(en) Liverpool dockers confront Police tactical squands

Tue, 30 Sep 1997 14:57:07 +0100 (BST)

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Background: International actions have been taking place in support of the Liverpool docker 2+ years fight for their jobs

From: LabourNet <chrisbailey@gn.apc.org> Subject: Massive police presence and arrests at dockers support actions Sender: union-d@wolfnet.com

Kent police have entered the Port of Sheerness seeking to evict Liverpool dockers and their supporters who have occupied cranes as a vessel is due to arrive. Outside the gate, seventy dockers and several hundred supporters are picketting in the face of a massive police presence including special tactical squads.

TGWU auto transport drivers employed by Axial have refused to bring car imports out through the picket line, and have left the port in a fleet of transporters empty handed. Drivers from a second firm Walons have refused to enter the port. Drivers from ECM crossed the picket line, in line with their history of previous attacks on Axial.

Sheerness has been targetted on the second anniversary of the Liverpool dockers lockout because the port is 100% owned by Mersey Docks and Harbour Company.

The deputy manager of the fruit terminal acknowledged that actions were being taken in South Africa against exports to Sheerness, which he found "very disturbing".

Meanwhile, a group of 20 members of Reclaim the Streets occupied the roof of the Department of Trade and Industry in London in solidarity with the dockers, while 50 others entered the building according to an RTS member who phoned the dockers office in Liverpool. With two helicopters circling overhead and a massive police presence on the ground, all traffic was blocked off. According to BBC Radio Merseyside, the occupation ended with 27 arrests who were taken to Charing Cross police station. Reclaim the Streets originally intended to travel to Sheerness but were intercepted by police at Victoria Station this morning.

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