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Police endanger the lives of students, schoolchildren and others on 24th Nov. Tuition Fees Demonstration

(196 Posts)
dotnet Thu 25-Nov-10 14:46:40

At the London demo, police 'kettled' the demonstrators mid-afternoon, just as many people were wanting to leave.
The police showed contempt to the schoolchildren, students, parents and lecturers. They lied to them repeatedly; when someone asked how they could get out of the confinement area, they'd indicate a police cordon opposite, or at the other end of the area,even though none existed - the plods at every exit were barring the way, riot shields in hand, making a 'wall.' No exits were opened from mid-afternoon until about 6.30, and all this time, many- probably most - of those present simply wanted to leave the area, having made their point.
There were thousands of people in a confined space, and nearly all of the kids' behaviour was exemplary despite the utter frustration of being penned up against their will. I even saw some sixth formers (or younger) doing the Hokey Cokey. Bless! - they deserved better treatment than they got.
TWO Portaloos were brought in, and no food or water. A relative of mine came down Whitehall to ask why on earth I had been trapped, and again - was met with lies. 'All the demonstrators can leave whenever they want' she was told. 'Well, if that is so, why is no-one leaving?' she asked. 'It's because they're happy where they are' lied the plod.
Should the police not be charged with False Imprisonment? If I locked someone in my house against their will, that would be the charge I would have to face. Yet the police think it is perfectly fine to coop up thousands of young people and to lie that that is where they want to be, closing their ears to the repeated chant of 'let us leave, let us leave.'
Or perhaps reckless endangerment to life would fit the bill. It was an idiotic, dangerous and thoroughly irresponsible decision by the Head of the Metropolitan Police (I suppose)to concur with the way his force operated yesterday. People have been crushed to death in similar oonfined spaces (remember that terrible football stadium tragedy?)
Those young demonstrators are people's loved children. Shocking that the Metropolitan Police force is filled with such contempt for young life and limb.

Chil1234 Thu 25-Nov-10 14:52:05

And yet at the last demonstration the police were criticised for letting the demonstration get out of hand and allowing serious damage to property. This is an understandable reaction to that situation. I'd rather people were corralled for a few hours for their own safety as they made their protest than a repeat of the last debacle. Two or three hours without food and water is neither 'reckless endangerment to life' nor 'false imprisonment'. It is nothing like the Hillsborough disaster... only a moron would try to compare the two.

sarah293 Thu 25-Nov-10 14:53:57

Message withdrawn

FranSanDisco Thu 25-Nov-10 14:54:44

I agree with Chil1234.

nancy75 Thu 25-Nov-10 14:56:05

To say this could have led to a Hilsborough style disaster is utter rubbish.

dotnet Thu 25-Nov-10 15:44:28

You weren't there, I was. The cost of the criminal damage at Millbank (not violence, - or only marginal) might have equalled the wages of the 200 plods then present, but the cost of the damage caused yesterday was miniscule if you compare it with what must have been the millions of pounds expended on police overkill yesterday.
Fortunately, despite the ludicrously high police numbers and the provocation of the kettling, nobody was killed.
Chil, I do believe you think the police tactic of kettling may have been for people's own safety - but it really wasn't. It was a dangerous tactic. They penned us up just at the time people were wanting to drift away. The demonstrators were just milling around for hours, being pointlessly kept - or not pointlessly; I suppose it was a 'punishment'.

The point which I thought was the most dangerous was when some steel band music started playing and a stream of people started surging forward. I thought it possible that they, frustrated at being kettled - we all were - might try to break through the cordon of plods. THEN a Hillsborough situation could very easily have happened.
Corralling people against their will when all they wanted to do was leave, was plain brainless and it endangered the demonstrators. It was very, very obvious that people simply wanted to leave. End of story.

