Earl St Convergence Raid Pics

Tagged as: g20 repression
Neighbourhoods:

I arrived well after the raid had started. Witnesses said that the riot police had smashed down the door with a battering ram at around 12.30pm and had stormed into the building with full length riot shields pushing people to the floor. At least three people were taken away via ambulance.

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Others described how the police had kept them awake for much of the night banging on the doors and windows and switching their sirens on outside.

This morning the police began searching anyone coming or going from the building under Section 60 of the Criminal Justice & Public Order Act 1994.

Officers were also demanding people's names and addresses, which you are not under obligation to provide under a section 60 search.

However witnesses describe that those who refused to provide their names were then told that they had to provide the details or otherwise they would be arrested under Section 14 enabbled by the Anti-social Behaviour Act.

One man said that when he again refused he was handcuffed and told that this was his last chance to provide his details otherwise he would be taken to the police station, arrested processed with dna taken and so on. He said that at this point he relented and gave his details.

It was later at around 12.30pm that the police stormed into the building.

When I arrived I found police vehicles in all the surrounding streets and cordons in place around the street. Dozens of riot police were outside the building and some were also stashing their full length riot sheilds back in their vans.

People from inside the building were then brought out one at a time handcuffed and sat in the street, where searches of their clothes and belongings continued.

Some observers claimed that the actions of the police were unlawful, the police claimed they were just trying to identify anyone who had been involved in violence the previous day.

I understand that later some people were released, but others were arrested and taken away in one of the many police vans. Later other people who had kit inside the building were allowed in to retrieve it.

Additions

BRAVO LONDON

Bravo London you are a exemple from all the world ...flowers for the companion...and congratulations for all the anti-capital from Madrid, avanti, come on adelante ,we are the future and the victory.

Police on dodgy legal ground?

"However witnesses describe that those who refused to provide their names were then told that they had to provide the details or otherwise they would be arrested under Section 14 enabbled by the Anti-social Behaviour Act."

I'm no legal expert but I've just had a look over what I think are the relevant acts and I'm thinking the police may have made a teeny mistake concerning their powers here.

I’m guessing that when they talk about “enabled by the Anti-social Behaviour Act” they’re talking about Section 57 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003. This amends section 16 of the Public Order Act 1986 to define a public assembly as comprising of 2 or more people, rather than the previous 20. (Yes, just 2! You and a mate = a "public assembly". Neat, huh?)

Now, I’m assuming the “section 14” referred to is from the Public Order Act 1986. This allows the police to break up public assemblies if they’re concerned about possible public disorder, damage to property etc. Ignoring their instructions would constitute an offence, hence they would indeed have the power to arrest you.

Here’s the police’s problem: a public assembly in terms of section is 14 one which takes place “in a public place which is wholly or partly open to the air” (according to section 16 of the POA 1986). If the protestors were gathered inside the building, this would not seem to qualify as a public assembly, and so the powers under section 14 would not apply.

Now, given that the police did not actually invoke these powers by arresting people under them they could argue that they did not act incorrectly. But surely threatening people with non-existent powers to get them to do what you want is unlawful? In fact, isn't there something in the law about "using threatening behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress"..?!

Sten

I am sorry sorry this happened to you all, you were so good to me and looked after me after the police brutality on the first, I'm lucky I left before the raid, If anyone has any information on who was injured then please post it here, does anyone know what happened to garfield and mike? Crazy fucker anarchists, gotta love them. Met some really beautiful people in there, and whoever lent me that fiver to get home is an absolute god dude, thank you so much, Peace and love, Sten XxX

Terrible

I was at the squat all night. It was peaceful and a haven for those who had nowhere else to go, giving food for minimal donations and everyone was working together.

I went outside a few times in the evening and spoke to a few of the police officers who were milling around outside (and was searched each time!) and they were very polite and helpful. Not once (as far as I was aware) did they bang on the doors, nor put their sirens on (as there were no patrol cars/vans until a group of us left at about 12:15pm).

From what they said to me, they were all "fine" with everyone being there, the only reason they were waiting outside was because a minority of violence-lovers were inside.

About 20 of us left at just gone midday, which was when one of the police asked me how many were still inside. I said I wasn't prepared to talk about what was going on inside, other than that nothing "untoward" was going on whatsoever. Then I got searched. For the fifth time in as many hours, by the same officer. Tsk!

I find the level of force they used to enter the property absolutely disgusting seeing as though they had already expressed that they were only there for three or four trouble-makers.
I suppose they have to keep up a "front" and be seen as "doing something" for all the public unaware of the true goings-ons.

Why the minority feel they have to use violence is beyond me. Ghandi taught us not to do so. There is no need. And that goes for both 'sides' of the line - anarchist violence-users and riot police.

"terrible" post script

I'd just like to follow up on my previous comment - titled "Terrible" ...

A big thanks to everyone who had us all in the building and provided the food... Even if the porridge may as well have been wallpaper paste ;)

I jest!

Again - big, big, BIG thanks for hosting me when I had no where else to go and for filling my belly with tasty hot food and generally being warm and welcoming.

Cannot express how grateful my two friends and I are for the hospitality.

Bullying police tactics, police brutality.

I stayed in the squat both nights, and left shortly before the illegal police raid. I experienced he bullying tactics employed by the police on both nights - banging on the doors, playing loud music, and intimidating those who left.
We were staying in a squat, but that is not against the law. I'm sure if it were, most of us would not have been there, because most of us wanted to exercise our democratic right to protest within the bounderies of the law.

I came down to the protests, because I disagree with current enviromental policies, and I felt that the protests would be of much educative value.

Unfortunely, I have been educated and after being made to feel like a criminal for two days, and witnessesing peaceful protestors being beaten around the head with shields and battons, that my alegiance is now closer to the anarchists than it was to the police - this would be even more of a surprise to many if they knew of my previous career.

Although it's been largely created by the media, I truely hope that the police have a fight on their hands this Summer. Maybe it will take something on the scale of the France or Greece riots to bring about true social change, and prevent us from slipping into a police state.