Turning people against the police

The London G20 protests, if they achieved nothing else, have certainly radicalised a lot of people. Or at least, have made them distrust and dislike the police.
Now there’s a (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/apr/07/video-g20-police-assault), showing Ian Tomlinson being attacked by police just before he died.
No, the police probably didn’t plan to murder him. They did beat him (more severely than is shown in the video, according to eyewitnesses), and fail to help him. And after his death they tried to conceal what happened.
The fact that he died is the only bit of chance here. Everything else was a deliberate strategy, chosen by the police. And many people will be looking differently at the police – if not because of this, then because of kettling. Keep people trapped on a street for hours on end, and they won’t like you for it.
The [Guardian](http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/libertycentral/2009/apr/07/civil-liberties-g20-police-assault-ian-tomlinson?commentpage=4&commentposted=1) also pick up on the media response, so far:

Although the Guardian reported the death on its front page, almost all the coverage elsewhere ignored it completely or concentrated on a version of events that suggested that the police’s only connection with Tomlinson had been to try to rescue him from a baying mob of anarchists.

Now, the video has got the story more [mainstream](http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/lawandorder/5121597/G20-protests-death-Ian-Tomlinson-shoved-to-ground-by-police-officer-video-shows.html) [attention](http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article6054713.ece), and even the [Mail](http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1168315/Caught-camera-The-moment-G20-bystander-flung-ground-police.html) is criticising the police. Strangest of all, I find myself agreeing with many of the comments on the Mail article.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *