Observatory: EU: Public order and reactions to protests
The substantive reaction of the EU to the protests in Gothenburg and Genoa are contained in the Conclusions of a specially called meeting of the EU Justice and Home Affairs Council on 13 July 2001 (see "Enemy within": Report and full documentation and The enemy within II). This was followed in 2007 by the adoption of a Security Handbook covering both public order and counter-terrorism at EU Summits and other international meetings held in the EU.
UK: MINERS STRIKE 1984-1985: ORGREAVE: Despite finding evidence of assault, police withholding evidence and committing perjury the IPPC (Independent Police Complaints Commission) decides not to investiage any further: IPPC Decision (pdf) and IPPC Review (pdf)
See: Orgreave: Truth and Justice Campaign (link): "Whilst disappointed, OTJC members are not surprised that the IPCC will not be conducting a full investigation into policing at Orgreave on 18 June 1984. It was back in November 2012 that South Yorkshire Police referred itself to the IPCC, which ever since has acted slowly and conducted little independent work in assembling and collating information. The fact that the IPCC, described rightly in our view by many prominent individuals as not fit for purpose, is stepping aside on Orgreave affairs will not therefore be deterring the OTJC from continuing its campaign." [epmhasis added]
See the excellent video: The Battle for Orgreave (YouTube, link, viewed 67,204 times): "The miners' strike 1984 was one of the longest and most brutal in British labour history. A community fighting for jobs and survival was wholly denigrated and depicted as violent by the majority of the media. THE BATTLE FOR ORGREAVE puts the record straight, as miners recount their own history.."
IPCC will not investigate Orgreave police action during miners' strike - Watchdog says 1984 events too long ago despite evidence that officers assaulted miners, perverted the course of justice and committed perjury (Guardian, link): "In a report to be published on Friday, the IPCC says that the forces withholding of evidence about improper treatment of miners and perjury by officers, and its failure to investigate it, raises doubts about the ethical standards of senior officers at South Yorkshire police at that time and suggests they were complicit. However, after two and a half years research into evidence relating to the bitter Orgreave confrontation and prosecutions which followed, the IPCC has decided not to investigate further."
G7 protesters unite in opposition to TTIP under the alpine sun - A stroll in the alps with protesters at the G7 summit at Garmisch and the largest police operation in the history of Bavaria (Guardian, link) and see: Securty for the G7 Summit in El&SHY;mau Federal Minister of the Interior temporarily reinstates border checks (link): "The checks are intended to meet security requirements, prevent potential violent offenders from entering the territory and ensure that the event can take place without disruptions." and No hiking, no hang-gliding, no helium balloons, the G7 is in town: Residents of the German town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen are annoyed. Some say the gathering of world leaders, and all its brimborium, is Merkels revenge (Guardian, link): "For days now the manhole covers have been sealed. Locals are controlled by police wherever they go and have been told to remove any flower boxes or woodpiles that are out on the street. Theres a virtual ban on hiking in the local forests, and hang-gliding. Indeed, flying of any kind of private planes, kites, helium balloons or drones is strictly forbidden. Police thinly disguised as hikers have been patrolling the forests for months, habitually stopping mountain bikers and ramblers and asking for their ID.."
GENOA 2001: ECHR Press release: Police violence: Italian criminal law inadequate and not an effective deterrent (pdf) and Full-text of judgment - French (pdf):
"In todays Chamber judgment1 in the case of Cestaro v. Italy (application no. 6884/11) the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been: a violation of Article 3 (prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights on account of ill-treatment sustained by the applicant, and a further violation of Article 3 on account of the criminal legislation applied in the present case. The case concerned events which occurred at the end of the G8 summit in Genoa in July 2001, in a school made available by the municipal authorities to be used as a night shelter by emonstrators. An anti-riot police unit entered the building around midnight to carry out a search, leading to acts of violence."
See: Statewatch Analysis: Italy: Making sense of the Genoa G8 trials and aftermath by Yasha Maccanico (pdf) and also: Italian police 'tortured' Genoa G8 protester, says ECHR (BBC News, link)
UK: Police spies still get free rein to have sexual liaisons, say women suing Met - Group of eight women behind lawsuit criticise government for failing to ban relationships, attacking 'institutional sexism' (Guardian, link):
"We note that despite the controversy over the issue of undercover relationships in the past couple of years, the codes of practice fail to make any mention of intimate and sexual relationships.
"Having had our privacy intruded upon to a huge and damaging degree we feel that these guidelines fail to address the issues raised by our claims and fail to offer any increased protection to the public." They added: "The situation as it stands currently gives free rein to officers and their handlers."
UK: Water cannon: Met Police 'does not have convincing case' (BBC News, link) and Statewatch story: Police seeking water cannons condemned by crowd at public meeting And see: London Assembly: Police and Crime Committee: Water cannon: Why the Met's case doesn't wash (pdf)
EU: FOOTBALL: Justice and Home Affairs Council: Council conclusions adopting the 2014-2016 EU work programme on minimising risks to safety, security and public order in connection with sports events, in particular football matches, with an international dimension (pdf)
One of the result will be to update the Football Handbook, which is being discussed in the Law Enforcement Working Party: Danish delegation: Results of the survey on the existing legal framework to prevent identified risk fans from attending football matches (pdf) and Discussion Paper (pdf): "Travelling known offenders:· incorporate the key recommendation on travelling known offenders as proposed in the survey of the Danish delegation on the existing legal framework to prevent identified risk fans from attending football matches."
