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Disrupting activism in Britain  May 25, 2023

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

A depressing, if predictable, story here in the Guardian. 

On the subject of a third raid that morning [of the Coronation] in Haggerston, east London, about five miles away from the coronation at Westminster Abbey, where shortly before 10.30am 14 people were arrested “on suspicion of conspiracy to cause a public nuisance”, there has been no such candour from Scotland Yard.

Today, in a frank and occasionally humorous account of the day, despite the clear shock those involved continue to feel, Lauren and those detained alongside her – including a primary school teacher, an owner of an animal rescue centre and a former senior civil servant – ask that Scotland Yard breaks its silence about what they say was manifestly a farcical case of mistaken identity.


The police were nonplussed when they discovered the civil servant’s old Cabinet Office business card. 

But perhaps most striking is this small detail:

Jenkins was told not to sip his coffee. “The officer said: ‘You can’t do that, it could be poisoned or something.’

What did the police officer mean? It sounds like they were hyped up to an absurd extent. And perhaps a dangerously absurd extent at that. 

They were put in minivans outside the building, with eight of the group taken to Brixton police station in south London and six to Stoke Newington in north London. Hillwood was sat in the vehicle for hour and a half before disembarking in Brixton. There was a further 90-minute wait outside the station before being checked in at the custody desk.

It was 4pm by the time Hillwood was led to her cell. She asked for her solicitor and was served a vegan “all day breakfast”.“It was literally beans,” Hillwood said. A solicitor advised her to offer no comment to the officers’ questions.

But when it came to his turn, Jenkins felt no such compunction. “I said my intention was to sit in an all-day training course learning about non-violent protests, meet some new people and avoid the coronation.”

The group were let out late in the evening on bail pending further investigation.

The possible reason that they were lifted? Just Stop Oil had used the building previously. But the timing – during the Coronation itself, suggests something purely gratuitous about the police actions. 

And entirely reasonably:

I want the police to drop it,” said Caitlin [the former Civil Servant]. “I want my phone and my watch back and I want this wiped from the police database.”

Much less reasonably:

The Metropolitan police has declined to comment.


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