student cuts protest - pics and account (part two)Tagged as: cuts kettle students
police force children out of mcdonalds and force them down whitehall into kettle where they are then held for hours. they can't explain what law they are using.
police trawled through trafalgar square and whitehall rounding up any youngsters, including children (many of whom showed no signs of being part of the protest), and forcing them into a kettle where they were then imprisoned for hours.
at around 3pm, i spotted a line of around 80 police standing in front of the national gallery at the top of trafalgar square.
this was odd because in the square there were very few people and only half a dozen students with a banner.
suddenly the police line swept down picking up anyone who looked like they might be a student, or indeed a school child.
pushing them down to the top of whitehall, police forced the youngsters down the road, and once in whitehall it was then even easier for so many police to completely seal the road.
they stopped outside mcdonalds and went in, again zeroing in on anyone that looked "young", hauling them out and telling them to walk down whitehall towards the kettled crowd.
many argued, saying they wanted to get to the train station or to get home. many of them were under 18. many asked why they were being told to leave mcdonalds and move towards the obvious trouble, but police just told them to move.
many passers-by were appalled and shouting at the police about their actions.
i asked police what law they were using, and they said they didn't know. i asked if they were targetting people that looked like students and they said 'that's right'.
some of the children were clearly confused and terrified by this police operation, and most were not actively protesting when targetted - indeed some were clearly just in the vicinity with no connection to the day's demonstrations.
see attached short vid clip above.
still, the kids were pushed all the way down towards downing street, and the police lines were also joined and reinforced by mounted.
around the area of downing street, there was quite a large crowd outside the earlier main police kettle (they had clearly arrived later and were hoping to join the publicised march to parliament square). when they saw the youngsters coming towards them with lines of police and horses behind, they panicked and tried to run through the gardens of the ministry of defence and over spiked fencing. a couple fell and i saw one painful injury.
police soon secured the escape route, and then kept pushing the new kettle towards the original one past the cenotaph.
as this kettle moved tighter, some officers tried to trash the tent that provides shelter for the ongoing 'white flag revolution' protest against the afghan war. luckily there was an intervention by some MoD police who knew about this protest, and the tent remained.
a couple of people trying to escape the kettle were arrested.
all those that were already in whitehall, together with the students, youngsters, children and passers-by trawled by police, were then held for several hours into darkness.
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