Thursday, 2 April 2009

A man has died at the G20 protest

A man has died at the G20 protest. Emergency services were called by a member of the public who found the man unconscious in the street. Police officers arrived at the scene first, but the man had stopped breathing. A police source said it was likely the man died from a medical condition, although that would not be confirmed until after a post-mortem. They dearly hope this is the case.

From treslola:
For around 3 hours, from 12:30pm, police officers formed human barricades to block the free movement of demonstrators in and around the Bank of England. Police officers disallowed people the right to leave the campaign area, they decided that the best way to communicate this lock down was to yell at and push back any demonstrator that dared come close to their shoulder-to-shoulder blockade. We were detained without reason and with force.

Essentially, anyone inside this penned off area spent three hours without any provision of water, food, toilet facilities and with limited access to shaded areas. For the most part, those in this area were keen to be there and thus being disallowed free movement around London was not of key concern.

What occurred outside of the Bank of England was a largely peaceful demonstration attended by a multitude of social justice groups. The minority that hurled objects through windows and started small blazes in the street were given extensive media coverage and exceptional focus was placed on these people as if they were indicative of what the greater proportion of campaigners were about.

'Demonstration' is not synonymous with 'Violence'.

From Indymedia:
A photographer was taken to one side by police and threatened under anti-terror legislation that he was not allowed to take pictures of police "engaged in their duty." Police confiscated his camera and attempted to delete all the photographs he'd taken. The photographer pulled out another camera to film them doing this, and was threatened again, but police then returned the first camera.

At midnight: 'Police are now moving from south to north pushing people out of the space occupied by the climate camp, and it's clearing out fast.'

Google news Reuters
JimJay Daily Maybe blog
Up to date twitter feed from the G20
Noel Lynch is carrying a report on police tactics today
'When police in riot gear appeared and one protester was arrested, bottles started to fly over our heads, so we edged away from our corner of Princes Street to try and find a safer spot. By now, a lot of people desperately wanted to be let out of the cordon and the atmosphere was becoming increasingly volatile.'

Leninology reports on police behaviour. People were "pounded with clubs and left covered in their own blood." "One lady got dragged roughly across the street"

Student Medic also reports on the violence
'Sadly, the protest was marred by violent and provocative tactics used by the police in their attempts to contain demonstrators. Thousands of demonstrators including pregnant women and young children were ‘kettled’ in to a small area immediately outside the Bank of England with only those who had work ID for the local area or were NUJ members allowed out of the police blockades. Protesters were denied access to food, water and toilets for over 2 hours. A small minority of protesters trying to escape from the enclosure early on were arrested by the police. Furthermore, police on horseback appeared rapidly to prevent protesters advancing down a side street. The use of police on horseback against pedestrian demonstrators is wholly inappropriate and stokes up violence and fear in protesters unnecessarily.

It was only after the police on horseback appearing (very suddenly) and the police running into the crowd and hitting people with battons that some protesters broke windows at the Royal Bank of Scotland'

George Monbiot:
'The trouble-makers are out in force again. Dressed in black, their faces partly obscured, some of them appear to be interested only in violent confrontation. It's almost as if they are deliberately raising the temperature, pushing and pushing until a fight kicks off. But this isn't some disorganised rabble: these people were bussed in and are plainly acting in concert. There's another dead giveaway. They are all wearing the same slogan: Police.

The police have been talking up violence at the G20 protests for weeks. They briefed journalists and companies in the City of London about the evil designs of the climate campaigners intending to demonstrate there.'

A report by the parliamentary committee on human rights last week, about the misuse of police powers against protesters said "Whilst we recognise police officers should not be placed at risk of serious injury, the deployment of riot police can unnecessarily raise the temperature at protests."

Youtube sky news report
interactive protest map
Guardian G20 Blog

Jamie Oliver cooks dinner for the G20

Video of Obama's armoured limousine, known as 'The Beast'
Inside 'The Beast', The £250,000 limo dubbed The Beast that President Obama is cruising in, is equipped with rocket-propelled grenades, a night-vision camera and pump-action shotguns to destroy would-be attackers. The Beast’s titanium superstructure is capable of shielding the president from a chemical weapons attack. Its sealed interior forms an impenetrable “panic room” if the vehicle is attacked. The car contains a teargas cannon, oxygen tanks and bottles of the president’s AB blood type. The limo can drive at speeds of more than 60mph (96kph) with punctured tyres. The five-inch rocket proof glass is so thick that President Obama needs fluorescent light to read in the darkness.'

However, some good has come from all this; 'Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev have begun talks at the US embassy residence in Regent's Park, central London, aimed at achieving significant nuclear disarmament and reshaping relations between their two countries.


Real estate agent Vancouver said...

Was there any explanation coming from some police officer about the police's behaviour at the Bank? From what I have read already here and on other blogs it was totally unnecessary to block those people for hours. So any official of unofficial statement?


Adrian Windisch said...

Commander Simon O'Brien of the Metropolitan police said that small pockets of criminals among the 4,000-strong crowd were responsible for the outbreaks of trouble, adding that they would be tracked down. He said some of the apparent ringleaders were followed by helicopter as they left flashpoints yesterday.

"As we went on it was clear there were people within the group that were first of all involved in juvenile and puerile behaviour," he said. That started to escalate into quite provocative behaviour towards police lines. There were small groups charging forwards and backwards into police lines.

"It did seem to us from CCTV and police on the scene that they tried to find a way to ramp up the protest and hijack it into violence."

O'Brien said police had collected footage from "helitelly" – the force's nickname for CCTV from powerful helicopter cameras – adding that those identified as being part of the violent clashes should expect a "knock on the door".