Police and Environmental Protest; from #BartonMoss to #Drax and beyond #Manchester #climate

Just the facts. Please read the disclaimer before commenting.

The Guardian reports that

A protester at an anti-fracking demonstration in Greater Manchester claims he was left “battered and bruised” after being assaulted by police officers.

Sean O’Donnell, who is known as Kris, shot a video of himself being apparently shoved to the ground by police at the Barton Moss protest camp in Irlam, Salford.

Meanwhile (also the Guardian)

A group of environmental protesters [including several from Manchester] have had their convictions overturned after senior judges ruled that crucial evidence gathered by an undercover police officer was withheld from their original trial.

The 29 protesters were convicted in 2009 after they blocked a train carrying coal from going into the Drax power station in North Yorkshire.

This isn’t the first lot of quashed convictions, and it may not be the last.  For an excellent overview of this, see this blog post –

Where’s the justice?

The Director of Public Prosecutions said they will investigate any cases brought to them, but they won’t go searching. Thing is, we can’t bring cases if we don’t know who the cops were. It’s a bit like me getting burgled, but the cops ask me to find a fingerprint and put a name to it before they investigate. It’s *they* who hold the only records that can identify culprits and, given we all know these crimes happened, their refusal to investigate amounts to a cover-up.

After the facts, the editorial: What scares me?  Besides the relentless accumulation of carbon dioxide in the physical atmosphere and of stupidity and violence in the political atmosphere? The fact that the political class, the police and the media are in a long-term three-way fight (e.g), with shifting alliances (“We have always been at war with Eastasia. Oceania has always been our ally.“)   And let’s not even talk about business or the judiciary.  I am sure there was never a Golden Age, where people did have lots of trust in their lords and masters, but it seems, to me, that the “British Establishment” is increasingly brittle and fragile.  If something went badly wrong (or rather, “when”), there will be little trust, little confidence.  And our lords and masters will over-compensate with all sorts of Command and Control stuff that will be comforting to some in the short-term, but ultimately ineffectual and take a possibly survival situation and turn it into a nightmare of cosmic proportions. Just sayin’.

Disclaimer: Doubtless posting this will add to my slender police file. So it goes.
And doubtless people will point out that most police are hard-working, honest etc.

I don’t doubt it.  Any institution (whether it’s Manchester City Council, a religious institution, a sports club) is going to contain many such people.  But those honest people can’t expect to get the credibility and social standing that comes with the uniform/job title without speaking up/out when the ever-increasing numbers of rotten apples start spoiling the barrel.  Or am I missing something?


About manchesterclimatemonthly

Was print format from 2012 to 13. Now web only. All things climate and resilience in (Greater) Manchester.
This entry was posted in Campaign Update, Signs of the Pending Ecological Debacle. Bookmark the permalink.

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