Police attack on Mersey dockers

Chris Bailey (chrisbailey@gn.apc.org)
Wed, 02 Jul 1997 14:27:36 +0100 (BST)

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Date: Wed, 2 Jul 1997 11:40:26 GMT From: dockers@gn.apc.org (J. Davies) Subject: police - urgent To: chrisbailey@gn.apc.org

press release: 2 July 12 noon from Merseyside Port Shop Stewards for immediate release A sacked Liverpool docker was battered unconscious by Merseyside Police this morning during arrests at the Alexandra Dock gate. Eyewitnesses state that Steve Stanton, formerly employed by Mersey Docks and Harbour Company at the Norse Irish terminal, was rushed to Fazakerly Hospital by ambulance after PC 7193 had deliberately banged his head against the pavement whilst attempting to handcuff the man. Five other Merseyside Police officers (PC 8229, PC 6624, WPC 1146, PC 8061, and PC6824) were involved in the attempted arrest, with around 20 officers in attendance. Stanton was one of 37 pickets on the Alexandra gate this morning when police arrested sacked docker Kenny Weston, who had been targetted following a previous incident on Monday. Sgt Farrell of the Port Police directed the Merseyside Police to make the arrests. Pickets had already withdrawn from the gate before the arrests were made. During the police charge towards Weston, officers grabbed Stanton and wrestled him to the ground. Whilst attempting to place handcuffs on Stanton, PC 7193 banged the man's head against the pavement kerb near a pelican crossing. Steward Herbie Hollerhead told the police Superintendant he wished to lodge a formal complaint. Weston is now in custody and Stanton remains in Fazakerly Hospital, with no further news of his condition. The Liverpool dockers have consistently condemned acts of violence by the Merseyside Police and particularly members of the Operational Support Divison (OSD), who have acted aggressively whenever peaceful picketing has been taking place. Regular liaison meetings between Merseyside Police and dockers' representatives have taken place with the objective of avoiding such incidents. It now seems that agreements reached with the police no longer have any value. It is important to note that when police arrive at the picket lines, the dockers have always undertaken to abide by instructions issued by the police. On this and other occasions, no instructions were issued and unprovoked violence was used against the peaceful demonstration.

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