Monday, March 28, 2011

Police violence in UK rally condemned

Source: Press TV

Union leaders have condemned the violence of the British police against peaceful protestors in Trafalgar Square, London, on Saturday.

Police forces clashed with the protestors who aimed to march peacefully to Hyde Park, rallying against the cuts announced by the government.

Trades Union Congress (TUC) spokesperson said that the main message of the official protest carried out by "between 250,000 and 500,000 people" should not be neglected.

Police officials said 201 of the protestors were arrested on Saturday because of being engaged in public order offences. This is while the policing Minister Nick Herbert has said that "a small minority of individuals were intent on disorder." Police officials have added that their forces are studying CCTV footages to make more arrests.

"We've had a number of - I hesitate to call them protesters - a bunch of people that ended up in Trafalgar Square," said Commander Bob Broadhurst of the Metropolitan Police. He also described the protestors in central London as "mindless yobs."

The anti-cuts protestors occupied luxury grocery store Fortnum and Mason in Piccadilly Square to show their anger against business's owners. Around 500 of the protestors also targeted the main branches of fashion chain Topshop and the banks Santander, HSBC and RBS.

Upon reaching Trafalgar Square, the police violently kettled the protestors. One of the witnesses who herself was among the protestors said, "All of a sudden about 10-20 Met police came storming down the steps of the National Gallery, ran straight to the Olympic clock. I have never seen such a fast escalation of violence in my life. Everything just kicked off; glass everywhere, police hitting people, people being dragged across the floor. I just can't believe it."

The police tried to lead the protestors to leave the main stream in small groups. They, still, did not manage to reduce the number of protestors before 0200 BST.

Labour leader Ed Miliband condemned the violence against the protesters, saying, "I unequivocally condemn those who have committed acts of violence."

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