IN THE BACKGROUND: FOOTBALL IS ALWAYS THE TESTING GROUND FOR EU POLICE COOPERATION ON COMBATING CROSS BORDER PROTESTS AS WELL: SUSPECTS TO BE LOGGED, PREVENTED FROM LEAVING HOME COUNTRY, USE OF COERCIVE METHODS: Draft template of a Memorandum of Understanding concerning international police cooperation in connection with providing safety and security during major sports events with an international dimension (pdf): Draft MOU proposes the collection and exchange of data on all people intending to cross borders to attend a football or sports event and this will include:
" . [name of the visiting country] shall undertake all necessary measures provided by the law to prevent the departure from the territory of . name of the visiting country of any persons who may pose a threat to public order and security during the name of the event or who have been involved in violence or disorder in connection with the sports events."
It thus would cover not just those convicted in connection with sporting events but those suspected who "may" pose a threat to public order. And: "If it is legally possible to prevent the "risk supporters"/supporters with a stadium ban from participating in the event or from leaving their home country, this should also be referred to in the agreement." plus:
"It is recommended that the head of the delegation, liaison officers and spotters (police officers who have direct contact with supporters) should not possess firearms Sometimes it is possible for police officers (police forces) protecting the movement of supporters to possess firearms or ammunition, however this depends on the legal regulations and bilateral agreements between the two countries. It is also possible to include a statement that police officers may use coercive measures."
UK: Ian Tomlinson's family win apology from Met police over death in 2009 - Four-year battle by newspaper seller's family ends with financial settlement and admission that officer used 'excessive force' (Guardian, link) and: Tomlinson apology: has the Met learned to say sorry sooner? Some families have had to wait more than three decades for the police to admit wrongdoing (Guardian, link)
UK: Government proposes limited reforms of undercover police authorisations, neglects other issues
The government has announced plans to introduce a new system of authorisation for undercover policing operations in response to scandals that have plagued the police since January 2011 when Mark Kennedy was ousted as a spy within the European environmental movement.
What is missing from the government's reponse is a willingness to re-define "domestic extremism" so as to expressly exclude the right to protest in a democracy..
UK: Police data-gathering on protesters dealt a blow by the courts
The high court has ruled that the Metropolitan police acted unlawfully by filming a legal observer and forcing her to hand over personal details so that she could leave a "kettle" (surrounded and detained by a police cordon), in what is the second legal victory this year for campaigners attempting to limit the powers police have to gather information on protesters.
UK: Police acted unlawfully after kettling cuts protesters, high court rules - Legal observer was filmed and made to hand over personal information as condition of release from containment in 2011 (Guardian, link)
European Monitoring Launched: The Transparency of Policing Protests (Access-Info, link), includes: The Right to Protest Briefing (pdf) developed with Statewatch (pdf)
UK: Getting answers from the police on undercover deployments "will be a long process"
Holding the police accountable for possible misconduct during undercover deployments "will be a long process" and "take perseverance," according to Jenny Jones, the Deputy Chair of the London Assembly's Police and Crime Committee. Jones has repeatedly questioned senior officers from the Metropolitan Police on undercover deployments, which received widespread attention in January 2011 following revelations about the activities of undercover police officer Mark Kennedy, but meaningful answers have not always been forthcoming.
UK: Report calls for the abolition of London's "paramilitary" riot squad due to poor relations with young people: A report by Jenny Jones, a Green Party member of London's local government body has called for the abolition of the Territorial Support Group (TSG), a wing of London's Metropolitan Police force most widely known for its role in public order policing, with Jones on record as saying the unit acts like a "paramilitary body".
BELGIUM: Bruxelles: 100 personnes arrêtées lors dune manifestation contre laustérité (Le Soir, link): 200 people demonstrated against austerity outside a dinner attended by Mario Monti and José Manuel Barroso - 100 were arrested and held in "administrative detention".
Greek police accused of using protester as human shield - Witnesses say the young woman was frogmarched in handcuffs ahead of riot police as protesters threw stones at officers (Guardian, link)
Spain: Police Brutality Turns Streets of Madrid Into War Zone (Occupy, link)
ECHR-UK: A bad day for civil liberties: Judgment on kettling case (pdf). See also: Human rights court backs police 'kettling'Majority of Strasbourg judges rule in favour of Met in case brought by demonstrator and bystanders over 2001 incident (Guardian, lnk) and A brief history of kettling (Freedom, link)
UK: Metropolitan Police report on August 2011 riots: 4 days in August (link, pdf). See also: Metropolitan police boost baton rounds capacity after English riots (Guardian, link)
UK: COVERT SURVEILLANCE: Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary: Report: A review of national police units which provide intelligence on criminality associated with protest (pdf) See also: Police spies: watchdog calls for safeguards over 'intrusive tactic' - Inspector criticises 'intrusion' into activists' lives by undercover officer Mark Kennedy (Guardian, link): "A clandestine operation that secretly deployed police spies in political groups for 40 years is severely criticised today by the official policing inspectorate" but says it should carry on.
