Saturday 12 May, police from virtually every borough in London – in addition to members of the Territorial Support Group – violently removed supporters of Occupy London who were simply sitting on the steps of the Royal Exchange. The arrests came after a day of “Meet the 1%” activities around the city timed to coincide with an international day of action marked in over 380 cities worldwide.
A Section 14 should only be put in place when there is a serious risk of imminent public disorder, damage to property or serious disruption to the life of the community. Occupy London’s peaceful gathering near the Bank of England showed no potential for any of these outcomes, which would go against the principles of Occupy anyway. We are about engaging with the public in meaningful and creative ways. In any case, there is very little in the way of real community in that area; particularly on a Saturday when everything is closed.
Melanie Strickland, a supporter of Occupy London said: “What occurred on the steps of the Royal Exchange was a shocking act of political policing. We were told that the senior officer had imposed restrictions on our assembly and that we were liable to arrest, but no officer could tell us how that section applied to us. From 6.40pm teams of police started snatching peaceful activists from the crowd, one by one. The police were aggressive, employing disproportionate and unlawful force. Women and men were assaulted as they sat linking arms on the steps in solidarity. Police attacked activists using techniques designed to inflict maximum pain without leaving marks.”
On 15 May it will be one year since the start of the indignados movement, and the fight against bailouts, corruption, repeating economic crises, and financial crimes continues. People are still occupying and protesting to bring about a better world.
Meet in Russell Square at 11am and then go to the BBA.
Video Production by “You and I Films”