Oh. My. God.
I am still reeling at this. It would be bad enough if a protester was assaulted by police, but this was an innocent man who worked in the area being callously attacked by one of our boys in blue. He died approximately 3 minutes later.
Despite the fact that under European human rights’ laws the police are required to actively protect the public’s right to peaceful protest, here we see a gross abuse of police powers, if not the kind of mindless aggression that the police are supposed to protect innocent members of the public from.
The police had bizarrely been talking up the potential for violence in the weeks up to the G20 protests, which one can only presume was strategic scare-mongering in order to frighten ‘normal’ people away from the demo, but it doesn’t seem to have worked out quite as planned.
If the footage had not been submitted to the Guardian – would we ever have heard the details surround Ian Tomlinson’s tragic death? I seriously doubt it, despite there being numerous (?) CCTV cameras and police witnesses. It even turns out that the IPCC wanted the video taken down from the Guardian website.
I suspect (and sincerely hope) that this will lead to a shake down of the increasing hard-line legislation being churned out by Jacki Smith and her cronies, and a serious change in police tactics regarding reasonable force, officer identification and culpability.
Technically speaking – the filming of this incident by a member of public is probably illegal, thanks to recent anti-terror legislation.
The Guardian has compiled a ‘rogue’s gallery’ with videos of heavy-handed policing at the G20 demo – worth checking out if you think that the Tomlinson tragedy was an isolated incident.