UPDATED: UK: PUBLIC ORDER: Association of Chief Police Officers, Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland and National Policing Improvement Agency: Manual of Guidance on keeping the peace (pdf), see also: 2004-ACPO MAnual of Guidance-Public Order: Standards, Tactics, Training (Restricted version, link, pdf) and Ministry of Justice: Prisons: Use of force training manual (pdf)
EU: COUNTER-TERRORISM COMES TO SPORT: Council of the European Union: Annex to the Handbook for police and security authorities concerning cooperation at major events with an international dimension (pdf) adopted at the Justice and Home Affairs Council, 13-14 December 2011.This Annex is added to: Council Recommendation of 6 December 2007 concerning a Handbook for police and security authorities concerning cooperation at major events with an international dimension (pdf). The Annex embraces:"all participants of such events sportsmen, spectators, organisers and bystanders" and include some classic statements: "a terrorist attack is a specific kind of disturbances of public order and thus requires to a large extent different counter-measures than those regarding non-terrorist unlawful acts." and the main traits of sports events is that:
"sports fans who can be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, prone to disturb public order by clashes with fans of opposite teams or to commit other unlawful acts. In such an environment it is relatively easy for a range of extremists or terrorists to blend into the crowd and conduct an attack" and intelligence should be gathered on "groups of radically-oriented individuals pretending to be sports fans" [emphasis added] One of the counter-measures should be "not to have a large amount of uniformed security staff" but rather: "staff wearing civilian clothes".
Council of the European Union discusses the legal possibilities for exit, entry and stadium bans for sports fans
UK: The tin blue line: Met unveils revolutionary police barrier to prevent anti-cuts demonstrators marching on the Houses of Parliament (Daily Mail, link) On the 30 November protest march in London against the cuts the police used a new tactics of using a portable 10 foot high steel wall to stop people marching on 10 Downing Street and parliament
UK: Inquiry report into non-disclosure by prosecution of undercover police officer, Mark Kennedy's participation: Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station Protest Inquiry into Disclosure By The Rt Hon Sir Christopher Rose (pdf)
GERMANY-ECHR: European Court rules against German authorities' pre-emptive arrest of demonstrators prior to 2007 Heiligendamm G8 Summit: The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that German authorities, in pre-emptively arresting and detaining two individuals travelling to protest at the 2007 G8 summit in Heiligendamm, violated articles 5(1) and 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
LONDON: STUDENT PROTEST: Violent arrest of a protester during Nov9 by a large group of undercover cops (YouTube, link)
UK: Plastic bullets available to police for Wednesday's student protests - Scotland Yard says officers are free to use baton rounds in extreme cases but critics say tactic is 'appalling and un-British' (Guardian, link)
UK: Police accused of allowing undercover officers to lie in court - False evidence claim arises from papers suggesting undercover officer Jim Boyling hid identity when prosecuted over protest (Guardian, links): "The fresh allegations triggered another wave of criticism of police chiefs over their infiltration of protest movements, and came on the eve of a major report by Bernard Hogan-Howe, in his previous role at Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary." - this report has now been delayed and see: Undercover police and the law: the men who weren't there - Jim Boyling was authorised to use his fake name even when under oath in court, and he wasn't alone say other officers
UK: Blanket ban on protest lifted following threat of High Court action (Press release, pdf)
Statewatch Analysis: Using false documents against Euro-anarchists: the exchange of Anglo-German undercover police highlights controversial police operations (pdf) by Matthias Monroy: Examination of several recently exposed cases suggests that the main targets of police public order operations are anti-globalisation networks, the climate change movement and animal rights activists.
EU: "Troublemakers" database still on the agenda: See the Outcomes of the Council of the European Union DAPIX Working Party: 11891/11 (p5, pdf). It will be recalled that the notion of creating an EU-wide database on "troublemakers" regarding public order was resurrected by the Swedish Presidency and put into the Stockholm Programme. These Outcome state that, unlike the usual EU process of "harmonising" existing national laws, on the issue (defined as "travelling violent offenders": "no legal definition of the term exists in any of the MS" so Commission is funding a study to come up with "at least three definitions of the term". It should be noted that discussions in Council Working Parties in 2008-2009 were not limited to "offenders" (ie: those convicted of a public order offence) but extended to "suspected" or potential "troublemakers".
See: The right to protest: Troublemakers and travelling violent offenders" [undefined] to be recorded on database and targeted by Tony Bunyan (pdf): ""Since the onset of the EUs response to the war on terrorism the prime targets have been Muslim and migrant communities together with refugees and asylum-seekers. Now there is an emerging picture across the EU that demonstrations and the democratic right to protest are among the next to be targeted to enforce internal security.
