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(en) UK, London, Celebrating.. Another take on the: Police Pay £80K Damages to Jubilee Protesters

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Wed, 18 Feb 2004 18:31:40 +0100 (CET)


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Anti-monarchy protesters were celebrating recently after winning
£80,500 in damages from the Metropolitan Police, over their
unlawful arrest and false imprisonment on June 4th 2002 - the
Queens Golden Jubilee. 23 people sued the Metropolitan Police,
who settled out of court, and sent each of them a letter of apology.
The protesters were arrested after their demonstration when up to
40 Police officers entered a pub they were drinking in and
surrounded them. Police commandeered a number 11 double
decker bus after flagging it down, then turned it into a prison on
wheels, dropping off the protesters throughout the day at five
different police stations. No charges were ever brought against
those arrested, and the individuals were released several hours later
as the jubilee celebrations were drawing to a close. The arrests were
apparently "intelligence led" - an arrest report from one constable
reads that he was briefed that "all answers" (the protesters might
give to questions) "are to be disbelieved".

A statement issued by the group of protesters reads: "This award,
apology and acceptance of liability demonstrate that the police now
accept no offences were committed, nor were likely to be. We
remain convinced that these tactics were employed, planned and
coordinated in advance and at a very senior level, in order to remove
any dissent against the monarchy or the jubilee day celebrations
themselves."

For the Queen's Golden Jubilee (4 June 2002), more than 14,000
police were on duty as hundreds of thousands of people gathered in
central London. Corporate media had yet again raised the spectre of
anarchist troublemakers and violence, including this from The
Observer: "Anarchists plan jubilee mayhem".

Some of the protesters had earlier in the day attended a public
demonstration against the monarchy at Tower Hill entitled
"Execute the Queen". A large joint police operation between the
Met and City of London Police had confined the protest to a small
area near Tower Hill tube station. As the protest ended the
demonstrators dispersed, and some event goers walked to the
nearby Goodman's Field pub in Aldgate. They were followed by a
group of around 40-50 police officers who waited outside and,
following a briefing entered the pub encircling the group, by now
seated and enjoying a bank holiday lunchtime drink.

Other customers looked on horrified as the police cautioned, filmed
and led the revellers out one by one, making them stand in line on
the pavement, under the auspices of "preventing a breach of the
peace".

The nature of the arrests was farcical. Officers asked each person in
turn their intentions. Regardless of the answers all 23 were
summarily arrested. An officer notes that one arrestee stated
categorically that he had no intention of breaching the peace. The
officer records in his notes his reply to the man: "I believe you are
here [in the pub] to cause a breach of the peace therefore I am
arresting you to prevent a breach of the peace".

According to the Guardian, the reason given for the detentions by
officers was "intelligence from Chief Inspector Page that the group
inside may cause trouble".

The arrest reports said arresting officers were told by their superiors
to detain the anti-monarchists whatever answers to questions were
given! The arrest report from one constable reads that he was
briefed that "all answers are to be disbelieved".

Police commandeered a number 11 double decker bus after flagging
it down, then turned it into a prison on wheels, driving around at
high speed and dropping off the protesters, some of whom had been
handcuffed, throughout the day at five police stations across east,
north and south London. No charges were ever brought against
those arrested and the individuals were released several hours later
as jubilee celebrations were drawing to a close (surprise, surprise!).

All of the protesters will now recieve £3,500 each and the letter of
apology.

On Thursday 5th February, the protesters celebrated by presenting
themselves with a massively enlarged letter of apology and a cheque
for damages before boarding an open-top decorated Routemaster
bus and touring around Central London, stopping off at New
Scotland Yard, Buckingham Palace, Plumstead and Bishopsgate
Police Stations (two of the stations the arrestees were detained)
before finishing off where it all started at the Goodman's Field pub
in Aldgate, E1.

They said they finally managed to finish the drinks they ordered
over 18 months ago!

Taken from http://www.enrager.net/newswire/


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