Sunday, 5 April 2009

More Evidence of Police Culpability in G20 Death

Following a demonstration last Saturday, Getting to the Truth, more evidence has emerged that the death of Mr Ian Tomlinson, who was passing by the demonstration in the City last Thursday night, was likely to have been caused by his being beaten around the head with steel truncheons and then being pushed violently to the ground.

Amiri Howe, 24, recalled seeing Mr Tomlinson being hit "near the head" with a police baton. Howe took one of a sequence of photographs that show a clearly dazed Mr Tomlinson being helped by a bystander.

A female protester, who does not want to be named but has given her testimony to the IPCC, said she saw a man she later recognised as Tomlinson being pushed aggressively from behind by officers. "I saw a man violently propelled forward, as though he'd been flung by the arm, and fall forward on his head.

"He hit the top front area of his head on the pavement. I noticed his fall particularly because it struck me as a horrifically forceful push by a policeman and an especially hard fall; it made me wince."


This, together with other evidence, challenges the police who claim that the man died of natural causes and that they had been pelted with bottles by the protesters when carrying away Mr Tomlinson to an ambulance.

The City of London police have claimed that "[he] suffered a sudden heart attack while on his way home from work". Allegedly the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission) were to release a statement on Friday portraying his death as a tragic accident, following a police post-mortem which attributed his death to 'natural causes'. This raises serious questions about the so called independence of the IPCC. Clearly Ian Tomlinson would have suffered serious head trauma, quite why the police and IPCC saw this vital information as too insignificant to mention remains unanswered.

In the light of the white wash of the death of Jean-Charles de Menezes, it seems unlikely that any kind of justice will be served. A serious discussion is now needed within the movement to establish what tactics will be most effective to defend ourselves at all future protests.


The demo organisers are proposing to take their concerns to the European Court of Human Rights:

Countless accounts of police brutality have surfaced around the protests on April 1st and 2nd, be it the detention of protesters at Bank for hours [1|2], the vicious attack on the peaceful Climate Camp [report|video], including children, or the raids on the Convergence Center [1|2|3] and RampARTs [1|2]. Not to mention the police aggression at an event to commemorate the death of Ian Tomlinson and demand an independent inquiry.

Now new eyewitness statements corroborate the indications that policing of the protests is, at least in part, responsible for the death of a bystander. On the same day another march was held in the face of police brutality and to demand an inquiry into Ian Tomlinson's death, with the announcement that the police policy of containment would be taken to European Human Rights Courts (see video below).


They also voiced their disgust and anger at the police:

We wish to communicate our disgust and anger at the violent and brutal policing of the G20 demonstrations.

The press once again created an atmosphere of fear and violence in the lead up to the protests, pre-emptively justifying the police violence that occurred. They also misreported and lied about the circumstances of the tragedy. We recognise that for many communities the reality of police violence is a daily occurrence. The demonisation of communities, like the demonisation of protesters makes police violence seem normal.

And observed that,

As the crisis deepens and continues there will be increased resistance - from factory occupations to demonstrations, strikes and people coming together on the streets. We need to speak out now [of] the right to defend our freedom to protest, our communities and our dignity.

In order to prevent the usual cover-up that takes place after such deaths they have called for an independent enquiry.

We are calling for an independent public inquiry into the instances of police violence that occurred though-out the week and to establish [the] true circumstances of his death.


Police Policy of Containment to be brought To Human Rights Court

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