ITALY-GENOA: European Democratic Lawyers (AED - EDL) and European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and World Human Rights (ELDH) Conference: Genoa 2001-2011: Ten Years of attacks on fundamental rights - the role of lawyers (link) and Programme (pdf). Gilberto Pagani (President AED-EDL) and Tony Bunyan (Statewatch) addressing the Conference
ITALY: Is there life after the Rosarno riots (OWNI, link): "On January 7, 2010 in Rosario, Italy, several shots were fired with air rifles at three Africans who were returning from their work on the farms. The rumor soon spread among the immigrants that some of their own were killed. The news was false, but the mere rumor was enough to spark their rage."
UK: UNDERCOVER POLICE: Mark Kennedy case: CPS accused of suppressing key evidence - CPS opens inquiry after claims prosecutors withheld undercover police officer's surveillance tapes from defence lawyers (Guardian, links)
- Police spying: secret tapes that put CPS on the spot - New evidence suggests undercover officer Mark Kennedy's recordings were known to prosecutors two years ago
- and Police knew about plans for Ratcliffe-on-Soar break-in before most activists -Leaked report reveals Mark Kennedy tipped off police about potential occupation of power station at early planning stage
EU: PUBLIC ORDER: Historical documents: Draft Schengen Manual on police cooperation in maintaining public order and security (11 June 1997, pdf). This was preceded by the Council Recommendation of 30 November 1994 for the exchange of information on the occasion of major .events or meetings, press communique 11321/94 (Press 252): which said:
"In connection with cooperation in the area of public order the Council approved a Recommendation for the exchange of information on the occasion of major events or meetings. Under that Recommendation any Member State within which an event is to take place should be able to call upon advisers from the other
Member States for the purpose of direct exchanges of information."
and by the Joint Action of 26 May 1997 adopted by the Council pursuant to article K.3 of the Treaty on European Union regarding cooperation in the area of public order and security (97/339/JHA; OJ L 14711)
UK: Police buy software to map suspects' digital movements - Geotime software, bought by the Met, collates data from social networking sites, satnavs, mobiles and financial transactions (Guardian, link): "The Metropolitan police has bought Geotime, a security programme used by the US military, which shows an individual's movements and communications with other people on a three-dimensional graphic. It can be used to collate information gathered from social networking sites, satellite navigation equipment, mobile phones, financial transactions and IP network logs. Police have confirmed its purchase and declined to rule out its use in investigating public order disturbances.
UK: Bristol squatters deny Tesco attack and petrol bomb claims (Observer, link)
Italy cleared of human rights violations in ECtHR ruling on Giuliani G8 shooting
On 24 March 2011, the Grand Chamber of the European Court on Human Rights in Strasbourg found that Italy did not contravene articles 2, 3, 6, 13 and 38 of the European Convention on Human Rights when Carlo Giuliani was shot dead by a carabiniere [police force with military status] during protests against the G8 summit in Genoa at around 5 p.m. on 20 July 2001. The application by Giuliani's parents and sister alleged breaches involving use of excessive and lethal force, the positive obligation to protect life, the organisation and planning of policing operations during the G8 summit, procedural aspects concerning the autopsy and cremation of Giuliani's body, the right to an exhaustive investigation and effective remedy and the Italian government's duty to assist the investigation.
ECHR: European Court of Human Rights: Carlo Giuliani judgment (64 pages, pdf). Seven judges dissented from the majority verdict. See: Court rules in Italy's favour over demonstrator's killing (M & G News, link). The court:
"1. Holds, by thirteen votes to four, that there has been no violation of Article 2 of the Convention in its substantive aspect as regards the use of lethal force;
2. Holds, by ten votes to seven, that there has been no violation of Article 2 of the Convention in its substantive aspect as regards the domestic legislative framework governing the use of lethal force or as regards the weapons issued to the law-enforcement agencies at the G8 summit in Genoa;
3. Holds, by ten votes to seven, that there has been no violation of Article 2 of the Convention in its substantive aspect as regards the organisation and planning of the policing operations during the G8 summit in Genoa;
4. Holds, by ten votes to seven, that there has been no violation of Article 2 of the Convention in its procedural aspect"
UK: On Tuesday 22nd March, a three-day court case began that will investigate police tactics used during the Camp for Climate Action protest that took place in London at the same time as the protests against the G20 in April 2009. 'The claimants challenge decisions to kettle them, use of
overwhelming violent force, and the dispersal of protesters before the Camp on Bishopsgate was due to come to an end. The test case is the first of its
kind to be considered by the Courts since the challenge to kettling at Oxford Circus on Mayday 2001.' See: Indymedia (link)
BELGIUM: Belgian court sentences activists for EU protest (euobserver, link): " A Belgian court on Thursday (17 March) handed down a one-month suspended jail sentence and fines of 1,100 to each of ten Greenpeace activists for having duped security and staged a protest during an EU summit in 2009. The protest was staged as a "warning to EU leaders" a few days ahead of a major climate change summit in Copenhagen. The activists managed to join an official motorcade and use the VIP entrance before being seized by security forces."
