G20 death raises serious concerns over police tactics

By Pits’n’Pots Reporter.

Ian Tomlinson, the man who died at last week’s G20 protests in London, was attacked from behind and thrown to the ground by a baton-wielding police officer in riot gear, dramatic footage obtained by the ­Guardian shows.

Moments after the assault on ­Tomlinson was captured on video, he ­suffered a heart attack and died.

The submission to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) includes a collection of testimonies from witnesses, along with the footage, shot at about 7.20pm last Wednesday, which shows ­Tomlinson at Royal Exchange ­Passage. The film reveals that as he walks, with his hands in his pockets, he does not speak to the police or offer any resistance.

A phalanx of officers, some with dogs and some in riot gear, are close behind him and try to urge him forward.

A Metropolitan police officer appears to strike him with a baton, hitting him from behind on his upper thigh.

Moments later, the same policeman rushes forward and, using both hands, pushes Tomlinson in the back and sends him flying to the ground, where he ­remonstrates with police who stand back, leaving bystanders to help him to his feet.

The man who shot the footage, a fund manager from New York who was in London on business, said he had attended the protests out of curiosity. He said: “The primary reason for me coming forward is that it was clear the family were not ­getting any answers.”

One witness, Anna Branthwaite, a ­photographer, described how in the ­minutes before the video was shot, she saw Tomlinson walking towards Cornhill Street.

“A riot police officer had already grabbed him and was pushing him,” she said. “It wasn’t just pushing him ““ he’d rushed him. He went to the floor and he did actually roll. That was quite noticeable.

“It was the force of the impact. He bounced on the floor. It was a very forceful knocking down from behind. The officer hit him twice with a baton when he was lying on the floor.

“So it wasn’t just that the officer had pushed him ““ it became an assault. And then the officer picked him up from the back, continued to walk or charge with him, and threw him.

“He was running and stumbling. He didn’t turn and confront the officer or anything like that.”

The witness accounts contradict the official version of events given by police.

In an official statement on the night of Tomlinson’s death, the Metropolitan police made no reference to any ­contact with officers and described attempts by police medics and an ambulance crew to save his life after he collapsed ““ efforts which they said were marred by ­protesters throwing missiles as first aid was administered .

The force said officers had created a ­cordon around Tomlinson to give him CPR.

Yesterday, the IPCC began managing an investigation by City of London police into the ­circumstances of ­Tomlinson’s death after the Guardian ­published photographs of him on the ground and witness statements indicated he had been assaulted by police officers.

Watch the Gaurdian video here:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HECMVdl-9SQ

The Liberal Democrats are now demanding a criminal inquiry.

The party’s justice spokesman, David Howarth, said the footage showed a “sickening and unprovoked attack” by police.

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said an independent police inquiry needed to be completed as soon as possible.

Pits’n’Pots commends the work of the Guardian newspaper in uncovering this video footage. This man was clearly walking away with his back to the police. The family of Mr Tomlinson deserve justice.

This must not be allowed to turn into a police cover up.

Over to you………

Source: The Guardian.

G20 Protests get out of hand!

By Pits’n’Pots Reporter.

Police were braced for another day of violence in London today after officers were pelted with bottles as they tried to save a protester dying on the street.

The man, believed to be in his 30s, had collapsed at a makeshift camp set up near the Bank of England. He was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at hospital.

Protesters are already on the march in the capital again today as the G20 summit started in earnest to agree a rescue deal for the global economy.

Police have already made their first arrests this morning after demonstrators gathered outside the Stock Exchange, threatening to disrupt the financial markets.

One man was taken away by police after a brief chase and a scuffle and a second was detained for arguing with officers.

A small group of protesters gathered in Paternoster Square next to St Paul’s Cathedral as a steady stream of City staff arrived for work.

Dressed in top hat and tails, they played a giant game of Monopoly using crates full for fake money and huge fluffy dice.

Across London, the Excel Centre in the Docklands was surrounded by a ring of steel as world leaders arrived to trash out a global action plan on the economy at today’s crucial summit.

Snipers could also be seen at the Excel Centre while policewere turning back anyone without a pass within a half mile radius.

So far, the area is quiet but protesters plan to converge their later raising fears there will be a repeat of yesterday’s violence.

Watch this video:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNOfo-3KV3o

At least 86 protesters linked to the G20 summit have already been arrested over the last 36 hours.

Four people have already been charged, three for possessing a knife and another for assault.

Almost 5,000 police officers and other security officials will be on duty in the capital again today to try and keep the demonstrations under control.

Yesterday, anarchists hijacked protests in the City. They clashed with baton-wielding officers and ransacked a bank as they taunted police and bombarded them with missiles.

