by ridiculous numbers of police.”
~ ‘Obstruction’, 11 Nov 11 [source]
AN ELECTRICIAN’S POINT OF VIEW
“What made us really angry was when we compared the existing and new agreements: the new agreement is about putting every single term in the employers’ favour and wording it so loosely that it can be interpreted in many different ways, none of which benefit us. We were told if we didn’t sign we might lose our jobs so we started talking to our union, Unite, and came to the conclusion the only way forward was to walk off jobs and hold protests.
They are still saying sign or be sacked. We have no other option. It’s not just our jobs and futures on the line – it’s also the young people who come out of college wanting to be an electrician or a plumber and won’t be able to because these rogue employers are trying to wipe out such professions.”
~ 'JIB Electrician', 05 Oct 11 [source]
THE CABBIES POINT OF VIEW
“From pedicabs to the abuse of ranks by minicabs and the whole fiasco of the Olympics lanes, the licensed taxi trade in London is under an unprecedented attack and that’s why RMT members in the industry are working for maximum unity to defend jobs, safety and the quality of service to the public. RMT will ensure that the future of the taxi trade in London is a major political issue in the run up to next year’s Mayoral election and Wednesday’s action will kick start that political campaign.”
~ Bob Crow, RMT General Secretary, 07 Nov 11 [source]
TURNING THE TABLES ON THE STATE
On Wed 09 Nov 11, we made our voices heard, but the mainstream media did its best to ignore us, and completely turned a blind eye to the human rights abuses being perpetrated by a massive armed gang, fully tooled up for violence – because that uniformed gang is bought and paid for by the boss class’s state. Our fundamental human rights to Freedom of Assembly and Freedom of Movement were trampled roughshod into the ground under the hooves of cop cavalry and the steel-toecapped boots of the filth on foot. Only freedom-loving citizen reporter news outlets like Indymedia London reported an accurate portrait of the state repression meted out on the streets of the capital on Wed 09 Nov 11.
However, in under three weeks time, on Wed 30 Nov 11, around three million public sector workers will be out on strike, and that’s waaaay more than the cops can impose “CONTAINMENT!” on – so let’s co-create tactics that turn the tables on state repression, take to the streets, and fully control our own political protest actions, such that we can say in all truthfulness...
“THE STREETS ARE OURS!”
» video, 3:42, by The King Blues – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qFr6Y_mpeg
» Countdown for N30 strikes
When three million UK public sector workers go on strike on Wednesday 30 November 2011, they do so with mass popular support: 77.2% answered YES to the question “Are public sector pension scheme members justified in going on strike?” – see ‘N30 STRIKE – Mass Popular Support’ above and at theguardian website. That’s the day to give the boss class and their lackeys in all three major political parties a severe bloody nose – see you on the streets!
N30 – STRIKE NOW FOR TOMORROW
» Website – http://www.n30strike.org
» Facebook Community – http://www.facebook.com/n30strike
» Facebook Event – http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=201462899919421
» Twitter – http://twitter.com/#!/N30Strike
• Kingston and Surrey Trade Unionists: Pre-Strike Rally
» Facebook Event – http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=298955263455795
• SUPPORT THE N30 STRIKE: BRING SUPPLIES TO THE PICKETS!
» Facebook Event – http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=287171227972597
As you’ll see from the links below, organising mass public street actions is pretty alien to most British trade unions, so if you’re in a TU, it may need to be a rank & file DIY effort on N30. But don’t let the union bosses’ inability to organise a piss up in a brewery hold you back – your union is you and your workmates taking action together to further your collective interests; it is NOT TU officials or the constraints with which will they try to limit your actions.
» N30 at Unite the Union
» N30 at the Public and Commercial Services Union
» N30 at Unison
» N30 at the National Union of Teachers
» N30 at the National Association of Head Teachers
» N30 at the University and College Union
» N30 at the Fire Brigades Union
Up the Revolution,
Tim Dalinian Jones
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From the reports we’ve heard so far, the electrician’s action was pretty lively with roads being blocked for a while but the cops soon moved in with the result that the sparks ended up being kettled. You have to go back a long way to remember the last time plod took action against striking workers in this way. What is happening with the sparks action is having a resonance by word of mouth with other construction workers as doubtless they potentially face the shafting the electricians are confronting. We passed a few construction sites yesterday and the march was definitely getting the thumbs up from the builders watching us pass by. What is frustrating and quite scary is the almost total media blackout of the sparks dispute. The journalists are aware this dispute is going on but it’s hard to escape the suspicion that pressure is being applied from high up to keep this story under wraps.
Occupy Nottingham bought their poppies today from Alley Cafe and Bernados charity shop in preparation for Fridays Armistice Service.
Occupy Nottingham bought their poppies today from Alley Cafe and Bernados charity shop in preparation for Fridays Armistice Service. The camp will be respecting the occasion and participate and observe in the two minute silence on this day of remembrance.
