Pics of UKuncut Fortnam + Mason Mass ArrestsTagged as: 26march arrests cuts demo2011 fortnums occupation repression social_struggles solidarity ukuncut workers_struggles
Scores of people were arrested last night after the UKuncut action at Fortnum and Mason. Inside the occupation [see press release] all was pretty chill [see youtube video and pics] although there had been some initial scuffles earlier outside - one door had been blocked by police officers and some tried to push past to get inside, at the same time further along the shopfront another door was wide open and people were just calmly walking inside.
Whilst flags were waved out of windows and signs held up at others a huge crowd of TUC marchers cheered from the street looking on. Later more police arrived and tried to block the side street, parts of the crowd linked arms to block the vans, whilst others tried to push through police lines. As time went on more scuffles occured as police pushed people back. Other people from the crowd climbed up the side of ther building and took to the balcony. In the end large numbers of riot police split the crowd, pushing it away from Fortnums in different directions.
Those inside were discussing what to do and were in contact with the police (as can be seen from the pics linked above). They were told if they left of their own accord they would be allowed to go. This wasn't the case. They were surrounded and then one by one handcuffed, filmed, then lined up in a long line in the side street, searched, and loaded onto two coaches and othger police vans to be taken to police stations across London.
It's interesting to note the public police take on this was that by the time they moved to make arrests 'all the peaceful people had left' and those that remained were criminals. Not falling into the trap of dividing people into neat categories, the truth is that after the police cleared the road, the only people left at Fortnums were the ones that had been inside, making speeches, holding meetings and standing up for the belief that we need to take direct action to change our society.