Sunday, March 16, 2008

Protestors............a threat to the state?

Yesterday, with pals Sharon, Jim, Kerry and Jane, I joined the thousands in Trafalgar Square for the Stop the War march. We were reflecting that we didn't think we would still be here 5 years later, reminiscing about our local protests at the time the war started and our planned protest in the Commons that didn't quite go to plan and ended with Sharon being arrested. What really wound us up was being filmed by the police. We got a right cock and bull story from the officer we quizzed. He insisted they were filming the people behind us, who were there to cause trouble. First of all he said the reason they filmed was to put people off causing trouble. Then he said it was because later on, very late when we had all gone home, these naughty souls would be out with masks on and they needed the videos to be able to identify them by their clothes. He also said that he wouldn't get home much before 2am since these troublemakers would be running him ragged. After we had left him we wondered why we didn't ask why he didn't just arrest these people when they started causing trouble?

On the way home, around 6.30 we detoured past Parliament Square, just to see where these troublemakers sign of them or the police! We chatted to Brian Haw, who confirmed our view that what we had been told was a load of nonsense. He told us of when he was assaulted by the police earlier this year, pushing his video camera into his face as he filmed a demo he wasn't involved in. But apparently, we can ask to have copies of the films we are on. We think the best thing is for everyone who has ever been at any demo that has been filmed by the FIT teams should write in and ask for a copy of the film.

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