Friday, April 03, 2009

London G20: Police Attack Climate Camp Protesters

This was the scene as riot cops stormed protesters in Bishopsgate, where Climate Campers had pitched tents in the middle of the road in protest at the false market based solutions such as carbon trading being promoted at the G20 Summit. It had been a peaceful day with no violence as activists pitched tents set up stalls and partied in the sunshine. That was until police in full riot gear decided to rush the protesters, beating them with batons as the crowd shouted "Peace Not Riot"!

G20 Police Aggression

various instances of disproportionate behavior, especially on last section...I messed up the audio a bit, but a film will be made with all this footage in the next few weeks, will be online here -

G20 Citizens Voices Quashed by UK Government

I am here at the Bank of England in London, where ordinary people and civil society organisations have gathered as an organised form of citizen expression. However, I am extremely disheartened by what I see - a clear contravention of the right to assembly and freedom of expression.

As was the case at Saturday's Put People First rally, the police and UK Government security services are not allowing people to enter their chosen point of assembly and people are being barricaded in and stopped from entering the zone. When I ask the police officers why we cannot enter, they say it is for safety so that people do not get squashed. However there is clearly lots of space and the police are using this to stop the citizens from organising peaceful demonstrations and from standing together.

I was in Wall Street the day before the US government bail out in October - and thousands of those who gathered in protest were not stopped as they are here in the UK. What is happening to our civil liberties? At this time of crises we should uphold human values and rights and cling even closer to these inalienable truths. By denying these rights, the UK government are turning their back on human rights and the voices of their citizens. Very worrying indeed.......

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