Tag Archives: kingsnorth

Daily View 2×2: 23 July 2009

Good morning. You join us here on LDV as we wish happy birthday to Philip Seymour Hoffman and Michael Foot, and as the nation of Egypt and the Rastafarians commemorate the birth of Haile Selassie.

It’s also polling day in Norwich North. Will April Pond become the 64th Lib Dem MP? Will we make our second by-election gain in the 2005 Parliament? Find out first on twitter – as the blogosphere’s reporter on the spot Nich Starling will report, live from the Norfolk Showground.

Two big news stories

Kingsnorth tactics criticised
The Guardian reports the report into police behaviour at

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Lib Dems press on Kingsnorth climate camp policing

Lib Dem Voice has covered before the allegations of that the policing at the climate camp at Kingsnorth in August 2008 was unacceptable – click here for the archive. Lib Dem MPs are continuing to press the Home Office to present an honest account of what happened, and to state what lessons have been learned for future policing of peaceful protests.

Yesterday in the Commons, both Greg Mulholland and Chris Huhne asked the questions of the Government’s minister for policing. Here are the exchanges from Hansard:

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Arrested for requesting a policeman’s badge number

From the Guardian today, shocking footage of two women being arrested at Kingsnorth climate camp in Kent last year.

The women had asked police officers who were not displaying their badge numbers, to identify themselves. They were arrested for “obstructing a police officer.”

The video, made by police surveillance officers, shows an officer holding one woman by the neck and the other woman being laid face down on the ground before having her legs bound.

Emily Apple and Val Swain were held in custody for four days but all charges against the women were later dropped.

They have complained to the Independent …

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Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Shirley, Simon, Chris and David

The Times tells us that four senior Lib Dems will be on hand to inspect police treatment of protesters at today’s climate camp in London’s Square Mile:

Four Liberal Democrats – Baroness Williams of Crosby, Simon Hughes, Chris Huhne and David Howarth – will act as legal observers at the climate camp to prevent violence initiated by police, rather than protesters.

Mr Howarth, the MP for Cambridge, said that police and media were guilty of “talking up the violence”, adding: “The danger is that they are putting off peaceful protesters, and attracting the wrong sort.”

Over at the paper’s Comment Central

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‘Toothache, diarrhoea, cut fingers and possible bee stings’ – the injuries that Kingsnorth climate camp protestors were blamed for inflicting on police

Kudos to Lib Dem MP David Howarth for his role in forcing an apology from a Labour home office minister who had blamed protestors who attended the Kingsnorth climate camp for hurting 70 police officers. The Guardian has the story today:

A minister apologised to parliament yesterday for telling MPs that 70 police officers were hurt during a climate change protest … The apology followed a freedom of information request from the Liberal Democrats, which showed that no officers in the £5.9m police operation at Kingsnorth power station in Kent during August had been injured by protesters. Instead, police records showed that their medical unit had dealt mostly with toothache, diarrhoea, cut fingers and “possible bee stings”.

And here’s the Hansard exchange:

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Baker takes on rozzers

Earlier in the year, we carried a piece raising concerns with the policing at the Kingsnorth climate camp.

It’s not just our own councillors concerned with the conduct of the police at that event. A report in the Guardian suggests that people at all levels of governance from councillor to MEP have raised concerns.

Norman Baker MP said, “I personally witnessed unnecessarily aggressive policing, unprovoked violence against peaceful protesters, an extraordinary number of police on site, and tactics such as confiscating toilet rolls, board games and clown costumes from what I saw to be peaceful demonstrators.”

Now, according to a report …

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Opinion: Whose law is it anyway?

Anyone who followed the recent Camp for Climate Action at Kingsnorth could have a range of views of the policing of that event. It could be anything from: “The police successfully prevented an extreme element from injuring protestors, police and horses” to “a legitimate and necessary protest went ahead despite an extreme element within the police force, who were committed to suppress it”.

For me, my experience of the policing of the camp is something I’m having some difficulty accepting. As a councillor in Cambridge, I work closely with the police and know the intentions of officers are overwhelmingly …

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