UK: Police accused of false arrest at fees protest - IPCC investigating claims that officer colluded with colleagues to arrest man on false grounds during December protest (Guardian., link)
GREECE: LESVOS: Police brutality against University of Aegean Professors, students and employees protest - People were beaten - Tear gas - People in hospital: Youtube- video (link)
Germany: Undercover police officers work abroad (including G8 in Scotland)
"The German police have admitted sending undercover officers to other countries, including Scotland, during a parliamentary hearing into the controversial deployment of an undercover UK policeman in Germany." (The Local)
See: Germany sent five undercover police officers to G8 protests - Officers took orders from UK police division that employed spy Mark Kennedy, German MPs told (Guardian, link)
EU: Statewatch Analysis: The growing use of preventative arrests (pdf) by Kees Hudig: Examines police tactics to counter and thwart protests using mass and preventative arrests, new laws and kettling to deny the right to demonstrate
UK: Revealed: how energy firms spy on environmental activists (Guardian, links) and Green groups targeted polluters as corporate agents hid in their ranks - Special report: After revelations of police spying, the focus turns to firms paid to infiltrate protesters
UK: Inspector of Constabulary (HMIC) report: Policing Public Order (pdf) See: Police struggle to adapt to UK's agile protest movement (Guardian, link) and Testimony London protests: I dont recognise my country (Cafebabel, link)
EU-funded police research on policing protests: Good practice for dialogue and communication as strategic principles for policing political manifestations in Europe (GODIAC) (pdf). This project is lead by the Swedish National Police Board with 20 partner organisations in 11 countries with a budget over three years of 1,206,431 euro. It is 70% funded by the Commission DG on Home Affairs under the programme: "Prevention of and fight against Crime". This outline argues that: "With the internationalisation of demonstrations, there is a need for an internationalisation of knowledge", which includes: "knowledge on demonstrators and activists, their ideology, mobility and strategies towards the police."
UK: FITWATCH shut down: Met closes down anti-police blog - Police force suspension of website that offered advice to students involved in last week's rioting (Guardian, link)
NORWAY-USA: US embassy accused of spying in Norway: The US embassy has been accused of spying in Norway, after a television documentary said it had conducted illegal surveillance of hundreds of Norwegians for the past decade (Daily Telegraph, link):
"According to the TV2 News channel, the US embassy had employed between 15 and 20 people, including former high-ranking Norwegian police officers, to monitor Norwegians in a bid to ward off attacks on US interests in Norway. The surveillance had been going on since 2000, said the report. Embassy-hired employees had photographed people taking part in demonstrations and added their names to a special computer database, SIMAS (Security Incident Management Analysis System), TV2 reported."
See Background: Security Incident Management Analysis System (SIMAS) (pdf):
"The Security Incident Management and Analysis System (SIMAS) is a worldwide Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) web-based application, which serves as a repository for all suspicious activity and crime reporting from U.S. Diplomatic Missions abroad (all U.S. embassies and consulates)."
BELGIUM: Policing of 'noborder camp' in Brussels violates basic civil rights
UK: The surveillance of protestors: Peace campaigner, 85, classified by police as 'domestic extremist' - John Catt and his daughter were placed under surveillance at more than 80 lawful protests (Guardian, link) and See: We must show we will not tolerate this arrogant policing - Continuiing surveillance of peaceful protesters proves it is essential that we monitor the police (Guardian, link). See also: FITWATCH (link)
ITALY: Genoa G8 appeal, Diaz school raid high ranking police officers convicted on appeal
On 18 May 2010, the third section of Genoa appeal court overturned the acquittal of several high level police officers present at the raid on the Diaz and Pascoli schools during the G8 summit in July 2001. The Diaz school had been made available by the city council as a dormitory for demonstrators, whereas the Pascoli school hosted a media centre, the Genoa Legal Forum, Indymedia and other activist media groups, as well as providing office facilities. One police official who was a defendant in the case, MF, described the scene that he witnessed as a "Mexican butchery". 93 people were arrested, 75 were taken to Bolzaneto where they suffered further violence in custody after the indiscriminate violence they were subjected to in the school
UK: Metropolitan Police and the killing of Blair Peach in 1979: INQUEST: Press release (pdf) plus Link to full-text of report.
Celia Stubbs, partner of Blair Peach, said:
"This report totally vindicates what we have always believed that Blair was killed by one of six officers from Unit 1 of the Special Patrol Group whose names have been in the public domain over all these years: Insp Murray, PC White, PC Richardson, PC Scottow, PC Freestone and PS Lake. That serves only to emphasise that there can be no excuse for the way in which the writer of the report, like the police generally, sought to criminalise the many protestors including Blair at the demonstration against the National Front election meeting."
Deborah Coles, Co-Director of INQUEST, said:
"The family, friends and community have waited for 31 years for some public recognition and acknowledgement that the police were responsible for Blairs death. We call upon Sir Paul Stephenson to publicly acknowledge for the first time that a Metropolitan Police officer was responsible the fatal truncheon blow that killed him. The whole police investigation into what happened on 23 April 1979 was clearly designed as an exercise in managing the fallout from the events of that iconic day in Southall, to exonerate police violence in the face of legitimate public protest. The echoes of that exercise sound across the decades to the events of the G20 protest and the death of Ian Tomlinson in 2009."
