Skip Navigation | HOME | UK Indymedia | Editorial Guidelines | Mission Statement | About Us | Contact | Help | Support Us

manchester Indymedia

manchester riots

psymunky | 21.01.2007 09:50 | Free Spaces

last night the a57 was closed off for sevral hours due to an inopropirate response by police to ravers walking to a wharehouse party.

Last night (21st Jan )about two thousand party goers were attacked by police whilst attempting to attend a free party in the Manchester area. The A57 was closed for about 2 hrs when police forced party goers out of a warehouse and on to the streets. A street battle ensued, the police were kitted with riot shields and truncheons whilst the ever resourseful ravers could only defend themselves with what was discarded on the roadside. The police charged with a roar and set their dogs on those not retreating fast enough. Many people were injured with each wave of the truncheon-wielding, dog-using police lines. Bricks were gathered, thrown, barricades were formed, stormed and then reformed again as revellers and police fought a pitch battle right into the centre of town.

Funny how the State seems to feel threatened whenever large groups of people gather under their own volition..why is that?


Download this article in pdf format >>

Email this article to someone >>

Submit an addition or make a quick comment on this article >>



21.01.2007 12:39

I got forced outta the building by the dogs when the group inside got split into two. We were in the second half of the group to get pushed out. On the way out I tried to help someone up who was on the floor, he was at the feet of a policeman with a dog snapping right at him, and was holding his leg and screaming. I went to help him out of the way of the dog and got hit from behind by a truncheon in the side of the knee and back of my leg 4 times before I could get out of reach.

Was great when the limo and police cars came down the roads pretty much blocked off by everyone.

- Homepage: /


Hide the following 19 comments

Why does the State feel threatened?

21.01.2007 11:20

Because it is uncomfortable with manifestations of dissent which are not subject to State control or media self-censorship.


Enough already with the incomplete reporting

21.01.2007 19:44

Funny how in your report the several hundred pissed up teenagers who were chanting "RIOT! RIOT! RIOT!" at a small bunch of Five-0 somehow became the blameless footsoldiers of the MEGARAVE (TM). It doesn't excuse the heavy handed policing but you'd have to be pretty short-sighted to not realise that this was going to give a nervous yet overzealous bunch of coppers just the justification they could later give for wading in and battering people.

TBH, I think Indymedia might benefit from a bit more balance on these events, or perhaps investigate a bit rather than reproduce hearsay when you clearly weren't there. And the over-emotive language? Please! Wouldn't it be better to claim the moral high ground over the bullshit corporate media outlets by being straight up rather than join them in the gutter of bias?

mail e-mail:


21.01.2007 21:42

i'm sorry fowler, but i must agree with the how psymunky reported the incident.
i was at the event in question, and i believe he was, and it went down as reported here, not how it was reported in the corporate media. the police claimed that 'no one got hurt' when several people i know got police dogs let loose on them and were bitten by them. another of my friends tripped up when people were running and got cosh'd by the police several times for doing nothing. showing yet another act of police brutality.
if you think that we need a bit more balance on reporting these things then you are seriously misguided. the mainstream media are the ones who need more balance, instead of constantly mis-reporting the truth.
what has been said above isn't bias, it's fact. that's what indymedia's all about, if you haven't forgotten, reporting the truth without all the corporate media's bullshit.


opposite view

21.01.2007 21:43


the *best* reports on indymedia are first-hand participant (and partisan) accounts.

if you want some other style of report there are plenty of traditional tv stations and newspapers for you

balance on indymedia > easily done - it is an OPEN publishing site ffsake


Police Butality or youth run wild?

22.01.2007 10:37

I was at the party on Saturday night. i was rushed with both batons and pushed with shields (to my knowledge a cosh is actually heavily stiffened rubber which flicks back to create momentum...prison guards may cary them, police don't i believe...)

i was walking slowly to avoid being tripped. the best advice is simply don't run. most of the "brutality" was actually just rushing and intimidation tactics, if you don't get intimidated, they lose their power. The dogs ae GENERALLY extremely well trained, i walked past several within reach of their jaws with no problems, i could have sat in front of them had the ahndler not seen me as a threat.

