Senior London cops lie to peaceful protestors, stage mass arrest


64 Responses to “Senior London cops lie to peaceful protestors, stage mass arrest”

  1. stumo says:

    ‘ the same officer said, “Yes, you’re free to leave – to the police station. You’re going to be arrested.” ‘ – actually, if you read the article, it was a different officer.

    Still agree that the behaviour from the police was shameful. As you say, this has squandered a lot of goodwill.

  2. Anonymous says:

    When demonstrators peacefully left on the proscribed route, they were seized and arrested, and the same officer said, “Yes, you’re free to leave – to the police station. You’re going to be arrested.”

    Nicely handled by the Met.

    No chance of telegenic scenes of chaos in F&M; protesters left with egg on face over their own gullibility.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Lesson for everyone: Don;t trust the police.

    Isn’t that a genuinely sad state of affairs? That the people commissioned with protecting the people and aiding in peaceful protest are the ones we cannot trust.

    I’d rather sit down for some tea and cake with one of the hoodies chucking bricks through windows than one of those spineless, under-educated power whores.

    • Wickedashtray says:

      “Isn’t that a genuinely sad state of affairs? That the people commissioned with protecting the people and aiding in peaceful protest are the ones we cannot trust.”


      actually, no it isn’t, in most civilized countries. Its the fact that any negative behavior is caught on cameras by people who usually carry a grudge against LE in the first place. The vast majority of cops are simply doing what they’ve been trained and ordered to do. Yes, some get their rocks off on being jack-booted psychotics but as we saw on this day, many supposedly “peaceful protesters” were acting like savage idiots. Most aren’t but we tend to highlight the worst in people and call it “typical behavior”.

      • davidasposted says:

        The vast majority of cops are simply doing what they’ve been trained and ordered to do.

        Ah, the Nuremburg Defense.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, some get their rocks off on being jack-booted psychotics but as we saw on this day, many supposedly “peaceful protesters” were acting like savage idiots.

        Or maybe some protesters were acting like savage idiots, and many police get their rocks off on being jack-booted psychotics. Don’t have any numbers one way or another, do you? Well, then maybe you should trust the people who were there.

  4. angusm says:

    “That’s OK, officer. I’m quite happy here in this shop. I’ll just browse among the fancy marmalades until the trouble has died down outside. Ooooh, look – Earl Grey Tea in a wicker presentation mini-hamper! A snip at £49.99! I think I’ll take two!”

  5. Anonymous says:

    I was watching coverage of these protests on the news the other day, complete with ministers’ desires to ban protest rights for registered hooligans. They were debating making it illegal to protest with one’s face covered, etc. Funnily enough, the accompanying footage showed a line of riot police all with covered faces and armed with an assortment of batons.

    Now, it strikes me as somewhat hypocritical to go and bomb in Libya in defence of their population’s right to protest, and yet be making moves to arbitrarily mark people here as ‘hooligans’ and thus unable to protest legally (peacefully or not). Particularly given our government’s general level of incompetence when it comes to such things.

    Defending ‘freedom’ (read: defending oil and weapons contracts) in the Middle East appears to have been the focus for almost 20 years now, all while slowly turning into our very own Stalinist police state. I’m pretty sure I’ll wake up one morning in a few years, suffering a Kafka-esque nightmare. How sad!

  6. clenchner says:

    Revenge. I suspect some fraction of Uncut supporters used to be, or are friends with Black Blockers and old ‘Class War’ types. They are now justified to engage in ‘price tag’ reprisals that are costly/embarrassing for the Kops while at the same time not sullying the reputation of Uncut for being nonviolent and well-behaved.
    Not saying I support this; only that it would justified. And tempting.

  7. Methusedalot says:

    The police were just acting like polices always do, but the protesters should be ashamed of themselves for being led around like sheep in the first place. This just shows that if you are going to oppose the authorities, you can not then depend on their good will and good manners.

  8. Wisco says:

    Did the protestors kind of expect to get arrested? I have a hard time imagining planning such a thing without also making the leap to when I get on the wrong side of the law. I would have thought that was kind of the point…

  9. RedMonkey says:

    Duh! How do you know a COP is lying? His lips are moving.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I think we’re missing the point of protest. The goal is to elicit change. By being peaceful and cooperative, these protestors managed to make an even larger wave through the outrage at their arrest than they ever would have simply staying put. It’s much like Thoreau choosing to be arrested than to pay taxes that supported slavery.

