Here’s a video of a police officer (FH463) punching someone in the face. You don’t to see the officer’s hand connecting with the person’s face but you can clearly see the punch being thrown, not once but three times at head level and you can clearly hear the person complaining that he’d been punched in the face. You can also clearly hear the victim complaining that he’d been punched in the face and another police officer (FH648) saying, “Yeah, I saw that.” Another police officer puts his hand over FH463′s number in an obvious attempt to conceal his identity. The film ends with the cameraman reporting the incident to the senior officer at the scene, who suggests that the incident be reported but not broadcast on social media. The person who uploaded this video has taken the trouble to show it at normal speed and also slowed down so that you can see exactly what happened.
I cannot understand why police officers continue to behave like this when policing political protests. I’m the first to admit that policing can be a complicated affair but surely the primary role of the police is to prevent violence, not to cause it? Are there any occasions when it is acceptable for a police officer to punch someone in the face? Perhaps, though it is difficult to imagine what these might be… every case has to be judged on its own facts. This incident doesn’t appear to present a good case for the officer punching someone in the face.
All of this occurred on 30th November 2011 at London’s Haymarket. That was the day of the biggest general strike by trades unionists in 75 years. The strikers were objecting to the government’s plans to increase public sector pension workers’ pensions contributions, put back their retirement age and cut their resulting pensions. This triple whammy is the government’s answer to managing the financial crisis caused by their closest friends in the banking industry, who have not been penalised at all. Naturally, this has led to widespread dissatisfaction with the political process in the this country.
Occupy London is part of an international grassroots political movement which has arisen in the vacuum created by the established political parties, none of whom represent the views of ordinary people in the current financial crisis. Some of the activists from Occupy London went to the Haymarket and peacefully entered a building called Panton House. They ascended to the roof and hung banners down the outside of the building before the riot police followed them in and ejected them. Many people were pushed down the stairs. Volunteer legal observers were present and provided assistance to everyone involved, working a 24 hour shift due to the high number of arrests.
Panton House contains the headquarters of Xstrata. The point of this direct action was to send a message to Mick Davis, the CEO of Xstrata. He is the highest paid director of any FTSE 100 company. His outrageous income cannot be ignored: a hefty £17,700,000 for this year. In 2009, the worst year of the recession so far, Mr Davies took home a staggering £27,000,000, including basic pay, bonus and share options, according to the company’s annual report.
Here are more details of Occupy London’s actions on 30th November 2011.
The police have been acting as the political agents of the government in the Occupy movement, as they did for the Thatcher government during the miners’ strike. We know that they are repeatedly trying to infiltrate us. Unfortunately for them, we keep uncovering them. They are not acting to prevent crime in the conventional manner: they never appear as witnesses in court. Their purpose is to identify activists who will then be targeted for surveillance. Since the occupy movement has been completely peaceful, this is antidemocractic political interference. On 30th November seven of them were identified ‘on the ground’ by activists in Occupy London. Here’s a video shot by a journalist from the Independent, showing the moment that one of them was uncovered. I’ve previously posted photographs of other undercover police officers. The twitter account @Fitwatcher also provides information about these pernicious activities.