“The tradition of the oppressed teaches us that the ‘state of emergency’ in which we live is not the exception but the rule.” Walter Benjamin, 1940.
For those who have followed mainstream media coverage – as it first unfolded – of the protests against the scandalous G20 (who are deciding to give the IMF, those with the Structural Adjustment Plans to steal from the poor, an enormous amount of money: The G-20 agreed to give the fund and other development bodies new resources of $1.1 trillion, exceeding most expectations, with the IMF’s coffers potentially boosted by $750 billion) might have missed a few things, but thankfully we have Indymedia and others.
This is not, however, about economics and politrix directly (this seems like an interesting introduction to those issues), but about police brutality.
UPDATE: The Guardian has now brought two stories, documenting police brutality leading to the death of Ian Tomlinson:
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 baton–wielding police officer
FURTHER UPDATE: The mainstream media is now completely in on the Witch Hunt for “one bad apple”, who acted “out of order”. Channel 4 has a report here (curiously followed by an interview with “protests police commander Simon O’Brien” lying through his teeth: HE SHOULD BE ARRSTED TOO, FOR DELIBERATELY LYING TO THE PUBLIC TO PROTECT A CRIMINAL!) and the BBC reports that the “Metropolitan Police (Met) has now acknowledged Mr Tomlinson came “into contact with police” before he died.”
Compare the evidence to the first stories from the BBC and SKY (released three hours later; i.e. time for scripting) saying that he died of “natural causes” and that protestors prevented them from providing first aid. What really happened was that the police brutally attacked a random pedestrian and he died consequently.
With regard to the death reported in connection with the G20 by BBC and Sky News, a “natural death” was suggested – as natural as someone kettled in without food, water and access to a toilet and surrounded by aggressive riot cops can be. The disgusting or unwittingly satirical reporting by BBC News at 10pm last night also included statements that the police tried to save the man, but had to retreat because they were being targeted by bottles and other “missiles” thrown by the evil protestors. Of course the reality is different, as we have also seen in the videos. Here is a typical scene when things are calm and normal:
So what happened then, you might ask, if we can’t trust the corporate media due to their vested interests and blind following of the state and police script??
Various participants in the City of London demonstrations on April 1st have come forward as witnesses to the collapse of a man later identified by authorities as Ian Tomlinson. Four different university students witnessed the collapse of Mr. Tomlinson. “He stumbled towards us from the direction of police and protestors and collapsed,” said Peter Apps. “I saw a demonstrator who was a first aider attend to the person who had collapsed. The man was late 40s, had tattoos on his hands, and was wearing a Millwall shirt.”
While the first aider was helping the man, another demonstrator with a megaphone was calling the police over so that they could help.
Natalie Langford, a student at Queen Mary, said “there was a police charge. A lot of people ran in our direction. The woman giving first aid stood in the path of the crowd.” The running people, seeing a guy on the ground, went around them.
Another demonstrator had already called 999 and was getting medical advice from the ambulance dispatcher. “Four police with two police medics came. They told her [the first aider] to ‘move along’.”, said Peter Apps. “Then they pushed her forcibly away from him. They refused to listen to her [the first aider] when she tried to explain his condition.”
The first aider, who did not wish to be named, said “The police surrounded the collapsed man. I was standing with the person who’d called 999. The ambulance dispatcher wanted to talk to the police, the phone was being held out to them, but the police refused.”
Another witness, Elias Stoakes, added “we didn’t see them [the police] perform CPR.”
Other people who had tried to stay with the collapsed man were also pushed away.
All of the witnesses deny the allegation that many missiles were thrown.
According to Peter Apps, “one bottle was thrown, but it didn’t come close to the police. Nothing was thrown afterwards as other demonstrators told the person to stop. The person who threw the bottle probably didn’t realize that someone was behind the ring of police.” All the witnesses said that the demonstrators were concerned for the well-being of the collapsed man once they realized that there was an injured person.
Natalie Langford said “when the ambulance arrived the protestors got straight out of the way.”
These witnesses are happy to give media statements.
They can be contacted through this press liasion email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Email Contact email: email@example.com
FURTHER UPDATE: Although the police officer, who was wearing a balaclava and had taken his number off, has “turned himself in”, he has not been arrested for assault, merely suspended, writes The Guardian. The real problem, however, is of course that the case – should there ever be brought one – will be against the individual police officer. Although he has committed a crime – caught by several cameras – he has also just been doing what was expected of him, perhaps even what he was more or less ordered to. Anyone who has ever been at a protest – and those who have ever bothered to scrutinise a bit of independent media reporting on policing of protests will know that this is not an unsuaul affair at all. The only difference is that this time – as in other cases every now and then – someone died from the treatment:
The police officer involved could face a manslaughter charge if a link between the assault and Tomlinson’s fatal heart attack minutes later is proved.
“There is no excuse for what he did,” a senior police source told the Guardian, adding that, at the very least, the officer had committed a serious disciplinary offence and a criminal assault.
Firing and prosecuting a manslaughtering individual police officer does not make the police force any less violent. Whenever capital, parliamentarians and other representatives require protection the dark force will be with them. “Everybody knows that game is fixed”.
Another incident, which has generated much mainstream bullshit, is the window that was smashed in the bank (that was then entered and had “its computers trashed”). Well, that “bank” was apparently shutdown, the building up for rent, and as the only building in the area it which was not boarded up, according to a comment to a poor article in The Guardian:
Nolan, 02 Apr 09, 4:26pm (about 7 hours ago)
What many people do not realise is that when the windows of the RBS were broken, they found that there were police intelligence photographers the other side of the glass (e.g. see picture [below])
The police can’t just move in and out of empty buildings at will (the building was unoccupied and up for rent), they were obviously there in advance. The windows had mirrored glass and were the only ones in the area not boarded up, so presumably the place was being used as a surveillance point and the intention was to take pictures of the protestors from behind the 2-way mirror. Can’t imagine the police expected the protestors to come through the glass.
Suddenly a group of protestors, for a longer period of time penned in, kettled down, and moved about by the police find themselves in front of corporate windows with a mirror reflection and in the possession of something sufficient to smash these windows. Now how does that work? Under the intense scrutiny for hours – surveilled for months, even teenagers in Plymouth had their fireworks confiscated – and pushed about, yet suddenly in front of a corporate building that is not boarded up?!? If we take a look at what was inside the building we might get a better idea of the screenplay for yesterday’s events:
We can only speculate, but it probably went something like this:
“We hide in there, move them close, make sure they have something heavy they can throw through the window, we inform the Evening Standard et al., and then we have those pictures that can justify all the propaganda and budget money spent on our totalitarian measures against concerned citizens, sorry evil anarchists — failing that, we have a couple of agent provocateurs standing by with something that can smash those windows”.
Mission accomplished, – have we not seen these patterns a million times by now? At every Summit, especially since the G8 in Genoa, where all bets were off?