All donations will go to the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire refugee forum destitution fund.
This is in aid to several hundred asylum seekers in Nottingham who have fled war, oppression, persecution or violence; those who have nothing to live on, no accommodation, no access to healthcare, benefits or other public services, not even night shelters. For some, Home Office errors are to blame, for others, it's their refusal to return to a war zone such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Congo or Sudan. Those in these situations face arrest, torture or death in the country they have fled.
We all must remember why we commemorate this day, it commemorates the armistice signed on the 11th of November at the 11th Hour in 1918 by the allies of World War I and Germany at, for the cessation of hostilities and remembrance of those who died.
It is observed by the Commonwealth countries and many countries outside the commonwealth, in the United states it is known as Vetrens Day
The poppy has been used in symbolism for a long time they have their roots in ancient tradition as they are found in greek and roman myth where they were used as offerings to the dead.
In classical mythology the poppy also represents Morpheus, god of dreams, he is the son of Nyx, the primordial goddess of the Night.
Morpheus is the eldest of triplets known as the Oneiroi, along with Icelus and Phantasos. Because of this he is also referred to as Oneiros. The Oneiroi are attendants of Hypnos, the god of Sleep, bringing dreams to the mortals and gods.
The red poppy with its bright scarlet colour representing the blood of those who died in war and another interpretation that has its roots in classical mythology is the promise of resurrection after death.
A few years after the red poppies introduction in 1926, the idea for the white poppy was coined by the "No More War Movement", like the red poppy this had a black centre, the white poppy originally had "No more War" written in it's centre. These were distributed by the Peace Pledge Union from 1934 as a pledge for war to not happen again.
Regardless of your political standpoint whatever the colour they both represent remembrance and both are supported by Occupy Nottingham.
Like those who died in the two great wars Occupy Nottingham remembers those who who are fighting today and those who die and suffer in todays world and hope for the cessation of suffering in those countries those both far and near, hoping for a better and safer world for our children to live and grow up in.
Here is a summaryof the way that the Scottish "justice" system has treated Robert Green from the outset
The main news coming out of yesterday's day of protest and action called by students, workers and cabbies seem to be that it was a highly policed event, almost reaching paranoic levels of state control and clamping down on dissent ... and controlled it was! But nevertheless thousands upon thousands of people marched - and at times pushed their way - towards the City, with clear messages against the austerity measures currently imposed to the majority of the UK's population by bankers and the government.
Here there a few snaps pointing at some of those messages:
For a full round-up feature of the day with reports, photos, videos and a timeline of events see:
10-11-2011 22:28Arrest figures from the police for yesterday's demo
During the day we were aware of the setting up of a new camp at Trafalgar Square. Several members of St Paul’s and LFS packed a bunch of tents, set off for Trafalgar and started a new camp. Around 25 tents were pitched. This was parallel to, but not as part of the student protest. This was a unilateral action to further spread the Occupation of London.
One of the guy's in the videos linked below is Leon. He was part of the rescue party for those of us arrested at Parliament on the 5th November. He arrived with a great crew of people with food, cigarettes, water (the protest essentials). His big warm smile and cuddles were an absolute delight to come out to. Leon had been disappointed at the time that he had not made his stand that night.
Well, Leon. You more than made up for that yesterday my friend. Within hours, the police encircled the camp in vast numbers, and proceeded to break it up forcibly. The videos linked below give you some idea of the scenes that took place. There you see Leon pinned to the floor by several officers, face down.
A bunch of us declared at General Assembly that the arrested needed support, as they had given us just a few days before. We took a cab to Kilburn station first, where a group of 5 stayed to wait for one of the arrested. A couple of us went on to Catford Police Station where 12 were held, including Leon. We took sandwiches, tobacco, water, and were ready to cuddle.
After being arrested at 3pm, the first of the arrested was released on bail at 11.45pm. He had his possessions, including his shoes and clothes, removed for evidence and was released in thin jogging bottoms, a jumper and daps, with no money into unfamiliar streets just before midnight in November. We ran over and gave him a big hug, a sandwich and a much needed smoke. He told us all about being dragged, watching Leon being harassed and treated in a heavy handed way by the police, of being kept in the police vans driving around for hours.
I left shortly after midnight for the last train home, with a group of six more people from Finsbury Square en route for the night shift. By 3am, only 4 had been released and the custody sergeant informed them that no one else would be released until 8am.
At time of writing, we are still awaiting the release of further arrested members of the short lived Occupy Trafalgar Square.
Read more here.
Report from the court room by an anonymous defendant:
Nerve racking morning, early start, with all the anticipation of an 8 months wait since being arrested but a big relief to finally be getting going on this.
The first day started off at fast pace, getting through the prosecutions opening statement and 4 witnesses, cross examined by the prosecution and the defence.