I walked slowly to a) assert my right to walk on a pavement of my choosing and b) to slow the police reaction

I saw a few people stuggling with police... DONT! go limp, at least then your less likely to get public order offences or lash a police man in the face, and its harder to get a ead weight into a van or a cell!

I think the police WERE heavy handed, but i dont see it as brutality. The minute bricks are thrown at PARAMEDICS (not paramilitaries) and CIVILIANS then all betts are off. What point as being made other than "some of us are here for trouble not for a good time and its a good job you shut us down so fucking early...."

Free parties are supposed to be havens of understanding, of asome sort of shared mindset and ethos...I think a lot of people went merely to get fucked, and hen that faile they turned nasty...


mail e-mail:

a question of credibility

22.01.2007 12:57

Ambience and Bobby

It's a question of honest reporting. To say two thousand partygoers were attacked in inaccurate (in terms of how many people were actually attacked) and give no context makes it no better than propaganda, albeit YOUR kind of propaganda. What is more, most partgoers never got in the venue so most weren't 'forced out'. And "the ever resourseful ravers could only defend themselves with what was discarded on the roadside"? - oh, you mean that some people chucked bricks at the police. Mmmm, canny move.

It is pathetic to portray the situation in such a black and white terms - peace loving party kids who just want to dance and hang out with their mates cruelly co-erced into protecting themselves by throwing bricks? Do me a favour.

Answering corporate media bullshit with so-called independent (but as it turns out equally misleading) reporting doesn't help anyone - all it does it make people lose faith in the credibility of the sources they thought they could put more trust in. Unless of course you don't care about an accurate representation of events as long as it accords with your particular brand of 6th form politics.


and another thing...

22.01.2007 13:06

Check out these comments which have appeared on the organisers myspace site

"21 Jan 2007 13:25

I was there last night, tried to persuade the crowd to head to piccadilly gardens and kick off there but the rain sent most people home. I hope MRSA will live to fight another day, i know i will. "

"22 Jan 2007 1:20

we shal not take this lying down! i took a few licks of the dibble but i know i speek for most ppl when i say the first sign of the next party..i'm time the polices wanna fuck with us...i'm gunna b there...i know all ma m8's feel the same.... "

"22 Jan 2007 2:20

I will stand with the MRSA till the last party is thrown. We will not back down. "

FFS, you're not the Zapatistas, and the free party scene doesn't need this sort of attitude. Dicks who want to fight should go and join the army if they suffer an excess of testosterone.

BTW, cunning move by the promoters to present themselves on myspace with pseudo-
paramilitary posturing.


Bias, Brutality etc

22.01.2007 13:15

I authored this report, I WAS at the party/police created riot on Saturday and can confirm everything I have written, it was sourced from first hand accounts of PARTY GOERS at an alternate venue directly afterwards and from my own experience. Exactly the kind of reporting Indymedia tries to disseminate, if you want the Police's side of it read the corporate media, no journos were there so where does all the lies in the papers (no injuries? lies, i saw at least two cops get hit with bricks and many ravers were beaten or bitten) come from if not the fucking cops? And what is with the papers putting quotation marks around the word "rave" are we to believe that what we turned up for was "maybe" a rave or perhaps something else entirely but just pretending to be a rave? Dozens of cops? more like dozens of cop cars, black marias and dog vans full of psyched up, tooled up thugs in uniform looking for a fight. There was a few hundred cops on the streets that night chasing loved up ravers who were being bitten by police dogs. Once caught violence was unleashed again in the form a beating round the head. Of course people reacted, they were being pursued by an armed gang intent on violence. The ambulance was hit, but by a stone not a brick and it was policed internaly by other "yobs" (as the media described us, bias?), democracy in action i call it. Mistakes were made and realised, Apologies were made. Move on. I had to walk around police lines to get to my friends who were on the front line defending others and i saw agent provocatours dressed as party goers with truncheons raiseed, they were in a gang of about ten cops getting ready to rush leaving ravers, they roared out and cried "let's get em" before charging forward. Horrifying to see the pleasure they got out of the violence. Someone suggested going limp if beaten by cops..Fuck that, fight back if someone attacks you, it's called self defence, don't give in to the bully. It was good to see so many people standing up for themselves and others against determined opposition, you can feel proud of yourselves. Fuck the media, become the media.