Footnote: Blair Peach was killed by the member of the Met's Special Patrol Group (SPG) in Southall at a massive protest against the National Front in April 1979. The then Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, David McNee, said at a press conference on 14 June 1979 introducing his annual report:
"If you keep off the streets of London and behave yourself you won't have to worry about the SPG"
Statewatch Analysis: The right to protest: Troublemakers and travelling violent offenders [undefined] to be recorded on database and targeted by Tony Bunyan:
"Since the onset of the EUs response to the war on terrorism the prime targets have been Muslim and migrant communities together with refugees and asylum-seekers. Now there is an emerging picture across the EU that demonstrations and the democratic right to protest are among the next to be targeted to enforce internal security.
EU: Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen: Schengen Border controls (EU doc no: 6927/10, pdf). Concerns temporary reintroduction of border checks by Denmark at internal Schengen borders from 1 to 18 December 2009 and shows that at the borders with Germany and Sweden:
- 343 police officers took part and the "Results" were:
- Number of persons checked: 7,450
- Number of consultations of national and SIS databases: 807
- Number of refusals of entry: 22
"the measure achieved the desired objective"
These figures do not include the many stopped and arrested at the Climate Conference itself: See: Protest curtailed in Copenhagen (Guardian, link)
ITALY: GENOA: G8 appeals: longer prison terms for demonstrators, more officers convicted
UK: Police in £9m scheme to log 'domestic extremists: 'Thousands of activists monitored on network of overlapping databases (all Guardian, link) and:
- How police rebranded lawful protest as 'domestic extremism' - Forces gather details of single-issue protesters - Activists claim monitoring has echoes of the cold war
-Spotter cards: What they look like and how they work: "These so-called "spotter cards" are issued by police to identify individuals they consider to be potential troublemakers because they have appeared at a number of demonstrations."
- Activists repeatedly stopped and searched as police officers 'mark' cars
- Campaigner uncovers police files for £10 and a letter
- Police forces challenged over files held on law-abiding protesters
- Met hired lawyers to contest the findings of G20 protest inquiry
- Kingsnorth: How climate protesters were treated as threat to the country
UK: The Myth of Policing By Consent by Kevin Blowe (link)
UK: Kingsnorth protests report criticises 'counterproductive' policing tactics (Guardian, link) Official review says orders were not communicated properly, leading to indiscriminate use of stop and search on activists. See also: Police at Kingsnorth: hiding badges, searching kids, blasting music and suffering bee stings - Catalogue of complaints over tactics used against both protesters and media (Guardian, link)
UK: Home Affairs Select Committee report: Policing of the G20 Protests (pdf)
UK: Campaigners monitored by civil servants: Intelligence on climate groups passed to police - 'Orwellian' approach condemned by Liberty (Guardian, link)
UK: G20 PROTESTS: Report of the Metropolitan Police Authority (pdf), Motions submitted (pdf) and G20 protests: Met police accused of misleading watchdog (Guardian, link)
UK: 'UK plc can afford more than 20 quid,' the officer said - Tape recordings reveal how undercover police tried to recruit environmental activist to network of 'hundreds' of paid informants they have among protest groups (Guardian, link) and Police caught on tape trying to recruit protester as spy - Plane Stupid climate change activist taped men who offered cash for information about group's members and activities (Guardian, link)
UK: Police arrest 114 people in pre-emptive strike against environmental protesters - Activists held in Nottingham over alleged power station action - Campaigners fear increase in police surveillance and possible infiltration (Guardian, link)
UK: Video of police assault on Ian Tomlinson, who died at G20 protest (Guardian, link) The Guardian obtained this footage of Ian Tomlinson at a G20 protest in London shortly before he died. It shows Tomlinson, who was not part of the demonstration, being assaulted from behind and pushed to the ground by baton-wielding police. See also: Watch new ITN/C4 News footage giving a fresh angle on the attack (link) and Video reveals G20 police assault on man who died - Exclusive footage obtained by the Guardian shows Ian Tomlinson, who died during G20 protests in London, was attacked from behind by batonwielding police officer. And: De Menezes taught the Met nothing: Footage of a police assault on Ian Tomlinson at the G20 demo moments before he died suggests their tactics are dangerously wrong (Guardian, link)
UK: POLICE "PUNISH" PROTESTORS: Baton charges and kettling: police's G20 crowd control tactics under fire (Guardian, link), Coralled and angry, G20 protesters switch focus of anger from bankers to police (Guardian, link):
"Many were stopped and searched. "On Wednesday I was coralled with 4,000 people for four hours for doing nothing," said Tim Smith, a carpenter from London. "Now I have been stopped and searched twice. I have been made to feel like a criminal for exercising my right to peaceful protest.""
G20: Questions need to be asked about 'kettling' - At the G2 protests, police used the controversial tactic of containment, ruled in January to be lawful but is it right? (Guardian, link) and G20: The police ruined a peaceful protest: I watched the police push into the crowd with a brutality that was not only shocking but utterly unnecessary (Guardian, link)
ITALY: THE GENOA TRIALS: Statewatch Analysis: Italy: Making sense of the Genoa G8 trials and aftermath (pdf) by Yasha Maccanico:
This analysis seeks to identify some of the key points for understanding the outcome of the trials involving demonstrators and police officers in relation to events during the G8 summit in Genoa in July 2001, and to investigate the implications for public order policing and the right to demonstrate.
