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Police: Protests — Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:00 pm on 21st April 2009.

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Photo of Lord West of Spithead Lord West of Spithead Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Security and Counter-terrorism), Home Office, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office) (Security and Counter-terrorism) 3:00 pm, 21st April 2009

My Lords, the noble Baroness raises a very important point, on which we touched yesterday. It is absolutely wrong that that should happen. I know that Sir Paul Stephenson will be intent on getting to the root of that, finding out exactly what happened. The police are not above the law. They are servants of the people. We police by consent. What happened is wrong and will be tracked down and resolved.

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Joe Heaven
Posted on 22 Apr 2009 11:18 am (Report this annotation)

My Lords, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the Police hiding thier identification or refusing to give it has been comon practice, not just at protests but predominantly so, for the last 30 years to my certain knowledge having experienced this first hand on many occasions. It is only thanks to the public having access to inexpensive technology that this has finally been reported, causing a media u-turn and a bungled cover up by the Police. I can say this quite confidently having made the most of my human right to protest peacefully since I was about seven years old and joined in the protests at various American bases that house(d?) nuclear warheads. I would also like to draw your attention to George Monbiot's journalistic musings in the Guardian which give a very rational but honest perspective on how the Police tend to treat (on the whole totally harmless) people at these protests.
I know that I am not alone in feeling relieved that this sort of brutal behaviour has finally been highlighted and look forward to us being able to demonstrate freely and take pride in an intelligently driven Police force that will help us to do so.
I thank you for your time taken in reading this note and urge you to read some of Mr Monbiot's musings too.

Best regards.
Joseph Heaven