Earl St Convergence Raid PicsTagged as: g20 repression
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.
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.