Chil1234 Thu 25-Nov-10 16:41:06

You're exaggerating. 'Milling about' or even a bit of forward surging against at 'cordon of plods' would not result in the tragedy that took so many innocent lives in Sheffield, hundreds of people crushed against huge unweilding metal fences at Hillsborough. I find your comparison both inaccurate and offensive.

granted Thu 25-Nov-10 16:55:27

Ignoring the specific comparison, I totally agree with the OP's point. Temperatures yesterday were bitter - there were children there as young as 12. No way should they have been imprisoned - let's call it what it is - it's imprisoning them, not 'containing' them - for hours in the cold and dark. It was unnecessary, cruel, pointless and yes, potentially dangerous.

Would you be happy to be kept like that? Or if it was your child???

cat64 Thu 25-Nov-10 16:59:43

Message withdrawn

scaredoflove Thu 25-Nov-10 17:01:02

So last time the police got shot down for not acting quick enough, not having enough officers and allowing the rioters to attack a premises

This time, they try to contain the protesters, to stop a repeat of last time and they are still in the wrong

I would have taken my children to the first protest happily to join in the peaceful protest, I wouldn't have gone along yesterday after what happened the first time

Why allow youngsters to go along when you saw what happened at millbank? There were troublemakers there who had a totally different agenda to the students, why put a child at risk like that?

scurryfunge Thu 25-Nov-10 17:03:54

OP, it is a basic tactic to control crowds -it is not dangerous. You are over reacting.

2shoes Thu 25-Nov-10 17:06:28

so now we are blaming the police!!!!

Lulumaam Thu 25-Nov-10 17:08:47

a minority of students endangered the lives of otehr students, the police and passersby , office workers etc .. flinging a fire extinguisher off a roof? that's worse than what ou describe here OP... and comparing to Hillsborough.. you clearly have no idea what happened if you think the two are comparable

the police have no doubt a few bad eggs in there, same with the students, but the safety of the public at large had to be protected .
should the police have stood by and let things get out of hand like last time?

2shoes Thu 25-Nov-10 17:09:46

i would think it would be better to question wtf 12 year olds were doing there.
why weren't they in school.
who allowed them to bunk off?

sarah293 Thu 25-Nov-10 17:16:36

Message withdrawn

Chaotica Thu 25-Nov-10 17:16:57

TBH (although it demands another thread) I'd be happy for my 12 year old to go on a demonstration (as happy as letting them go to town on saturday if I thought they were sensible enough). 12 year olds are exactly the age group who will be most affected by the legislation they're demonstrating against.

OP - you're right, but the hillsborough reference is unfortunate. But kettling has been going on for years and makes many a would-be peaceful demonstration into a riot.

2shoes Thu 25-Nov-10 17:17:58

sorry but I don't believe they were all home edded.

Chaotica Thu 25-Nov-10 17:18:07

Meant to add, I went on demos from a very early age. [And it never harmed me emoticon!]

kaiserfootmuff Thu 25-Nov-10 17:18:56

maybe the students should have written a nice letter to their mps instead hmm

Chaotica Thu 25-Nov-10 17:19:29

One day off school, or no chance to protest at not being able to get a university education? Some political points mean more than a day learning about the tudors (say).

sarah293 Thu 25-Nov-10 17:21:15

Message withdrawn

SixtyFootDoll Thu 25-Nov-10 17:21:53

Ahh the Police.
Damned if they do
Damned if they dont.

Op - how would YOU propose to prevent the disorder that occurred on the last 'student' protest?

granted Thu 25-Nov-10 17:41:15

By all accounts it wasn't the violent thugs who were being kettled - it was the ordinary, harmless, law-abiding protesters - to teach them a 'lesson'.

That's the problem.

I don't think anyone disagrees that those actually using violence should be locked up.

huddspur Thu 25-Nov-10 17:46:12

The police are going to be criticised no matter what they do and considering the violence at the last protest I don't think you can blame them for taking a harder line and using more heavyhanded tactics.

kaiserfootmuff Thu 25-Nov-10 17:49:29

they will be armed next

really the police were very violent, was on tv for all to see

'Op - how would YOU propose to prevent the disorder that occurred on the last 'student' protest'

don't raise the fees maybe

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