22.01.2007 13:41

Nice rant....

I'm not about to rely on the police's version of events, but after your equally selective presentation of events I'm not about to believe Indymedia anymore. Incredibly, it seems the Manchester Evening News is giving the fairest representation of Saturday night, and is inviting those attending to contact them to give their side of the story.

"loved up ravers"? Is that including the several hundred fools shouting "RIOT! RIOT! RIOT!"?

"democracy in action"? mob rule more like. Incidentally, when did self-professed 'anarchoproles' have any time for 'democracy'? I hope my use of qutations isn't making you too angry

"Horrifying to see the pleasure they got out of the violence"? What, dibble or the ravers?


Some people just don't seem

22.01.2007 14:11

to be willing to admit that not everybody involved is an angel on either side. I wasn't there, but I'm going to take my guesses that there were a few ****s among the partygoers as well as lots of nice, intelligent people.



22.01.2007 18:09

The rave which was due to start at around midnight was already filling up by around 11pm, nearly half an hour before the police arrived, and the premises were protected under section 6 "squatters rights" due to it being the permanent residence of a small number of people.

The police upon entry ignored this warning therefore violating section 6 rights and proceeded to use extreme force on people who were showing no resistance and breaking no laws. This behaviour was carried out under supervision and instruction of the attending Detective Inspector.

By this time already there were tens of people who had been beaten with police batons, bitten by Dog units for not moving fast enough and been thrown around by the police themselves.
Upon leaving the venue, a large crowd was gathering outside in anticipation of the rave. This group numbered upwards of 800 people, who were breaking no law by simply standing outside the compound. It was at this point that the police saw necessary to form a line complete with riot units, and rush the crowd with both dogs and batons, again attacking people who were unfortunate enough to either not have moved fast enough, or fallen down in the road.
When more police backup did arrive, they drove their cars at the crowd, knocking people down and injuring at least a couple of people. When the next wave of riot police moved against the crowd, these injured people were not able to move fast enough and were subjected to more abuse.
Although the majority of the crowd were peaceful, there were a handful of trouble makers who smashed the side window of a passing taxi and threw rocks at a passing ambulance vehicle. These people were stopped by the rest of the crowd who did not appreciate this behaviour and ensured no other civilian property was damaged.

These events are organised well in advance of the night and the utmost priority throughout planning and execution of an event is the safety of the ravers. The venue is cleared of any objects and debris which may potentially cause harm, any areas of the building which are unsafe are blocked off and any electrics in the building are checked by a to ensure that the building is safe for public use.

The only injurues sustained during the night were as a result of police brutality and had the party been allowed to happen, it would have been a safe and enjoyable night for all involved. As is reported from other events around the country these events are set up, and cleaned up thoroughly when they are allowed to happen.


History is made at night

22.01.2007 20:27

Thanks for these accounts I have added extracts to my website 'History is made at night - the politics of dancing'.

History is Made at Night

"People have always come together to move to music. In the process communities have been created, social divisions challenged, pleasure exalted over work and a billion relationships have blossomed. At the same time dancing bodies have often been subject to regulation – rules about when, where and how they can move, rules about who is allowed to dance with who, rules about what dancers can wear and put inside their bodies… That, in essence, is the 'politics of dancing:'

- Homepage:

My views have certainly changed...

