Despite legal guidance that kettling breaches our basic rights, Sussex police appear to have chosen it as their main strategy against a small number of anti-capitalist demonstrators that turned out in Brighton yesterday. There were no reports of injury or criminal damage but Sussex police justified their behaviour by saying that the protest was not peaceful. This must be some definition of “not peaceful” which I wasn’t previously aware of.
Recently friends of mine have been threatened with arrest for refusing to protest in a recognisable manner. Sussex police criticised yesterday’s demonstrators for refusing to “process”. Surely this is becoming absurd? Last weekend the racist and fascist English Defence League was allowed to protest in Brighton but anti-fascists were kettled. It does begin to look like Sussex police are taking sides, doesn’t it?
Sussex police used horses yesterday, with helicopters in the sky above them.
Eight people out of the 200 demonstrating were arrested. The BBC reported that two people were arrested for refusing to take masks off, two were arrested for using abusive language, two were arrested for assault, obstructing and resisting a police officer and one was arrested for refusing to give his booze to the police. The BBC also reported that another was arrested in relation to events in London last month. You can’t help thinking that none of these crimes would have been committed had the police simply not turned up. Presumably the fellow they wanted in connection with some crime in London could have been arrested elsewhere. There’s an interesting account of the day here.