Italy: Update: Protocol on demonstrations sets authorised routes in Rome
UK: Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights: Demonstrating respect for rights? A human rights approach to policing protest (Vol 1: Report, pdf) and Vol 2 Evidence (pdf) See: Police 'heavy-handed at protests' (BBC News, link). See also: Statewatch analysis: Media freedoms in the UK curtailed by police culture of suspicion and double standards (pdf) by Max Rowlands:
ITALY: Interior Ministry directive on demonstrations in urban centres
UK: Those Kingsnorth police injuries in full: six insect bites and a toothache (Guardian, link)
Kent force admits no officers hurt by protests
£5.9m police operation 'colossal waste of money'
UK: Sussex students arrested under anti-terror laws - A new interactive online map reveals the nature of police activity in Brighton during an anti-war march
Italy: High ranking police officers acquitted in sentence for brutal G8 Diaz school raid
GENOA-2001: No justice in Genoa - The G8 protesters were brutalised, yet the Foreign Office showed complete indifference (Guardian, link). See Statewatch's Observatory on reactions to protests in the EU
ITALY: The bloody battle of Genoa (Guardian feature by Nick Davies, link)
UK: Police seek to axe anti-arms trade movie (link to SchNews) and Watching You in Big Brother Britain (thanks to SchNews): Car of peace protesters "flagged" on Police National Computer led to them being stopped and questioned under the Terrorism Act.
ITALY-GENOA 2001: Rete del Sud Ribelle activists acquitted of "subversive association" charges
EU: Protests: Proposal to create EU-wide "troublemakers" database, full story
Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, comments:
"We can now see a pattern emerging across the EU where people who exercise their democratic right to attend cross border protests are confronted by aggressive para-military policing, surveillance, preventive detention and expulsion.
This is a reflection of the EU's definition of "security" at international events which is now defined as covering both "counter-terrorism" and "public order".
Back in 2003 the bilateral exchange of information on "suspected troublemakers" between EU states for international events was agreed. What is proposed now is not the one-off exchange of information related to a specific event but a permanent EU-wide database of suspected "troublemakers", this is utterly unacceptable in a democratic Europe."
See also: Policing protests in Switzerland, Italy and Germany
1. Switzerland: Policing of the anti-WEF demonstration in Davos; 2. Italy: Demonstrators convicted for G8 clashes; 3. Switzerland: 200 arrests at peaceful street party; 4. Germany: 60 per cent of G8 investigations dropped
ROMANIA-NATO: Protests repression during the NATO Summit in Romania: (2 April 2008) One day before the start of the Nato summit in Bucharest, repression against activists is increasing. People who look like activists are picked off the street and detained by the police for no reason. Once detained, the police appears to construct "offences", such as interpreting the carrying of a pocketknife as arms possessions. Every person coming to or leaving the convergence center, set up for protesters from Romania and other parts of the world, are in danger of getting detained (some simply for walking to a nearby shop). The detained are interrogated, photographed and fingerprinted in police stations, and held for up to 24 hours. At the Romanian border several groups of activists have been denied entry into the country. Indymedia report in German and English summary
Germany: High Court rules police raids against anti-G8 protesters unlawful
G8: Summary of the monitoring of demonstrations at the G8 summit from Grundrechtekomitee (Committee for Fundamental Rights and Democracy) 10 June 2007
GERMANY-G8: Committee for Fundamental Rights and Democracy (Komitee für Grundrechte und Demokratie e. V.): Press Release: The Rostock police authority - not the demonstrators - are severely damaging the reputation of the Federal Republic of Germany "On 16 May 2007, the police authority Rostock passed a general decree, curtailing the right of assembly on the occasion of the G8 summit in Heiligendamm. This means that the fundamental rights of assembly and freedom of expression are suspended also outside of the 12 km-long fence the so-called technical barrier around Heiligendamm."
See also: German police use Stasi scent profiling on G8 protesters (Guardian, link) and Police raid G8 activists
January 2007 Italy: G8-Genoa policemen's trial suspended as planted molotov cocktails disappear
January 2007: EU: Public order and counter-terrorism: Security handbook for the use of police authorities and services at international events (EU doc no: 15226/1/06, 22.12.06, full-text, pdf). The Council of the European Union (representing the 27 governments) is proposing that the existing handbooks on public order at EU events and that on counter-terrorism should be combined:
"The scope of the manual is now such that it applies to the security (both from a public order point of view as well as counter-terrorism) of all major international events, be it political, sporting, social, cultural or other."
