Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Protesters and Police At The G20

I realise there is an argument to say we place high standards on our police, yet it's common sense that if you can't keep a clear head or your temper in check, then you shouldn't be on the front line, incitement is a two way street. There are several videos circling the web of peaceful demonstrators being harassed by the police, and of course the video of Ian Tomlinson. I'm not including the protesters who were obliviously provoking the police and causing damage, as I haven't seen anything yet to show police overreacted to them. Though I can't say the same for the people who were demonstrating peacefully.

The police officer that attacked Mr Tomlinson went out of his way to do it, he wasn't standing behind and gave him a little shove to get him walking quicker, he moved in from the right to attack a man that posed no threat. His actions are completely disgraceful, I'm not a doctor so don't presume to know whether a heart attack can happen from such an act. If it can the officer should face a criminal investigation.

It's the right of police to use reasonable force to protect the public and themselves, but they have to balance that against their responsibility to allow peaceful protest to take place. A lot of the videos I've seen certainly pose the question of if they've got the balance right in general.

That's what concerns me about this, people will no doubt be put off protesting and democracy isn't just about turning up to vote every 4 years. Protesting equals saying this is wrong or I object. Whether it's on the street or web doesn't matter, because the alternative is we get the laws and the government we deserve from our silence.

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