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Monday, 7 July 2008

From Zero Tolerance to Zero Arrests

Last weekend's London Fete/No Borders protest in Croydon saw a tough new practice enforced in public order policing - a zero arrest policy. Well, tough if you're a cop anyway. The assembled TSG and FIT on the ground were none too happy with this innovative tactic, and instead responded with the time honoured boot and fist approach.

However, the assembled crowd, whilst small, showed they would not be pushed around by these bullies. Early in the demo, whilst we were still in the centre of Croydon handing out papers, the cops tried to bring out a photographer. Within seconds, he was swamped with people waving banners, pieces of paper and hands in front of the camera rendering him completely ineffective. The FIT were forced into a situation where they either sparked a confrontation in a busy shopping centre, or they withdrew the camera. They chose the path of least resistance, and left to jeers from Fitwatchers.

Later, away from the hordes of Saturday shoppers, they became more violent, both in keeping the march off the road, and in defending the cameraman. However, the crowd were not subjugated, and pushed back, fighting against this intimidation.

No arrests were made, and despite being drastically outnumbered, many people were left feeling empowered by the experience.

Congratulations CO11 - we love your zero arrest policy - long may it continue!

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

& the co11 'no comment' policy on this post ain't bad either!

Anonymous said...

you wish co11 comment - The reason why there were no arrests was that after FITWATCH's pathetic attempt outside the Japanese embassy the previous day - we were surpised you even turn up. the face of the Lone FITWATCH who did turn up at the meet summed it all up for us.

Saddleworth Moor said...

chuck a picture on flickr then, so we can all see.

Anonymous said...

"we were surprised you even turn[ed] up"

Yes, of course. The met had no idea FITWATCH would be there.

"the face of the Lone FITWATCH who did turn up at the meet summed it all up for us"

Seeming as CO11 are so concerned with aesthetics now, maybe there should be a FITWATCH vs (not-so)FIT beauty pageant?

PC Prithard in a swimsuit - now thats *GOTTA* be a section 5 Public Order offence!

Unfit said...

Here are some photos from the G8 protests, including these cops:

co2558 co5029 co5090 cw2075 cw2955 d35 ek442 ek61 ek619 kd54 lx582 lx637 lx70 md825 qa640 scd43 u3528 u4076