police over zealous at hunt demonstration
Sept 20 2004 ~ As for the behaviour of some members of the Metropolitan police last Wednesday, an account by Edmund Marriage of British Wildlife Management and a letter to the Telegraph from an elderly couple caught up in the violence are likely to shock many - whatever their views on hunting itself.
Sept 20 2004 ~ An interesting article by Matthew Fort on the Hunting Bill is in yesterday's Observer. " ... Fox hunting seems to elicit a degree of sanctimony, humbug and sophistry unparalleled in modern politics. Even the most committed anti-hunting commentators admit that, in terms of animal cruelty, fox hunting rates low on the list of atrocities we allow to be routinely inflicted on various animal, bird and piscine species.....as an urban society, we no longer care about the provenance of our food, as long as it comes in sufficient quantities and at low enough prices... Except in carefully defined areas, city life is defined by the absence of freedoms, independence and responsibility. This underlying principle is now being foisted on rural Britain."
------------------------------------------Letter in TelegraphRe: Elderly are no threat
Date: 18 September 2004
Sir - I am a 71-year-old granny who was at the demonstration. I do not hunt: I was there for the principle of freedom. I and my husband were unaware of any trouble apart from hearing some bangs and seeing smoke in the far corner.
At 5.40pm, we decided to go home. On leaving the square, I was jostled off the pavement on to the edge of the road, where a young policewoman took exception to my presence and drew her extending baton. My husband said: "I hope you are not going to hit my wife." She replied: "Shut up and move along." He said, "Don't talk to me like that", whereupon she became more aggressive and moved towards us, saying she had to protect Parliament. I would have thought that the Metropolitan Police would have been better trained and realised that two elderly people were no threat to Parliament or, indeed, the police.
Edmund Marriage - British Wildlife Management.
My contacts on the ground were in the front line in the area of one major incident. This is what happened.
The area in the centre of Parliament Square had filled with people and the Police decided to place barriers in position to stop the crowd crossing the road in front of the gates to the Commons.
The police were then standing behind the barriers containing the demonstrators and were eyeball to eyeball with those who were at the front of the crowd. At this point there were no problems, and the contact was as good natured as usual on these demonstrations. These demonstrators are natural and firm friends of the British police. However, the weight of people put increased pressure on the front ranks. Those in the front were therefore being pushed from behind. Certain members of the police took this situation as a signal to strike out indiscriminately at those in the front rank.
This initial action by the police was totally unprovoked, yet as we have seen before, guaranteed a breakdown in communications and respect with the crowd, leading to the subsequent violent confrontation. The riot police were called in at the earliest opportunity. The very small minority of the crowd only turned nasty when the blood began to flow.
Many totally innocent demonstrators were hurt, some being repeatedly hit on the back and other parts of the body, such as shins, with both types of batten.
This situation then allowed the Parliamentarian's and senior police to blame the demonstrators. On viewing both this and the last debate live, I am convinced of collusion between those who sought to provoke violence outside, and certain Labour MP's in the House of Commons, who were eager to exploit any sign of trouble.
Several of these good people at the barrier are known to me as being upright law abiding citizens. I trust the reports I have received, which are confirmed by the video evidence when taken in sequence. The media news coverage appeared to present the incidents out of sequence.
However, more blood will be shed unless the police target and prosecute the animal rights activists, who brought this situation into being. This is now their paramount duty, and I am able and willing to provide the required evidence.
The young man who addressed Alun Michael and Elliot Morley across the floor of the house, was correct in his statements, and was exercising his ancient rights as a citizen of this country, to expose political corruption by whatever peaceful means were available to him.
Please forward this statement to Sir John Stevens, and others on your mailing list, and request that he takes the appropriate police actions against the real wildlife criminals, who by their corrupt actions, seriously threaten our country, the people and our wildlife.
Edmund Marriage - British Wildlife Management.