Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Ian Tomlinson

I know this is not in the usual tone of this blog but there are times when things shock you so much you have to express your frustration and anger. This is the footage that disproves the police claims about what happened to Ian Tomlinson at the G20 demo last week.

Police routinely use video to film protestors and crowds at football matches. I hope that on this occasion the use of video will stop the closing of ranks and prevent a cover up that has typified examples of brutality in the past. In 1991 I was arrested at a demo in Parliament Square. I wasn't doing anything other than trying to get through a cordon to a coach that was waiting to take us back to Woolwich. Even so, I was arrested, thrown on to the floor of a riot van, kicked and punched and charged with assualting a police officer and inciting riot. The charge was made up in front of me by two officers from Stoke Newington police station. I was convicted and, because I work in education, I have to carry that conviction around with me. It's surprising how many people give you the 'yeah whatever, you must have been doing something wrong ' look when you tell them what happened. I was lucky in the greater scheme of things of course. What happened to me is nothing compared to what happened to people like Ian Tomlinson and Jean Charles de Menezes.

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