Monday, 28 March 2011

Different Class

Aside from Miliband's 'gaffe, what's been revealing about the 'uncut march' violence is the Police's response on Saturday, and indeed to other similar recent protests. Their relative restraint to wanton damage to property and intimidating violence has been obvious. My view apparently puts me in the 'passive' territory argued by Boris Johnson:
They will be content to see the police being unfairly attacked on all sides, for being too passive (the Right-wing press) or too brutal (the Guardian)
Now, I have no wish for the Police to go overboard in their response and I understand that they were overwhelmed by numbers and that; they faced being attacked with light bulbs filled with ammonia, fireworks filled with coins and smoke bombs. However it seems odd to me, that shops weren't as protected as they could have been and only now are stop and search polices being implemented because of the threat to the Royal Wedding.

It is my view that if the Police had experienced similar problems from another group of people then their reaction would be far less passive.

The much larger group of people I refer to face far more draconian measures by the Police on a weekly basis. They also do so despite having exactly the same problem of a minority of people grabbing the headlines by wanton violence. The majority, however, endure such measures largely without the same sort of sympathy from others. These vast majority of peaceful people are:
  • 'Kettled' as soon as they arrive at a train station

  • Sometimes being kettled in an area too small for the number of persons held. Crushing happens and panic ensures. The response to the panic is a vigorous use of Police batons. Children are being crushed. People outside the kettled area desperately trying to help to pull children out of the crushing are also batoned, as are the children themselves. 10 and 11 year olds feel the full force of the law!

  • Forced by the Police to reside in the nearest designated pub regardless until said Police decide to move them on.

  • Not allowed outside the pub, even for a cigarette if it's outside the pub's boundaries, and the pub doesn't have a garden.

  • Marched to the place of destination deliberately 15-20 minutes late.

  • Subjected to a Section 60 search, usually without one being granted - it will be done retrospectively. Details such as names and address etc will be taken under Section 60 though the Act does not permit this. Any objection will be dealt with appropriately i.e. a threat of a trumped-up charge. Coins, newspapers and shoe laces are confiscated because they could be used as weapons.

  • Subjected to another Section 60 search which takes place minutes later by a different policeman. No coins in the wallet apparently raises suspicions, but the answer that a previous Policeman confiscated them is not accepted either.

  • Removed from destination and given a 'Rodney King' style beating down an alleyway separating back-to-back terrace housing. Other Policemen look on and laugh.

  • Deliberately marched, after said activity, to the wrong platform and put on the wrong train.

  • If put on the right train, it sometimes involves no lights, no bar, no seats and no toilet. Too many people crammed - standing - on such a train for a 3 hour journey.

  • Forced out of a city or town, by the Police, under Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006, even if they have not committed an offence and even if they did not originate from the Town/City that the Police want them to return to.

  • Legally disadvantaged because anyone convicted of a Section 2 offence at this event will receive a harsher sentence than other section 2 convictions - sometimes it is double the custodial sentence usually given.

  • Legally disadvantaged because anyone convicted under section 2 at this event will be banned from large areas of every city and town in the country on certain days for years.

  • Legally disadvantaged because anyone convicted at this event will be banned from taking holidays at certain times of the year.
The large group I'm referring to are football fans. I do not condone violence at all but had it been football fans involved in the wanton destruction on Saturday the reaction by the Met would have been much much different.

All people are equal, but... The so-called anarchists should consider themselves lucky.


  1. A lot of the above happens to groups like the EDL as well, despite the fact that there has been little or no violence at their last 5 demo's.

  2. I've never been to an EDL march so I don't know, but it wouldn't surprise me that the same kind of thing happens.

    Blogger Inspector Gadget had an interesting post on that recently: