Remember Ian TomlinsonTagged as: brutality g20 ian ian_tomlinson met murder police police_brutality repression solidarity tomlinson vigil
Published by group: Imc London Features
One year after Ian Tomlinson was killed by police officers on his way home from work during the G20 protests [1 | 2 | 3 ] the Ian Tomlinson Family Campaign laid down flowers at the spot where he died. The protests were marked by excessively aggressive policing, and only recently victims of a raid on an occupied convergence centre were awarded compensation, while the officer who was caught on tape assaulting a woman was cleared of the charges. One year later we are looking back in sadness and anger. And we do remember Ian Tomlinson who should have been with his family today. Read on or watch video.
One year ago, Ian Tomlinson died after baing assaulted by a police officer. Today, we remembered him.
Arriving at the scene, I saw people huddled together on the sidewalk and spilling onto the street, cars going slow or having stopped entirely. Two police officers tried to get people on the sidewalk, but soon had to give up. On getting closer it was hard to move into the crowd. The inner circle was lacked with people. Sadly it wasn't people remembering Ian Tomlinson. The inner sircle was comprised entirely from camera persons and photographers. It was packed, so much so that noone else had a chance to see anything of the flowers being laid down. (And they were probably mostly getting images of the backs of each others heads). While it is obvious that media attention for police brutality is mostly a good thing, this was disgraceful. This was a vigil, an event to remember a man's life. But the people who had come for Ian Tomlinson were expelled to the margins of the crowd.
No wonder that the media missed it, when some people took the street and stopped traffic for a little while. Officers hurried to declare they would block the street and to let the last cars go on their way. So traffic was redirected, and it was finally possible to hear some of what was said beyond the barrier of cameras. Barely. (If anyone thinks the people in the street shouldn't have kicked up a fuss, because the cops where blocking the road anyway, the cops decided to block the streets after people moved into it, and had not already done so).
A group of people, I assume Ian Tomlinson's family came, and the cameras rushed on them like starving vultures. The crowd split before them so they could lay down their flowers. Sadly it was not possible to show them sympathy as they remained hidden behind the wall of lenses. I'm sure we will find out in the evening news. But if this was supposed to be a moment for contemplation, it was spoiled. The family didn't stay long and when they left, again were followed by the camera people running after them. I imagine it must have been somewhat like running the gauntlet, at least that's what it looked like from the outside.
With the family, a lot of the media left, (some couldn't wait and left during the minute of silence and a prayer that was spoken) and the atmosphere immediately changed. Several people went up to the lamppost holding flowers and letters, some lighting candles, laying down flowers, others just sitting for a minute. The crowd had spread out across the street and everyone was milling in small groups and talking. At this point I remembered why I had come, it is only a bit sad that his family couldn't be there with us, and remember Ian Tomlinson in a more tranquil and dignified atmosphere.