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They do it because they can…  September 22, 2022

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Anyone read the report this week about how…

The Metropolitan police have been accused of using unnecessary force and handing a propaganda coup to Brazil’s far right aftera peaceful demonstrator was detained and handcuffed during a protest outside the Brazilian ambassador’s London residence.

Ali Rocha, a 50-year-old Brazilian and British citizen, and her flatmate were intercepted by officers on Sunday lunchtime as they joined a protest against Brazil’s radical rightwing president, Jair Bolsonaro, who was in the UK for the Queen’s funeral.

Rocha, who was carrying three placards denouncing Bolsonaro’s assault on the Amazon and a backpack containing a loudhailer, was not arrested or charged with any offence.

The police explanation raises more questions than it answers. 

 

A Metropolitan police spokesperson confirmed that shortly after 1.10pm on Sunday police stopped two women “who they had reason to suspect may have been in possession of items to commit criminal damage”.

“Both women were searched. One of the women was initially placed in handcuffs to safely facilitate the search after she repeatedly ignored instructions not to place her hands in her pockets. The handcuffs were subsequently removed,” the spokesperson added.

“No items of concern were found on the two women who were stopped and they were allowed to continue on their way without any further action.”

Some might wonder why the police would act in this way given the protest was peaceful and the Rocha, who was handcuffed and released twenty minutes later, faced no changes and clearly committed no offence. After all – it has handed the Brazilian government a small propaganda piece, but beyond that what good has it done the Met? Well, it’s of a piece with policing of anti-monarchy protestors. None of this is a good look, but they don’t care and the Tory government doesn’t care. They do it because they can. 

It’s not that Britain is an authoritarian state, or sliding into fascism. But there’s a level of state control that if not repression is adjacent to behaviours that are deeply problematic. And it indicates a willingness to use excessive force in policing any signs of dissent and protest. 

Ironically, as it happened, in the context of the funeral of the monarch: 

 

Rocha, the co-founder of a campaign group called Brazil Matters, said she had wanted to protest Bolsonaro’s “absurd and disrespectful” attempt to exploit the Queen’s funeral for political purposes.

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