We began with an attempt by the prosecution to amend the charge, practically admitting that the case they had against us was weak and trying to reduce it to a lesser charge. The Judge, DJ Snow, explaining that this is way too late in the day for amendments refused this change! We then swiftly moved on for the prosecution to outline their case and called 4 witnesses, all staff of Fortnum and Mason.
Sitting in the dock behind the glass is not a great feeling, and it seems to me that the politicians and heads of business who collude to dodge £billions in tax whilst ripping apart our health service and education should be here rather than us, but feeling good about my actions 8 months ago and proud to stand up against this in court.
See below for pre trial press release from the campaign, and also an open letter to Simon Pountain, Commander of the Public Order Command of the MET police, following the letters that were sent out to people allegedly involved in the F&M occupation warning them off attending the Nov9 protests.
FORTNUM AND MASON TRIAL BEGINShttp://fortnum145.org/2011/11/09/fortnum-and-mason-trial-begins/
Tommorrow, 10 UK Uncut activists begin their three week trial at Westminster Magistrates Court over their alleged involvement in a tax avoidance protest inside Fortnum and Mason.
Of the 145 people originally arrested at the luxury store on March 26 this year, 29 face trials which will be conducted by the courts in three separate groups, ending in March next year.
The Crown Prosecution Service have charged all the defendants with Aggravated Trespass, alleging that each had an “intention to intimidate”.
Across the three weeks of this first trial Chief Police Officers will be cross examined and the defence are expected to challenge their controversial decision to use ‘mass arrest’ tactics. Information will be revealed about the alleged misleading of protesters by the police  and claims that arrests were made for intelligence gathering purposes , as part of what the protestors brand ‘political policing’.
Adam Ramsay, defendant, says:
“Unlike after the Wall St Crash, not one of the bankers who destroyed our economy in 2008 has faced trial. yet I am in court today for asking a company to pay the tax they owe so that my local library won’t be shut. Is this justice for the 99%?”
Nancy Jones, mother of a defendant says:
“I’m proud of my son for making a stand against the unnecessary government cuts, but i’m horrified that he’s now being put on trial for it! Isn’t the government’s decision to shut down libraries and youth centres a bigger crime than sitting in a shop and protesting about it?”
Jenny Rawlings, defendant, says:
“Going through this process of being arrested and now facing trial has made me feel that our so called right to protest in this country is a farce and that our legal system prioritises the interest of politicians and businesses over that of the public”
For further comment please call: 07930449974 / 07771850963
A COMPREHENSIVE MEDIA ADVISORY IS AVAILABLE THAT HAS MUCH MORE DETAIL ON THE TRIAL
NOTES TO EDITORS
 Full charge is as follows:
“On 26/03/2011 at Fortnum and Mason, Piccadilly, W1AER having trespassed on land, namely the premises of Fortnum and Mason, Piccadilly, London, and in relation to a lawful activity, namely the occupier’s retail business, which persons were engaged in on that land, did an act, namely entered the premises in the company of several others and demonstrated, which you intended to have the effect of intimidating those persons or any of them so as to deter them or any of them from engaging in that activity Contrary to section 68(1) and (3) of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994. “
Third Trial: 19 – 27th March 2012
 Lynne Owens, the Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, said this referring to policing on March 26th:“We do need to improve the intelligence picture, but our ability to arrest over 200 people at the weekend gives us a very good starting point in terms of building that picture.”
See here for a full transcript:http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmselect/cmhaff/uc917-i/uc91701.htm
The trial schedule
29 people on trial between November 2011 and March 2012 Calendar dates:
10th, 11th, 14th, 16th, 17th,18th,28th,29th,30th November
Approximate break-down, open to change during the trial:
10 – 17th November: Prosecution’s evidence, including cross examination on Chief Police officers and questions of police tactics and ‘Political Policing’
18, 28– 30th: Defense evidence, including cross examination of defendants. Closing statements from prosecution and defence. Verdict.
Second Trial: 5th – 13th March 2012Third Trial: 19 – 27th March 2012
Timeline of Events
During the TUC organised march attended by 500,000 people, UK Uncut activists staged a sit-in at Fortnum and Mason luxury store.
This was in protest of Fortnum and Mason’s involvement in avoiding £10 million of tax per year as Private Eye revealed: https://skitch.com/politicalcustard/r39nr/fm-private-eye-1286
Senior police officers inside the store said protesters were “Sensible” and “non-violent” and that nobody would be arrested. In a controversial move, all 145 protesters still inside the store were contained (kettled) and arrested:http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/mar/28/cuts-protest-uk-uncut-fortnum?INTCMP=SRCH
All protesters had their phones and cameras taken, and many had their clothes taken, and spent nearly 24 hours in police cells across the city.
139 were charged with ‘Aggrevated Trespass’ on release.
