Injuries sustained by police at Kingsnorth climate camp
Lest we forget, Kent Online 6 August 2008:
Police Q&A [on reasons for large police presence]
Campers intend to harm police, as well as police dogs and horses
There are a minority of violent troublemakers at the camp.
The Home Office has now admitted that the protesters had not been responsible for any injuries. In a three-line written answer to a parliamentary question, the Home Office minister Vernon Coaker wrote to the Lib Dem justice spokesman, David Howarth, saying: “Kent police have informed the Home Office that there were no recorded injuries sustained as a result of direct contact with the protesters.”
Only four of the 12 reportable injuries involved any contact with protesters at all and all were at the lowest level of seriousness with no further action taken.
The other injuries reported included “stung on finger by possible wasp”; “officer injured sitting in car”; and “officer succumbed to sun and heat”. One officer cut his arm on a fence when climbing over it, another cut his finger while mending a car, and one “used leg to open door and next day had pain in lower back”.
A separate breakdown of the 33 patients treated by the police tactical medicine unit at the climate camp shows that three officers had succumbed to heat exhaustion, three had toothache, six were bitten by insects, and others had diarrhoea, had cut their finger or had headaches.
All three of these means [confiscations, threatening violence against trespassers, and intimidation of waverers] by which police prevented demonstrators from carrying out civil disobedience were of questionable legality, yet practical, enforceable remedies for protestors are very limited, and – at the point the protest is happening – virtually non-existent.
Why I’ve added the ID cards tag
There is another interesting interesting submission from Climate Camp – in particular something I hadn’t heard before, about how the police demanded the protestors identify themselves and, if the protestor refused, pressured them into doing so (say, by accusing them of theft if a wallet had been found), or went through all their belongings in order to find names and addresses. And of course if the protestor was foreign he was asked to give his real name and address to prove he had the right to be in the country! (Legal observers, of course, were somtimes prevented from advising the protestor as to his rights.)