22.01.2007 21:56

I have attended many raves in the past, and used to believe that the police were there for the protection of the people. The events that I saw on Saturday night (probably more like early hours of Sunday morning actually) shocked me to the core - police lines shouting and rushing at crowds of people that were walking away from them with their backs turned and dogs attacking people that were walking away...I also saw police officers covering their numbers as they were having verbal and physical altercations with people, which I had alwasy thought was illegal in itself. "A police spokesman said officers who raided the venue at about 11.20pm were confronted by a crowd who threw bricks at them. He said that paramedics who rushed to the scene to help the injured man were also pelted." (Manchester Evening News) The reports in the MEN don't mention at all the beatings given to innocent people, by the police, as they went back to help those that had been fallen or knocked to the ground, yet I saw these with my own eyes. I also helped one girl out of the way who was crying, scared and confused, and had obviously only come to have a good time at the free party. She didn't know where she should go to stay safe from the line of police who were advancing on her, with their dogs barking, and had resorted to standing still and sobbing her heart out. The dog handler at the front of the line was just yelling at her over and over again, although she obviously didn't hear him through her terror as she didn't move, yet that copper looked as if he was willing to set the dog on her when the line advanced further, and probably would have done judging by the other reports I have read about people being savaged by dogs.
If the police behave like this, and break the same set of laws that they profess to uphold, and are then are allowed to lie, or cover up the truth afterwards, I would be worried if there weren't people who have the courage to stand up for what they believe in. I know I'm going over old ground and repeating things that other people have already said, but I just wanted to show some support for those that are willing to stand up and fight for our rights.

For the record, I heard the chants of 'Riot! Riot! Riot!", but that was at least five or ten minutes after the police had rushed the crowd at least twice, yelling really loudly at least once something like "Get 'em!" I actually had to let it sink in for a while before I realised that they had actually yelled this, as they (the police) were the ones that sounded like they wanted trouble.

justifiable paranoia

...damage to cars...

22.01.2007 22:20

The people that I saw stopping passing cars were not in any way trying to damage them, but were merely indicating that there was trouble ahead and that the driver should try to find an alternative route - I saw this happen on more than one occasion and feel that it just goes to show that the group being accused of the worst violence were actually stopping innocent people getting caught in the middle of anything...which is more than can be said for the police.

Justifiable paranoia

Critical Masses

23.01.2007 09:14

I'm sorry to say but i see little reason to believe you in regards to this police brutality and hidden truth.

I had a look through the rest of your website at all the different articles and found a common factor. Most center around large groups of people gathering to intentionally cause a disturbance (whether violent or non-violent) to get a certain message heard. I have seen such disturbances before in various cities and what no one seems to learn is this. They never work, they bring the subject to a large audience but thats about it. Sometimes they cause more harm then good, I remember a few years back when I observed several hundred people march a protest through the centre of Leeds, chanting loudly passed the LGI where sick people are trying to rest and get better.

I digress a little anyway, I have been to these parties you talk of, I have seen what happens first hand. You paint a picture of loads of people all being really innocent and clean and law abiding. If your so law abiding why can't you go to a normal party, or are you worried you wont have the freedom to sell, buy and take the amount of drugs that tend to be available at free parties?

fence sitter

Bastards on both sides, but particularly the police

23.01.2007 13:58

I was also at the rave on saturday, those so called objective twats can write their condescending drivel, but even those peoples attitude would change a little if they were actually there. The police attacked us first, the one that sticks in my head the most was the girl who got battered by the police because she refused to move. The police were totally unreasonable and agressive to such an extent that it seemed they got some disgusting kick out of what they were doing. I did not want a riot, i just wanted to enjoy the rave, and if the police left us alone we all would have done. We were entitled to a riot. The extremity of how the police acted will only breed extreme responses. I did see some idiots attack cars, which i am totally against, they are not the enemy at all, we got the cars to turn back so they could avoid the crowd, and people talk about the ambulance that was getting vandalised by these idiots, rather than the one we got the whole crowd to move out the way for. I saw one person attack a civilians car, much to his shock he actually got out of the car and was about to attack him, the general feeling amongst the people i was with, aswell as mine was the "It serves him right" attitude. These people were bastards, but they were in the minority. In response in why we go to free parties rather than "Normal" ones. The answers in the title!

Crusty anarchist

Complaints have been made to the police watchdogs

23.01.2007 18:21

Just noticed this on the Manchester Evening News website


Article in full
The disused car showroom in Belle Vue, ManchesterA POLICE watchdog has received several complaints about the way officers closed down an illegal rave.

The Manchester Evening News reported yesterday how police with dogs broke up the unofficial party, involving between 500 and 1,000 revellers, at a disused car showroom in Belle Vue, Manchester, on Saturday night.

