Mayday Protest against the Police

stationsteps2This Mayday, in the wake of the death of Ian Tomlinson, who died during the G20 demonstrations after being struck by baton and pushed to the ground by a member of the territorial support group (TSG), over 50 people gathered outside Cardiff central police station to protest against police violence. The protest was a lively one lasting about two hours, with music and singing throughout the demonstration. There was a mix of protesters from a cross section of the radical political ‘scene’ in South Wales, with representations from all the local Anarchist groups and Socialist parties, as well as campaigners for peace, social justice, human and animal rights.

ray-davies-v-copUnsurprisingly, following recent criticism of the Metropolitan Police over their thuggish behaviour during the G20, nearly all the Cardiff cops stayed behind closed doors, with only one coming out to attempt to talk to people in the crowd. What may have been an attempt at appeasing the demonstrators was, however, treated with scepticism by those who’d previously been on the receiving end of police violence during protests and are more than aware of the systematic and deliberate way in which public demonstrations are repressed and criminalised.

South Wales Anarchists not only condemn police violence, but will confront officers who commit violence against those who protest. We  oppose the continued deployment of “Forward Intelligence Teams” (FIT) who photograph and harass demonstrators. These tactics are unacceptable and we are committed to disrupt them as much as possible. More than that we see the role of the Police force as nothing more than the protectors of the interests of the rich and powerful, which cannot be reformed. The police are the violent arm of the state in our communities. They are the enemy of the working class!

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War in the Vale

A number of South Wales Anarchists attempted to disrupt this year’s ‘Aerolink Wales’ aerospace and defence fair, held at The Vale Hotel and Spa near Hensol on 7th April.

"Hardocre activists" "storm" The Vale Hotel...

"Hardcore activists" "storm" The Vale Hotel...

While members of the Red Choir, Campaign Against the Arms Trade, CND and Stop the War maintained a presence in a designated area at the front of the hotel, local anarchists approached the doors to attempt to gain access. However, they were prevented from doing so by police officers who described the group as ‘hardcore activists’ trying to ‘storm’ the building.

A police evidence gatherer filmed activists closely and became confrontational when protesters began to block him getting pictures. The officer was then instructed to put his camera away so as not to cause a scene! Erm, too late: the line of police at the entrance and the officers and police vehicles around the 4 Star facility had probably not gone unnoticed by its guests.

Police evidence-gatherer foiled by anti-militarist propaganda

Police evidence-gatherer foiled by anti-militarist propaganda

Leaflets were given to hotel guests and visitors, explaining that companies which supply the Israeli army who killed an estimated 1500 people in recent attacks on Gaza were showing off their wares and cutting deals in their hotel.

Many were shocked and upset to learn of what was happening in the hotel and made complaints to the manager. One guest took a number of leaflets back into the hotel to give out to other customers while another told us that when she asked hotel staff what the event was about, she was told they weren’t allowed to tell her!

Despite being informed that they were trespassing and being asked to leave by a nervous hotel manager, apparently under instruction from the police, the south wales anarchists continued to ensure that anyone going in or out of the hotel knew that profiteers from war were doing business in their hotel.

Meanwhile, as all police attention was focused at the front of the hotel, they totally missed posters and ‘blood’ covered dolls being left inside the hotel in protest against this Welsh Assembly supported arms fair. Doh! We think Aerolink 2010 may be actively looking for a new venue…

Doh!

Doh!

Anarchists fight with police…and win!!!

From our G-20 Meltdown correspondent

We’ve had a great day. It’s been fantastic! We said we’d storm the bank and we did. They couldn’t stop us. We broke through the police lines and the royal bank of Scotland was trashed.  We’ve won! We’ve done what we said we would. It feels fantastic. We’ve had a brilliant day!

rbs-smashedWe estimate numbers of demonstrators at 8,000. The police were saying about 4,000 in Threadneedle St alone so add on a few thousand to that.

The journalists caused horrendous problems. When we wanted to get through police lines, they were pushing back against us. They were real nerds. They kept pushing in between us and the cops, which was a real problem because when the police were hitting people the journalists were stopping us getting to the injured. Their presence was also stopping demonstrators from going through police lines. In terms of numbers there, half were protestors and half journalists.

The police have used batons on people. They’ve used horses but not for charging. It’s been baton charges. It is arguable that they were less aggressive because the press was there. They could’ve been more aggressive. It could’ve have been worse. Whether the presence of the press tempered them is a possibility.

 

For more news direct from the streets, check out Indymedia.

Check out this brilliant sequence of photos of the day.