    The nature of non-violent protest is powerful and difficult to stop. Even so, who knows what effect this may have on the police themselves and the public’s impression of them? Sure, they can arrest one protest group but it works for only so long.

  11. emmdeeaych says:

    Well, you know, one of the most galling things that can be done to a trusting young person is to lie to them.

    Almost like the police are trying to provoke a response so they can paint a reasonable protest as hooliganism.

    Too bad you you if you let them goad you.

    You ought to have just all sat down.

  12. Plut0 says:

    pigs will be pigs

  13. Rider says:

    Why is it considered so evil that protesters get arrested now? I always thought you halfway expected to be arrested at a protest and in decades past it was a badge of honor getting arrested protesting.

  14. Tatsuma says:

    NEWSFLASH…….Cops Lie.

    That is all.

  15. EH says:

    Not only do police lie, they are trained and encouraged to do so.

  16. jpgsawyer says:

    The big problem with this affair is that it makes a lie out of the official Metropolitan Police line that they have no problem with peaceful protests and that they will treat fairly with people who behave fairly to them.

    The police had a huge opportunity here after recent controversy over kettling and other tactics to prove that they would indeed respond appropriately to peaceful civil disobedience.

    Whilst a quick read up on tresspass suggest that they probably could be charged with tresspass and even convicted if the shops owners asked them to leave, thus revoking any license that had to be in the shop. However, I would think it likely that the CPS will consider it iffy and decide its not in the public interest to bring it to trial.

    It seems churlish in the extreme of the Met to pursue such a charges, given what they had the PC inside say and leaves you wondering what is going on really.

    Regardless of whether you support their cause or think their reason for being in Fortnums was justified the response seems to show scant regard for any sense of fairness that the most Brits would hold dear. Its just not cricket.

    It seems a poor decision and an opportunity wasted for the Met to prove that they really are the reformed and enlightened organisation their public face would have us believe.

    I was prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt for a lot of things that happened on Saturday apart from this issue. The whole affair just seemed odd and entirely fishy.

  17. IamInnocent says:

    Also, if you are detained (even if you are innocent!) do not talk to the police. Wait for a lawyer.

    In other words get your own professional lier. :)

  18. Anonymous says:

    UK “Bobbies” used to have a reputation for friendliness and being trustworthy. In the last 20 years or so they have degenerated to a level where I wouldn’t trust them even if my life depended on it. Security in the UK (along with all the cameras) has really gone to hell.

  19. Scurra says:

    No-one who was there that I have since spoken to thinks they will be prosecuted, but several of them are very angry at what happened – even though they also accept that in a sense they “fell for it”.

    Personally, I still think it was a tactical mistake to do anything at all since whatever was done would get entangled (whether deliberately or otherwise) by the media with whatever the “anarchists” (hah!) chose to do. Hey ho.

  20. Anonymous says:

    “Lesson for everyone: Don;t trust the police.”

    Something anyone alive and reasonably cognizant in 1967 in the US could have told them.

    It would be lovely if you could expect a cop to treat you with respect when you demonstrate peacefully, but it’s not likely to happen – even when the cops are on the short end of the stick, as seems to be the case here.

    Demonstrations challenge authority. That’s how they work. I’ll never forget hearing Abbie Hoffman speak at a university about 25 years ago. During the Q&A, one naive college girl asked, “The university won’t give us a permit to demonstrate, what should we do?” I thought Hoffman was going to explode.

  21. Anonymous says:

    This will be swept under a rug after several months of dragging through an official “inquiry”. No one will lose their job over this (except maybe the persons arrested for all the court-related absences they’ll have to take).

  22. ultranaut says:

    It’s dickhole moves like this that radicalize “sensible” people.
    I was once a young and naive protester who thought the cops were just there to “protect and serve the public”. Once you’ve been to see the violence inherent in the system you can never unsee the world as it is.

    • emmdeeaych says:

      Once you’ve been to see the violence inherent in the system you can never unsee the world as it is.

      You’re mistaking the world as they want you to see it for the world as it is.

