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(en) Freedom 6402 25 Jan, 2003 - Activists around Britain are working to prevent a major war ...

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Tue, 28 Jan 2003 03:49:38 -0500 (EST)

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

> Put the pressure on
Around 500 activists blockaded the entrance to 
Northwood military HQ on 19th January in protest 
against the crucial role it will play in any war against 
Iraq. Winding through the quiet residential suburbs 
of north London, the procession to the base was 
enlivened by a samba band and music from the Rinky 
Dink bike. Initially Hertfordshire police did the 
activists' work for them and blockaded the entrance 
with their vans, giving rise to much mirth and a chant 
that was to resurface throughout the day: 'police 
against the war'.
Eventually activists were allowed through and, with 
one entrance blocked, a number attempted to 
blockade the second entrance. Four protesters, who'd 
locked themselves together with arm tubes, were 
apparently hauled into a police van while still 
attached to each other, injuring at least one woman's 
arm. Police grouped round the rear door of the van to 
prevent anyone seeing what they were doing inside. A 
fifth activist was roughly handled behind the van - 
again out of sight - before being arrested.
The blockade at the first entrance lasted about three 
hours. It continued until about 3.30 p.m. when police 
arrested those sitting in the road - around thirty to 
forty people. Despite having filmed the protesters 
throughout the demonstration, the police 
photographed and searched everyone they arrested 
before putting them into their vans. It was a slow and 
laborious process that gave rise to wry complaints 
about the shoddy customer service the police 
Some activists attempted to persuade officers of the 
error of their ways. One officer said he was only doing 
his job, but became less talkative when told that this 
was what the nazis had said about building the 
railway line to Auschwitz. PC VH2C rather 
depressingly replied that he was "not allowed to have 
an opinion" - a circumstance he seemed only too 
happy about. On a brighter note, another PC 
volunteered that she'd like to assassinate a number 
of world leaders (but said she wasn't allowed to say 
so). Her proposed methods are unsavoury, but was 
this a glimmer of civil disobedience in the ranks of 
the police?
Anton Pawluk

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