Police Intimidation Tactics & Westminster’s PPS – Million Mask March

Posted: November 9, 2014 in Politics
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Having attended the Million Mask March again on Wednesday the 5th November, there were a few things I noticed…and not in a good way.

The turnout was once again larger than last year, as was the year before that – estimations vary regarding attendance, though popular consensus seems to put the figure at 5,000 – 6,000.  And once again, the vast majority of people I saw there were there with peaceful intentions.

 

The first mistake the London Metropolitan Police made was to set up a huge sound system at Trafalgar Square, making announcements every 5 minutes to waves of boos and shouts – it was of course ‘all for our own safety’…how patronising.  In essence what they were doing was insinuating that they were there to keep ourselves safe from ourselves, while working through a list of things we weren’t to do – no drinking, no fireworks, no climbing on buildings or monuments, and no sound systems.  All this, while we were watched over by mounted police, and armed units standing on the balcony of the museum, not forgetting the ever-present helicopter droning overhead.

 

The use of the mounted and armed units was a tactic to intimidate us into compliance, which had little or no effect.  We set off down Whitehall, a stream of people fed up with corrupt governmental tactics, scandals, fracking, surveillance, and austerity to name but a few.  Each individual had their own reasons for being there…that is excepting the minority that turned up with the simple intention of causing trouble, who probably had no idea what the protest was actually about.

The march towards Parliament Square was largely uneventful, with the customary stop outside Dave’s gaff at No. 10 to vent frustrations and give him an indication of how disgruntled the masses are with the way the establishment run the country, by hook or crook.

 

On arriving at Westminster however, things changed drastically.  The Met went all out on the intimidation front, the grass at Parliament Square was completely fenced off, and the Houses of Parliament surrounded with a double layer of barriers.  Peaceful protesters were met with police officers kitted out in full riot gear, balaclavas and helmets, dehumanised and acting as Westminster’s Personal Protection Service.  In my opinion this only served to inflame the situation, making us all feel like criminals for daring to exercise our right to democratic protest.  We were funnelled through the square like rats in a trap, with the Met making an obvious attempt to contain the march, trying to prevent a repeat of last year’s unpredictable swerve towards Buckingham Palace for a late dinner with Lizzie.

They failed.

 

Fireworks exploded overhead outside parliament to cheers and whistles, and in response the Met beefed up their front lines to 3 deep in some places.  Having created a veritable powder keg of a situation, it was inevitable that something would kick off at some point – bottles, stones and in one case a traffic sign were hurled across the barricades at the police…something that I in no way condone by the way.  The lines outside Westminster Cathedral were eventually broken, with the march seizing the opportunity and gathering pace to move towards Buckingham.  Small groups of police officers found themselves virtually kettled by protesters, and made panicked darts towards open space.

 

Once at the palace, more fireworks were sent into the air to cheers…however the Met had increased their presence there from last year, more beefed up squads of riot officers, forming up in squads and looking thoroughly miserable.  As they formed a line in front of the palace, looking like they were about to clear the fountain and monument, they hadn’t anticipated the protesters charging off across the grass to the side of The Mall, to head towards the BBC HQ up the road, sadly knocking over bins as they went & creating a hell of a mess on the streets.

 

On arrival, the Beeb was in full lockdown mode, with scores of officers standing between marchers and the main doors.

After visiting Auntie, it became a game of cat & mouse, with the group taking unpredictable turns in the streets, making it impossible for the police to pre-empt them…after bringing Regent Street to a standstill, a police line was formed at the entrance to Picadilly Circus, essentially cleaving the group of protesters in two.  What the police failed to notice however, was a side street a few yards back which led around the line and into Picadilly, then itself almost brought to a standstill by Obe-Wan Kenobe with a guy fawkes’ mask, as he made a peaceful stand in front of a bus, which he maintained for some time.

 

I left at this point, after watching 3 van loads of police officers turn up to deal with some Anons dancing in Picadilly Circus around a performer with music playing through a loudspeaker.  I believe the chase didn’t end there, and continued for another hour or so.

One upside of the growing attendance year after year, is that the media interest is also growing.  The MSM likes of the BBC can no longer ignore what is happening on their doorstep, and many more media outlets are attending and reporting…many in a bad light, but there are some decent journalists out there reporting in a fair manner.

 

Overall, I saw only a small amount of troublemakers for such a big crowd – but I was aghast at the tactics employed by the Met…they are becoming more and more militarised every year, and more and more dehumanised.  These people are human too, and I am not saying every single officer is just looking for an excuse to use their truncheon, but the time is coming to make a choice between what you’re told to do, and what is morally and ethically right to do.  The police are supposed to keep the peace, and ensure justice prevails, but right now the corrupt political establishment and corporations openly flouts that judicial system and use police officers like their own personal security detail.

If we behaved like our politicians, we’d be imprisoned. The political system is clearly broken, politicians are clearly using the system to grab every penny they can, regardless of how much it harms the very people they are elected to represent.  This much is clear.  Yes, there are decent MP’s who try their best to act in their electorates’ interests, but sadly they are ignored by their parties, and thus seldom manage to make much of a difference.

Humanity itself is creeping ever closer to a brink that we may not recover from.  The question is, what are we going to do about it?

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Comments
  1. Reblogged this on amnesiaclinic and commented:
    Very interesting perspective on the Million Mask March.

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