      The world is a very very nice place. Balanced healthy people are awesome.

      We just happen to have to deal with a bunch of damaged frightened bastards who have the budget, authority, and equipment to keep your unprofitable ideas from spreading.

      Every moment you spend fretting over them is a moment you’re not spreading the word, and that is them winning.

    • Ito Kagehisa says:

      It’s dickhole moves like this that radicalize “sensible” people.

      That’s why the cops do it.

      Cops don’t join the force if they are unwilling to exercise authority over others. They thrive on crime and social unrest, it is the justification for their very existence, so naturally they encourage it.

      • emmdeeaych says:

        I refuse to be nervous around the police. Strictly because they want me to be, but they’re not in control of me, unless I let them be. And why would I give them that?

        • Anonymous says:

          refuse to be nervous around the police. Strictly because they want me to be, but they’re not in control of me, unless I let them be. And why would I give them that?

          And thus you remain a self-actualized individual human being, and not just a disposable carbon-based programmable production unit.

          It’s times like this that the world needs more ornery people like you.

        • ultranaut says:

          Among other things, I’ve seen a cop club an old lady in the back of the head. She looked so grandmotherly.
          I find that once you witness something like this it becomes extremely difficult not to be nervous around police.

  23. Bahumat says:

    A spokesman for the Metropolitan police said it would be inappropriate to discuss the matter while proceedings are active.

    Well, fuck your spokesman. It would be inappropriate for your police officers to behave in this manner. At which point discussing the matter is entirely appropriate.

  24. Anonymous says:

    I think this is a case of the police truly believing that they are doing the right thing, because, you know, every dissenter is a potential murderlistic & terrorphilizing homocidologistising bad person.
    (We have fusion centers in USA to coordinate the indoctrination of the state and local cops with federal propaganda, what do they call those “learning” centres in England?)

  25. elk says:

    There’s a word for that: Fraud. Or perhaps entrapment?

  26. Blue says:

    I wonder what will happen the next time the pigs meet the peaceful protestors of UKuncut?

    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.

  27. Anonymous says:

    I’ve been coming to BB for a while now… The community didn’t used to have such a kneejerk unified anti-authoritarian bent. That is not at all a judgment on the happy mutants: most of the time (including now) I agree! It’s a comment on the world’s authority figures, a slow hum– a gradual crescendo– of elevated and elevating oppression. Happy mutants are very sensitive tuning forks, very often sensitive to abuses of power.

    We are all of us vibrating.

    That is very bad.

  28. travis08 says:

    I am missing something here. How can you peaceably protest when you are trespassing on someones private property. This is the equivalent of a hostage negotiator reneging on that helicopter they promised.

    • Anonymous says:

      You’re saying that entering a luxury department store is not only grounds for arrest, but for the police asking you to leave and then arresting you once you comply? That makes no sense.

  29. Kieran O'Neill says:

    “A freedom fighter learns the hard way that it is the oppressor who defines the nature of the struggle, and the oppressed is often left no recourse but to use methods that mirror those of the oppressor. At a certain point, one can only fight fire with fire.”
    -Nelson Mandela

    Now I don’t think that the situation in the UK right now is even close to the situation in South Africa under Apartheid, but the quote applies to some extent.

  30. Time says:

    Live an learn. Now everyone knows that they can and likely will be arrested whether they are riotous or act like peacefull sheep. Same in U.S.. Same in Canada. Same everywhere. No reason to be of the sheep variaty when you pay the same price. All these governments condemn middle eastern countries for the same thing. They drop bombs to protect innocent protesters in Libya while arresting innocent protesters in their own country.

  31. DominicSayers says:

    “Proscribed” means forbidden. I think Cory means “prescribed”.

  32. george57l says:

    Please correct the error.

    It should be “prescribed” NOT “proscribed” – it means pretty much the opposite. It’s bad enough seeing all the other internet-created/perpetuated incorrect usages without yet another one.

    If they’d left on the proscribed route that would have been the banned or forbidden route, not the required (prescribed) one.

  33. teapot says:

    If I was lied to like that I would respond by burning shit down. Department store, courthouse… whatever. They better watch out in the next protest because they just made a whole bunch of new enemies.

