Police use force, threats and mounted riot police against street party and observers, ending up using mounted police to chase children out of a park.
At 5.30 on Wednesday, the three or four deep police lines surrounding people taking part in the Reclaim the Streets party began to move the crowd off the A13, down a side-road. People who had not been penned in, and had been observing from behind police lines, could no longer see the crowd, as the police brought up vans to block their view. When I and other observers had made our way through side-streets to the other side of the crowd, police were forcing the crowd into the Canning Town recreation ground. The police, presumably feeling threatened by the difficulty of forcing protesters throught the narrow gate into the park, started to use heavy force, shoving and punching anyone who did not move as quickly or as docilely as they wanted them to. At this point, when police bebgan to use heavy force, a line formed and pushed observers away from the penned in crowd, again bringing up vans to block our view. The police pushed protesters 75 to 100 yards down the street, so that the crowd in the park were no longer visible to us. Police horses were used to prevent protesters and local people from entering the park near where the crowd was being held. When the police finally began to release people from the pen, they sent TSG (the trained riot police) and mounted riot police to clear the park and prevent protesters from reassembling. At this point, we saw a spectacle which I think sums up the excessive nature of the DSEi policing, as mounted riot police chased children off a football field and out of the park.