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jeudi, octobre 16, 2008

Fascist Police State-Liverpool England 11th Oct.2008

On Saturday 11th October 2008 in Liverpool City Centre, Merseyside Police Officers broke up a peaceful protest and leaflet distribution, seized leaflets and arrested a number of protesters who were later initially charged with 'criminal damage ' later changed to 'Causing alarm and distress'

The main instigating officer involved was P.C Wilson.

Here is a witness statemnt to the event

'Last Saturday (11th) Merseyside Police broke up a legal political mass stall by various organisations on Church Street in Liverpool city centre that had been planned for some time, arresting two political activists in the process. The mass stall was arranged by various groups after the wrongful arrest of a Liverpool political activist in August for distributing leaflets and selling political newspapers on Church Street, allowed under Government legislation and Section 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998.

Last Saturday, various groups arranged to meet on Bold Street before heading to Church Street to set up stalls at one oclock in the afternoon. Upon our arrival a police officer was already present harassing the Cuba Solidarity group. After seeing the various groups arrive the officer then called for backup and within fifteen minutes there were several officers on the scene removing stalls and literature from all groups present without any warning. This caused a major protest in the street and led to the heavy handed arrests of an Anarchist Federation member and an animal rights activist. The AF activist was arrested for simply refusing to stop handing out leaflets before refusing to give his details to the police. As well as this, the police were also heavy handed towards other activists and forcefully attempted to arrest two female activists later on.

The police action led to members of the public joining activists in successfully blocking the police car with the activists inside for nearly an hour, preventing the officers from leaving Church Street and heading to the police station. The police officers then called for even more re-enforcements who arrived and forcefully moved the protesters back, resulting in the police cars finally leaving Church Street with the two activists inside.

The disgraceful behaviour of the police managed to attract the attention of a good amount of passers by who joined in the protest and the police were completely humiliated and outnumbered.

The only obstruction in Church Street, Liverpool was Merseyside police vehicles and the crowd who gathered to see what was going on and stayed to support the protest. Activists and the public surrounded and blocked the exit of the police van, but the police were being hardline and couldnt see that they caused the biggest obstruction in Liverpool for many years. The public were on the side of the political activists and chanted with us at various times Let Them Go! - Let Them Go!
The police were offered the chance a number of times to unarrest the activists (as they could have done at any time) and we would disperse.

Merseyside police went in heavy handed and nobody could reason with them, the two arrested are due to be summonsed along with another 8 to 12 people despite doing nothing illegal.

For years political organisations have gathered on a weekend in various parts of the city centre and have been tolerated during that time. However, recently we have seen the harassment of activists on a weekly basis from the police during the Capital of Culture year in an attempt to clean up the streets. The actions of several police officers on the 11th October were yet another attempt to break up a legal gathering of activists.

This saturday various groups will gather again as usual in the city centre to demand the basic right to freedom of speech and peaceful assembly and support from members of the public is needed on this day. I ask all of you reding this to attend and pass the details of this event on to other people in order to obtain a good presence on the day.