*Between May and July 109 cases were ‘discontinued’. CPS stated it is ‘not in the public interest to prosecute’
*August: 21 of those who had their cases discontinued sent a letter to the CPS ‘reviving’ their case with the ‘I Am Spartacus Tactic’
‘I am Sparticus’In July, 109 of the original 145 cases were ‘discontinued’ by the CPS. In August, 21 of those who had their cases discontinued used their right to ‘revive’ a criminal prosecution by sending a letter back to the CPS asking to be put on trial in an unprecedented legal move that served as an act of solidarity with those 30 protesters who still face prosecution. They declared that ‘I am sparticus’ in the process.
These 21 are due in court around the start of the trial, but the exact date is still to be set. At this hearing the 21 will either formally put on trial or formally found ‘not guilty’, as opposed to being ‘discontinued’. A ‘not guilty’ verdict may strongly impact on the legal case of the 30 described above.
For more information please read:http://fortnum145.org/2011/10/10/press-release-spartacus-defendants-in-court/
An open letter to Simon Pountain
Open letter to Mr Simon Pountain, Commander of the Public Order Command of the Metropolitan Police Service,
Thank you for your letter regarding the protest organised by the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts on the 9th November 2011. I’ve been away and was actually unaware that the protest was taking place, but will try to attend because I believe that the economy should be organised in a way that adequately funds public services, and that enables access to higher education for all who have the ability and commitment, not just those whose families can find tens of thousands of pounds to support them through university.
The letter came as a surprise because it’s the first time I’ve ever had post from the Met – I assume you decided to write to me because I participated in the UK Uncut protest inside Fortnum and Mason. You wrote to advise me that “It is in the public and your own interest that you do not involve yourself in any type of criminal or anti-social behaviour”. I would greatly appreciate it if you could clarify what forms of protest you view as criminal or as anti-social behaviour. The Human Rights Act protects freedom of expression and freedom of assembly and I’d like to be confident in the knowledge of how I can exercise these rights.
After taking part in the trade union organised march against the cuts on March 26th, I walked through the open doors of Fortnum and Mason and took part in a protest that one of your senior officers on the scene described as “sensible and non-violent”. After singing a song and listening to someone explain that the royal grocers is involved in a scam to avoid paying £10million tax a year, I spent most of the time sat on the floor waiting because your officers had closed the shop due to a disturbance outside. I and the other protestors inside the shop obeyed police requests to group in one area, and customers were left to browse freely – diners in the restaurant and café continued to enjoy their meals. I left as soon as police opened the doors, and on the assurance by the senior police officer that protestors would be allowed to leave freely. This was a lie: outside I was immediately and forcefully arrested by a police man twice my size (I’m a woman who weighs 8 ½ stone and I wasn’t resisting); I was held for 24 hours with very little food; charges were pressed without the presence of a solicitor or any evidence being declared; and I was sent home to the other side of London without my clothes, phone, shoes or coat, in an white, oversized men’s jogging suit, my remaining possessions in a clear plastic bag.
Can you imagine what it feels like to have someone use force to take away a day of your life? For two days after my release I was in shock, my thoughts scattered, swinging between numb disbelief and mild hysteria. I had symptoms of trauma for at least a week longer, as well as a painful bruise on my wrist and a sore shoulder from the way my arm was yanked behind my back. You see, I took part in the UK Uncut protest because I was impressed by the peaceful and creative tactics that the network has become known for, as well as by their argument that not only expresses a problem – the cuts – but also part of the solution – cracking down on corporate tax avoidance and evasion. I would never have believed that entering a shop and sitting on the floor could be classed as “criminal” or “anti-social behaviour”. I was never told I was committing a crime; it was the police’s decision that I remain inside beyond when I was ready to leave and it was a senior police officer who told me I was free to go immediately before I was arrested. Your letter about the Fees and Cuts protest advises me to “move away and create distance” between myself and anyone involved in violence, but I was no where near violence on March 26th and no one has ever alleged that I was.
The case of the first 10 F&M protestors facing trial will be heard on Thursday – this attempt to prosecute a group of people involved in an entirely peaceful and disciplined sit-in is new legal territory. And while no evidence against me has ever been shared and the charges against me have been discontinued, your letter is evidence of the record that has been kept against my name, alongside my DNA. I had a good mind to have my case reinstated to try to get my name cleared, but I simply couldn’t afford the legal fees.
Being arrested is an experience I don’t want to repeat, however unfortunately it’s clear to me that I will want to express political opinions over the coming years. I’m sure thousands of others would appreciate clarity about how we can safely exercise our right to protest in order to influence decision making in this country – after all, we are supposed to live in a democracy.
I look forward to hearing from you.
A benefit for the six imprisoned UK antifascist prisoners on Saturday 12th November.
New terms to help us describe the increasing intimidation of protesters in the UK.