Sunday, 28 November 2010

At least they didn't use sabres

In 1819, four years after Waterloo, protesters in St Peter's Field, Manchester were attacked by soldiers. Around a dozen were killed and hundreds were injured. This was partly because the police had used a system called kettling. Well they didn't call it kettling then but you know what I mean. It became known as the Peterloo massacre. Soldiers on horses moved into the crowds and used sabres. Some deaths were from the sabres and some were from crush injuries.

On Wednesday there were protests across the country about tuition fees and mounted police rode into the crowd at Trafalgar Square. Protesters were forcefully moved along even though the protest was legal. Now maybe there was a sound reason for the police to disperse the crowd with horses. My view is based on reports and video footage but I don't know everything that went on. What I do know is that Scotland Yard denied that the charge took place. They did remember when footage was posted on YouTube.

This means that the police were trying to cover up an act that they did not want to make public. There is an alternative answer. In this instance the police were inept. One police vehicle was vandalised. My original thoughts were that there was an element of the crowd out to do no good. A cynic may say that any act of vandalism may have been provoked by the police.

The police are hardly in a position to explain why they were charging with horses if they deny that it happened. If they accept it happened then they can give their reasons, but somebody gave the order for the horses to charge. Somebody (the Met's commissioner) denied all knowledge. We have enough CCTV for the police to know what happened and there are enough video cameras for everyone to know what happened. At least they didn't use sabres.

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