More brutality from Merseyside police

At an anti cuts meeting tonight outside Liverpool Town Hall, Merseyside Police decide to brutalise and arrest two young comrades, and knock over and injure a third with a horse. A member of Liverpool Solidarity Federation has written about today's events.

Submitted by working class … on March 7, 2012

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I've blogged multiple times on police brutality, wrongful arrests and their tactics used at demonstration being incredibly disproportionate to the "threat" posed by protestors. Today I witnessed the cops being bastards again.
A protest, or "lobby", was called outside Liverpool Town Hall against the voting through of the budget which will mean widescale cuts across our city. We've continuously held demos outside meetings concerning the setting of the budget and last time the police got particularly violent; 6 arrests were made and punches were thrown by officers.

For this reason we knew that we needed far more people there this time but when we got there it was clear that wasn't going to happen. There was a large police presence, with 4 police horses. As per usual the Socialist Party jumped ship before anything could happen and a great portion of the crowd left early on. The group left was largely made up of occupiers and anarchists. However it was pretty quiet and, out of boredom, we once or twice circled the Town Hall as a group just to keep the police on their toes. It was fairly quiet.

However at some point an ambulance was called for a councillor inside the Town Hall who'd been suffering from chest pains. Several protestors crossed over the road and were facing the Town Hall. One young woman shouted something along the lines of "Who cares if she dies?!" - maybe not the most appropriate shout, but who hasn't said worse? The police descended. On a different person. Another young woman, who can only be about 16 but looked very like the other protestor was surrounded by police roughly grabbing her. We attempted to de-arrest her and as we did she was shouting "please don't let go, they're really hurting me". She is very petite and the force used against her was shocking. There is a video of a doctor, who was amongst the protestors, expressing concern for her health and being denied the opportunity to examine her.

Whilst the arrestee was being taken to the van a police horse backed into me, standing on my foot and knocking me back. Due to a combination of pain and shock I ended up on the floor with very little clue of what was going on around me. Fortunately there were paramedics on hand to give me a look over and, aside from some pain, I am perfectly ok. However, it is a blatant example of how intimidation tactics used by the police - and be under no illusion, using horses to rear into the crowd and drive into protestors is an intimidation tactic - can become dangerous. Not that the police care, I'm sure.

Whilst I was on the floor I witnessed another protestor, the original woman who had said the so called offensive comment directed at the councillor, being arrested. She put up a good fight against her rough arrest, but was still dragged to the van by four officers.

No police were hurt tonight, but at least two protestors were. It is vital that, in a time were police brutality is as relevant as ever, people turn up to protests to ensure there are too many people to kettle, de-arrests can be made successfully and we can try and avoid situations bound to end in a demonstrator being hurt.



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