Bricks were thrown at a paramedic's car and a man was taken to hospital after he was bitten by a police dog.

Scores of revellers have contacted the M.E.N. to allege police brutality.

But Greater Manchester Police said officers followed recognised methods where there was a risk of serious trouble and acted `proportionately'.

A spokesman for the Independent Police Complaints Commission, the police watchdog, said they had received a number of e-mail complaints about police behaviour at the rave.

"We've had six complaints in total and the mechanism now is that we will now pass them on to Greater Manchester Police," he said.

Last night a spokeswoman for GMP said: "We have received no complaints at all. However, if we do we will investigate."


But one reveller told the M.E.N: "This event has really opened my eyes to what the police can be like. Their bullying tactics and use of extreme force only exacerbated this situation.

"The fact police officers hid their identity numbers perhaps indicates they planned to use excessive force."

Another complained: "I made the trip to attend the rave with the intention of having fun with like-minded individuals.

"Another group of people also arrived with the intention of enjoying themselves. They, however, got their entertainment through violence. I am of course referring to the police, who I believe showed up with no other intention than to break up a peaceful party with violence and scare tactics."

Another reveller told us: "The majority of the people there were around 17. Imagine how scared they would have been having officers, who we associate with safety and protection, beating you with batons and verbally abusing us, just for merely being present at a party.

"I had high respect for the police before Saturday. But now I see just how high and mighty and better than everyone else they each think they are, just because they have been endowed with some legal power."

Another reveller said: "The crowd were shouting various anti-establishment chants, but other than this I saw no threatening behaviour, no objects thrown, or attempts to attack the police who continuously attacked and threatened people until they left."

justifiable paranoia

Manchester Evening News - page of article

23.01.2007 20:32


Crusty Anarchist: "We were entitled to a riot".....

24.01.2007 19:30

...I rest my case.

Coming soon, the death of the free party



Publish your news

Do you need help with publishing?


South Coast

Other UK IMCs
Bristol/South West
Northern Indymedia

Manchester Topics

Animal Liberation
Climate Chaos
Energy Crisis
Free Spaces
Ocean Defence
Other Press
Public sector cuts
Social Struggles
Terror War
Workers' Movements

Manchester Actions 2010

Flotilla to Gaza
Mayday 2010
Tar Sands

Manchester Actions 2009

COP15 Climate Summit 2009
G20 London Summit
Indymedia Server Seizure
University Occupations for Gaza

Manchester Actions 2008

2008 Days Of Action For Autonomous Spaces
Campaign against Carmel-Agrexco
Climate Camp 2008
G8 Japan 2008
Smash EDO
Stop Sequani Animal Testing
Stop the BNP's Red White and Blue festival

Manchester Actions 2007

Climate Camp 2007
DSEi 2007
G8 Germany 2007
Mayday 2007
No Border Camp 2007

Manchester Actions 2006

April 2006 No Borders Days of Action
Art and Activism Caravan 2006
Climate Camp 2006
French CPE uprising 2006
G8 Russia 2006
Lebanon War 2006
March 18 Anti War Protest
Mayday 2006
Oaxaca Uprising
Refugee Week 2006
Rossport Solidarity
Transnational Day of Action Against Migration Controls
WSF 2006

Manchester Actions 2005

DSEi 2005
G8 2005
WTO Hong Kong 2005

Manchester Actions 2004

European Social Forum
FBI Server Seizure
May Day 2004

Manchester Actions 2003

Bush 2003
DSEi 2003
Evian G8
May Day 2003
No War F15
Saloniki Prisoner Support
Thessaloniki EU
WSIS 2003




satellite tv


estrecho / madiaq
la plana
northern england
nottingham imc
united kingdom

Latin America
chile sur
cmi brasil
cmi sucre
puerto rico


South Asia

United States
hudson mohawk
kansas city
minneapolis/st. paul
new hampshire
new jersey
new mexico
new orleans
north carolina
north texas
rogue valley
saint louis
san diego
san francisco
san francisco bay area
santa barbara
santa cruz, ca
tampa bay
united states
western mass

West Asia


fbi/legal updates
mailing lists
process & imc docs