Senior police fear yesterday’s protests were a ‘dry run’ for more disturbances, noting that ‘riot generals’ had been orchestrating violence.

Known Italian and French anarchists were also among the crowds in the Square Mile.

One snarling man, blood apparently pouring from a head wound, goaded officers for several minutes as others pressed forward challenging police lines chanting: ‘Whose streets? Our streets.’

At one point he lay on his back, arms above his head, as at least four policemen stood over him.

The mob had thrown ‘bombs’ of red dye at police, hitting at least one officer and making him appear as if he was bleeding from a head wound.

Some 63 were under arrest last night while four police officers and seven protesters were injured.

Among the crowds yesterday were groups of young men and a large number of women in what police called the ‘uniform of anarchists’ – dark top, trousers and boots with hat and mask.

Larger demonstrations are planned today and tomorrow as the business of the London summit finally begins in the Excel Centre in Docklands.

Police, who have cancelled all leave and called in specialist officers from 30 forces, were expecting to make further arrests last night after studying CCTV footage of the disturbances. Helicopters were used to track suspects as they tried to slip away from around the Bank of England.

Metropolitan Police Commander Simon O’Brien, one of the officers overseeing the £7.5million G20 security operation, said elements among the protests had been ‘determined to hijack’ them.

‘We believe these were the sort of people we have been monitoring on the internet and on-line,’ he said.

‘Some of these seemed to be quite experienced and determined protesters in that they wanted to get involved in a violent protest and not lawful protest.’

The day had begun peacefully with demonstrators marching from Tube stations past specially boarded-up buildings to the Bank of England urging those who had lost their homes, jobs, pensions and savings to join them in following the ‘four horsemen of the apocalypse’ to ‘lay siege’ to financial institutions.

Crowds shouted ‘one solution, revolution’ and ‘climate, justice and peace’ while others carried banners proclaiming ‘Balls to the Banks’ and ‘Punish the looters.’

They were met by derision from City workers, who waved £10 notes from their offices at marchers on the streets below.

Environmentalists, anarchists, anti-war protesters and workers hit by the financial crisis responded to their taunts with shouts and jeers and demanded action from world leaders.

Last night police, who still had several hundred protesters penned in the square outside the Bank of England, used batons to beat away attackers after they ripped apart metal crowd control barriers and began hurling them at officers.

Riot police were up to six-deep at the cordons, which were backed up by riot vans and mounted officers on horses and the demonstrators were unable to break through. Traffic lights were set ablaze.

Among those arrested were 11 held after officers found police uniforms in the back of an armoured vehicle parked in the City of London.

It seems that any attempts at staging peaceful protests were thwarted from hard line rioters who seem hell bent on violence. Often these rioters are made of of political extremists from both sides of the political divide.

Whatever people feel about the G20 summit, we should consider the cost of policing this event and preventing organised violence.

£7.5million pound is a substantial amount of money, but these protests have come at a greater cost than that, and that is the cost of a human life.

Source: Mailonline

Good Enough For The G20, But Not For Stoke on Trent City Council!

By Tony Walley.

G20Voice is holding an “open primary” to pick 50 bloggers from around the world to attend the conference and put questions to the leaders.

Political leaders are set to be confronted by questions from members of the public received online at next month’s G20 summit in London.

More than 600 were nominated by readers with many arguing blogs explained issues in a way they found accessible.

For what is believed to be the first time at a major political meeting, bloggers will have the same access as the mainstream media. Are you listening Dan Barton?

Charities including Oxfam, Comic Relief and Save The Children have joined forces to create G20Voice.

It aims to push the public’s concerns about the economy to the forefront when some of the world’s most powerful politicians meet.

They believe the global financial crisis has made people more engaged than ever.

People can call a number to record a voicemail, which will be translated into text and uploaded onto the web page by Spin Vox.

The G20 summit – a forum for the world’s finance ministers and bank governors – will be held in London on April 20.

The recession has made it more important than ever for people to be heard, according to Oxfam’s Karina Brisby who is leading the G20Voice project.

So there you have it! It’s good enough for the G2o summit and Barack Obama, but not for the Stoke on Trent City Council Media Department.

I wonder if there was a “jobsworth” somewhere who pointed out that blogs were not regulated by either Ofcom or the Press Complaints Commission?

Doesn’t this just highlight how backward thinking our city and it’s leaders are? I wonder if Obama will tell the worlds greatest leaders not to contribute to a particular blog because they may read comments that they don’t like or someone may be having a go at the UK (because after all we work together – don’t we?).

Are you listening Joy?