Posts Tagged ‘pepper spray’

Paramilitary policing and police brutality from Seattle to Occupy Wall Street

November 20, 2011
A man sits in front of a police line at City Hall during an anti-Wall Street protest in Oakland, California, 25 October 2011. (REUTERS/Kim White)

A man sits in front of a police line at City Hall during an anti-Wall Street protest in Oakland, California, 25 October 2011. (REUTERS/Kim White)

Warning: Some may find the scenes of police brutality disturbing!

Today (Saturday) security thugs attacked peaceful protesters in Tahrir Square, many were injured, at least one killed. The tear gas used in Tahrir Square has Made in US stamped on it. Supply of security and torture equipment is big business.

But are they not getting a green light for this brutality from the US, a nod and a wink, watch what we do and follow our example?

Earlier in the week we saw the brutal police crack down on Occupy Wall Street, press were cleared from the area, news helicopters blocked from flying overhead, local residents locked in their apartments. The camp was trashed, books and and laptops trashed or stolen.

- NYPD police brutality against Occupy Wall Street
- Only Nazis destroy books

A couple of weeks before we saw the brutal crackdown in Portland. The irony is that Tahrir Square marched to the US Embassy to protest violence against peaceful protesters in the US.

The worse though has been the pepper-spraying of protesters. Not the use by police in self-defence when overwhelmed by an angry mob, but the police setting upon demonstrators, then pepper-spraying them,

In Seattle a 84-year old woman was pepper-sprayed in the face. She has still not recovered.

- 84-Year-Old Dorli Rainey, Pepper-Sprayed at Occupy Seattle, Denounces “Worsening” Police Crackdowns

I recall the Seattle WTO protests and the brutal police crackdown, out of which grew the global Indymedia network and the anti-globalisation network. Talking with a Bolivian activist some time later, she said she showed in Bolivia film footage of people being tear-gased on the street in Seattle. The locals in Bolivia had their eyes opened. They were used to violent supression of protest, but this was in the West.

84-Year-Old Dorli Rainey, pepper-sprayed at Occupy Seattle, was there during the Battle of Seattle a decade ago. She says the police brutality is now far worse.

Norm Stamper, the former police chief of Seattle, admits he was wrong then and as a retired chief of police is highly critical of police tactics and what he terms paramilitary policing.

- Paramilitary Policing From Seattle to Occupy Wall Street
- Paramilitary Policing of Occupy Wall Street: Excessive Use of Force amidst the New Military Urbanism

Remember Kent State and the killing of students in the 1960s? Has anything changed?

On UC Davis university campus the police were invited on campus by the chancellor. Students were held and pepper-sprayed into their eyes and down their throats.

Without any provocation whatsoever, other than the bodies of these students sitting where they were on the ground, with their arms linked, police pepper-sprayed students. Students remained on the ground, now writhing in pain, with their arms linked.

What happened next?

Police used batons to try to push the students apart. Those they could separate, they arrested, kneeling on their bodies and pushing their heads into the ground. Those they could not separate, they pepper-sprayed directly in the face, holding these students as they did so. When students covered their eyes with their clothing, police forced open their mouths and pepper-sprayed down their throats. Several of these students were hospitalized. Others are seriously injured. One of them, forty-five minutes after being pepper-sprayed down his throat, was still coughing up blood.

Peaceful students and faculty members attacked on their own campus at the behest of the chancellor. The chancellor should at least have the decency to resign.

- Open Letter to Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi
- Police Pepper Spraying UC Davis Students

Homeland Security was not formed to combat terrorism but to repress and brutalise US citizens!

Is this the democracy the houseboy in the White House is exporting to the world?

Tax dodger Boots turned into a field hospital

January 30, 2011
Boots field hospital

Boots field hospital

Boots: We won't buy your cuts

Boots: We won't buy your cuts

Ambulance for protesters attacked by police

Ambulance for protesters attacked by police

A man washes his eyes after police used CS gas on tax protesters

A man washes his eyes after police used CS gas on tax protesters

Tesco on Oxford Street

Tesco Every Fiddle Helps - tax dodging brands taken off the shelves

We don’t want a meal deal, we just want a fair deal! — Boots chant

The staff at Boots were fantastic and took us inside and gave us free treatment. My eyes were really streaming and my face hurt but I was most struck by the violence used by the police. I have been on a lot of demonstrations and have not seen anything like this before. — Gordon Maloney, UK Uncut protester attacked by police

In the last weekend of January we saw the first big weekend of action of the New Year against tax dodgers. Sunday dawned with The BSRC knocking on the doors of Tesco, Boots, Vodafone and the Arcadia Empire of Sir Philip Green. The last big protest was last year on the busiest shopping weekend in the run up to Christmas.

Boots was turned into a field hospital.

Why Boots? Boots is a tax dodger. Boots is owned by a hedge fund. The head office for Boots is in Switzerland. On further investigation the head office is a letter box, but that is sufficient for Boots to dodge UK tax. False Economy estimates that the tax they pay on their profits has fallen from around 33% to 3%.

Why a field hospital? The ConDem Government are planning massive changes to the NHS (National Health Service), changes the public has made clear they do not want. But the ConDems seem as deaf to the wishes of the public as the repressive regime in Egypt.

The field hospital came into its own when police officers decided to pepper spray protesters. The Met must learn tactical policing from the Security Police in Egypt. What did they do, watch the coverage from Egypt then decide they too wanted a bit of the action? An ambulance had to be called to give medical aid to those assaulted and injured by the police.