    I would wager that all the spineless Anon comments in support of the moronic met pigs are from people who are not suffering due to spending cutbacks.

    Killing, illegally monitoring and lying to peaceful protesters. Looks like the met might be on track to lose one of its own to violence and to tell you the truth.. they are asking for it.

  34. Rindan says:

    It seems like lying like that probably is not a good policy. Sure, it lets you drag off some low key hippies easier once, but in the long term it means that in situations where you might want to diffuse an incident peacefully and without arrests, no one is going to believe you. Next time someone tries that everyone is just going to scatter out emergency exits in any direction they can find.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wow, as you say, you wouldn’t proceed any other way to annihilate your negotiating options in the future…

      Very short sighted!

    • Blueluck says:

      I absolutely agree. There’s a good reason law enforcement workers are held to a high standard of honesty when they, for example, work a plea bargain with a lawbreaker.

      From this moment until those officers are punished for their offense, no one should believe anything a London police officer says or do anything a London police officer tells them to.

      • Gilbert Wham says:

        No plea bargains in the UK. You’ll get a shorter sentence for pleading guilty, cos it saves ‘em money, but that’s it.

        My bet is, they’ll have needed arrests for their stats considering theattacks to the outside of Fortnum’s, but as those people were a) tooled up and b) had news cameras filming them from every direction, it was easier to drag UKUncut out the back doors, thus proving to Police Chiefs, who will be reporting to their masters in Whitehall with arrest figures, that Something Was Being Done.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Not the same officer, but “a second female officer” according to that Guardian article.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Well done to the Met police here, if UKUncut can’t peacefully demonstrate with the rest of the protestors, then this is what they should expect. Claiming that UKUncut ‘have a hard-won reputation for peaceful, well-organized protest that cooperates with police’ goes against what they did at the weekend in Fortnum and Mason and over London. There are lots of witnesses to their behaviour, or rather its so called members acting on its behalf. Threatening staff, customers, smashing everything in site. They were no different to the anarchists, although they didn’t wear hoods!
    Also stop just linking sites from the Guardain as though they are the only voice in this whole debate. There are a lot of voices out there

  37. Anonymous says:

    this is what happens when you protest peacefully?

  38. retrac13 says:

    This makes me too angry to respond reasonably.

    So instead, I respond with an attempt at humor:

    Where the F is Sergeant Angel when we need him?

    *shoots gun into the air while yelling ‘ahhh’ out of frustration*

  39. Anonymous says:

    That’s what happens when you organise a ‘peaceful’ protest.

  40. codesuidae says:

    Before you know it, they’ll even be tricking people into giving evidence that can be used to prosecute them!

  41. Anonymous says:

    The Police arrested 200 non violent protestors who did very little, if no damage. Meanwhile I saw random violence against property all over the West End that went largely un-Policed. This is probably not a conspiracy but rather, human nature, in that it is much easier to arrest those who are compliant and non violent. Also we should note that the Police have started to be sacked as part of the cutbacks (see todays Guradian).

  42. davidasposted says:

    I do not know anything about police procedure in the UK, but in the US the only place a police officer is legally obligated to tell the truth is under oath in court (and even then they will occasionally lie, as will others on the stand). In every other instance, police officers can and will lie to you with impunity.

    If you want to be truly safe, do not believe a word that a police officer says to you. They are probably lying.

    Also, if you are detained (even if you are innocent!) do not talk to the police. Wait for a lawyer.

    • Boba Fett Diop says:

      Exactly. Don’t trust the Filth!

    • Xul Solo says:

      Does anyone know for sure about the legality of the police lying in this case? I’m just curious, because as david says there are many instances in the US where the authorities lying is perfectly permissible. Besides the obvious erosion of public trust, I wonder if there are legal precedents for other repercussions against the police.

      • Anonymous says:

        The lying might not be illegal, per se, but it can compromise the legitimacy of the charges. If a police officer says “go ahead and commit this crime; I won’t do anything to you”, then arrests you after you proceed, that is likely entrapment.

  43. GreenJello says:

    Is anybody really surprised by this? I mean you know it’s a confrontation from the moment the cop pulls you over or whatever, and starts with the leading question “Do you know why I pulled you over?” Obviously telling the truth about the nuns you just murder in piled in the back is not in the cards.

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