Necessity Still Breeds Ingenuity - Archive of SQUALL MAGAZINE 1992-2006

News Shorts And Other Busyness

Legal Defence

Squall 11, Autumn 1995, pg. 16.

Seventeen people were arrested at the end of the Reclaim the Street’s Party in Upper Street, Islington, in July, when riot police moved in to clear a residue of 150 protesters.

According to the Legal Defence and Monitoring Group, who took responsibility for legal back up on the day, the police action was unnecessary and heavy handed. One demonstrator needed hospital treatment after being hit with a truncheon and two more were knocked unconscious by the police.

The LDMG say that “although the actions of the riot police were totally out of control throughout the whole episode, we feel a number of incidents deserve special attention:

“One particular officer in full riot gear was seen on at least three occasions using his clenched fist to punch demonstrators in the head and face - one of whom was knocked unconscious.

“An articulated lorry was moving through the crowd and the police were violently pushing people past it causing a number of them to lose balance. It was only luck that somebody did not fall under the wheels of this vehicle.

“When one demonstrator was knocked unconscious legal observers and protesters tried to see if he was alright, but were viciously pushed and beaten by police.”

The LDMG are asking for money to finance the “bust fund” in defence of those arrested, and that the incidents are publicised as widely as possible through “articles, word of mouth, posters, internet etc” and help in “loads of other ways” as they are only a small group with limited resources.

Enquiries, donations to LDMG, who did a sterling job on the day, should be sent to: LDMG, c/o BM Box Haven, London WC1N 3XX. See RTS article on Page 58.