As regards public order and cross-border demonstrations it says that the agencies should: "prevent individuals or groups who are considered to pose a potential threat to the maintenance of public law and order and/or security from travelling to the location of the event" and for those who have entered make: "The necessary arrangements for a quick and efficient implementation of the potential expulsion measures"
Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, comments: "Cross-border demonstrations, like those is Gothenburg, Genoa and Davos, where people are exercising their democratic right to protest should never be put in the same bracket as terrorist attacks where the aim is to kill and maim indiscriminately"
UK: Protesters were held unlawfully, court rules - 120 people prevented from attending demonstration against Iraq war at RAF Fairford will claim £3,000 each: Fairford (link)
Sweden: Gothenburg police chief acquitted over events of June 2001: Report
Greece: The "Thessaloniki 5" hunger strike leads to release: Report
Greece: The "Thessaloniki 5" on hunger strike transferred to high security prison: Report
Dutch government attacks Italian Presidency plan to combat protests: Report
Italian EU Council Presidency: Plan to put protestors under surveillance and deny entry to suspected troublemakers: Special Report
German police raid border camp and arrest 250 activists: Report
G8: injured activist released from hospital after one month - new video evidence demonstrates police negligence: Report
UK: Civil Contingencies Bill: Emergency Powers - ancient arbitrary powers preserved: Royal perogative and Privy Council to authorise emergency powers and scope of new law extended to protect the government, the state and financial institutions: Report and documents
G8 Summit: Police raid targets media activists and l'Usine Cultural Centre: Report
Spain: Legal action against policing of demonstrations: Report
EU: Legal teams set up for G8, Evian and EU Summit in Thessaloniki: Report and contacts
Gothenburg, June 2001: report on the trials: Report
Expulsion from Belgium and Schengen bans for anti-war protestors: Report
Police to provide the "news" during Danish EU Presidency: Report
Spain: State agencies put protestors under extensive internet surveillance: Report
Indymedia centres raided across Italy - updated 28.2.02: Report
EU: Anarchists to be targeted as "terrorists" alongside Al Qaeda: Report
EU Presidency present draft Council Decision to target protestors as "terrorists": Report
Indymedia centres raided across Italy (Wednesday, 20 February): Report
EU plans to extend the Schengen Information System (SIS) to: i) create EU database to target "suspected" protestors and bar them from entering a country where a protest is planned; ii) create EU database of all "foreigners" to remove third country nationals who have not left within the "prescribed time frame": Special Statewatch report: The enemy within II (3.12.01)
Special Statewatch report on: The "enemy within" - EU plans for the surveillance of protestors and the criminalisation of protests which will:
* create mechanisms for operational cooperation for which there are no legal powers
* legitimise the ongoing surveillance by police and intelligence officers (internal security services) of persons or groups likely to pose a threat to public order and security
* create national databases of troublemakers based on suspicion and supposition without any legal standards or data protection and allow the unregulated exchange of this data
Report and full documentation
Proposal to create EU para-military police units to counter protests: Report
EU to adopt new laws on terrorism: definition of "terrorism" to cover groups with the aim of "seriously altering... the political, economic or social structure" of one or more countries and their institutions and includes "urban violence": Report and documents
International meetings cancelled: Meetings European Parliament discusses Echelon and Genoa: Reports Civil society boycotts Hague police conference on public order: Hague
Genoa Justice campaign: Site
Report by Annelie Buntenbach and Hans-Christian Ströbele, Members of the German Bundestag, on their trip to Genoa on 25 and 26 July 2001: Report
(Updated 17.8.01) Genoa: 20 of the PublixTheatreCaravan detainees freed & Germany to challenge Italian "expulsion orders"? Detainees freed
Demand for the immediate release of members of the PublixTheatreCaravan. Protest against miscarriage of justice and for freedom of expression, 12.8.01: Appeal
Statements by two British people arrested: Statements
Collection of reports on Genoa from urban75: Reports
Report from La Repubblica on police out of control, carried by Global Resistance: Report
Guardian report says (27.7.01) 220 people still being held: Report
2,093 people refused entry to Italy to attend Genoa protests: Entry denied
UK Genoa protestors released: Report and statement (Guardian) Statement
Belated call by UK government for inquiry into police violence: Report (Evening Standard)
Fair Trials Abroad press statement on Genoa arrests: Genoa arrests
Independent Media Center reports on police raids: Report (1)
Independent Media Center (IMC) on police raids: Report (2) (pdf file)
Amnesty International call for inquiry into policing: Amnesty
Genoa, midnight Saturday 21 July: Police raid on independent media centre and school - many injured (22.7.01): Report
Events leading up to the Genoa protests: raids on social centres and left groups and clashes at the Italian borders: Reports from the ground
French government stops train going to Genoa - G8 Summit - update 19.7.01: French government bows to pressure and lets train go ahead: Genoa
Public order policing in Europe - policy backlash expected: Public order
Statewatch: News online | Join Statewatch news e-mail list | Support our work |
Statewatch does not have a corporate view, nor does it seek to create one, the views expressed are those of the author. Statewatch is not responsible for the content of external websites and inclusion of a link does not constitute an endorsement.
© Statewatch ISSN 1756-851X. Personal usage as private individuals/"fair dealing" is allowed. We also welcome links to material on our site. Usage by those working for organisations is allowed only if the organisation holds an appropriate licence from the relevant reprographic rights organisation (eg: Copyright Licensing Agency in the UK) with such usage being subject to the terms and conditions of that licence and to local copyright law.