Well done PC CW 2440 who thought it a clever idea to spray peaceful protesters with pepper spray, but such an idiot was he that he pepper sprayed himself in the face!

But thanks to the Boots staff who were so appalled by the police tactics that they went to the aid of the injured protesters. Thanks also to Ben’s Cookies next door who gave milk to wash eyes and help neutralise the burning.

Tweeted by @BootsMealDeal:

We at Boots are disgusted by police behaviour today.

Why did Boots then remove all their tweets from twitter?

If nothing else the police thugs who used pepper spray on peaceful protesters should be charged with assault. Since when has posting leaflets through a door been criminal damage?

If you were a witness to the pepper spray incident, then please write down what you saw as a witness statement and send a copy to UK Uncut and gbc@riseup.net.

Anna Williams who saw the incident said:

I condemn the violent behaviour of the police who have attacked a peaceful protest against tax avoidance, with three people being taken away in an ambulance.

This is yet another example of political policing that is about protecting corporate interests and not those of ordinary people. We will not however be intimidated off the streets! We have a right to protest when the government are making unnecessary cuts that will hit the poorest in our society the hardest.

What is wrong with the Met? If there ever was a need for an inquiry into a police force, then it is the Met.

– unlawful killing of an innocent bystander at G20 protests
– cover up of the G20 killing
police brutality at student protests
police infiltration of activist groups
sexual violation of activists by undercover cops

Before today’s protest, Sir Hugh Orde, president of Acpo, had warned that police could adopt more extreme tactics to counter the growing wave of protests. It would appear he was true to his word!

Orde has criticised the lack of willingness of new protest groups that have sprung up around the internet, such as UK Uncut, to engage with police before protests. He said if they continued to refuse to co-operate, then police tactics would have to become more extreme. He seems to fail to understand that in this country we have policing by consent. Or does he think he is in Northern Ireland? The role of the police in a democracy is to safeguard the right to protest. The only violence on the day was when one of his thug officers decided to assault peaceful protesters who posed no threat to his officers.

It is not good enough to throw our hands up in the air and say ‘Oh, we can’t negotiate because there is no one to negotiate with’. There are lots of people we can talk to, but they need to stand up and lead their people, too. If they don’t, we must be clear that the people who wish to demonstrate won’t engage, communicate or share what they intend to do with us, and so our policing tactics will have to be different … slightly more extreme.

Brutality was not limited to the police. A security thug attacked a protester. The security thug refused to give his name, was not carrying ID as required by law. If anyone was a witness to the attack, has film footage, or knows who he is, please contact UK Uncut.

Vodafone (£6 billion unpaid tax) were targeted and their stores occupied. Their Oxford Street store in London was once again occupied.

Vodafone acceded to the repressive regime in Egypt and shut down their network, giving yet another reason to shut down Vodafone shops. When the Egyptians finally take back control of their country they should seize the network from Vodafone and hand to another network operator. I suggest Grameen Bank in Bangladesh who operate the largest mobile network in Bangladesh. It can then be run as a social business for the benefit of the Egyptian people, not as a cash cow for tax dodger Vodafone.

Tax dodger Tesco Every Fiddle Helps, were targeted. Not content with destroying our towns, leaching money out of the local economy, Tesco dodge their taxes. Tesco avoid over £100 million in tax despite making £3 billion in profit

In Lincoln a small Guerilla action emptied the shelves of Tesco.

– Kraft owns Cadbury’s and have moved HQ to Switzerland to avoid around £60m in tax, despite Kraft making £590m in profit in 2010
– Walkers crisps: potatoes, workers, factories & Gary Lineker. All British, except the profits held in Switzerland to avoid tax

Please note Green and Black chocolate are now owned by Cadbury’s. The leveraged buy out of Cadbury’s by Kraft was financed by the taxpayer-owned bank RBS.

Shame on the BBC who once again had a news black out on the day of action. But space could be found for an item on a has-been boy band who will be at the Eurovision Song Contest!

In the Lake District thousands of people turned out to oppose the sell-off of our woods and foreests.

Yesterday was a day of protest in Manchester and London by students and trade unionists. The action in Manchester was notable for the carpetbagger NUS President Aaron Porter being chased down the street by fellow students! And police please note: No kettles, no violence!

UK Uncut will feature on Newsnight BBC Two at 2230 GMT Monday 31 January 2011.

Note: An edited version of this article posted on Indymedia UK was censored raising once again questions as to the credibility of Indymedia UK. Indymedia UK has already been exposed as bunch of liars with their false claims that they do not retain the IP addresses of those who use the site.

We are all in it together
- Bringing the Hospital to Boots
- Press release: UK Uncut condemns political policing at peaceful protest
CS spray used on UK Uncut protest
Police use CS spray on tax protesters
- Video appears to show police using CS spray on tax protester
Clamping down on UK Uncut
- UK Uncut strikes high street stores
- UK Uncut protesters force closure of Boots store in Oxford Street
- Poll reveals widespread suspicion of NHS reforms
UK Uncut: The Twitter Network Revealed
Pics: #ukuncut shut Ox st Boots in NHS cuts action
Police pepper spray #ukuncut protesters
- UK Uncut, the start of something beautiful
MPs’ defiance at Grizedale forest protest
Britain’s woods and forests for sale
- Bailgate Pound


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