UK Liberty

Admissions of guilt over Kingsnorth?

Posted in freedom of assembly, freedom of information by ukliberty on December 18, 2008

Sunny at Pickled Politics claimed that,

the police have admitted to lying about apparent “injuries” sustained during a protest at Kingsnorth power station.

I appreciate the sentiment but no-one has admitted to lying at all.

The police recorded only ‘basic information’ about the injuries, presumably they only passed on the number ‘injured’; Vernon Coaker sought no further detail, having “naturally assumed” that all the injuries sustained by police were caused by “direct contact” with those horrid protestors, because it was expedient for him not to look into it, and it fitted his prejudices; the police didn’t bother to correct Coaker’s misapprehension, presumably because it suited their claims that their numbers and actions were proportionate to the ‘threat’ posed by the “violent” protestors (they needed to justify their expenditure of resources).  

And we only know about this because some enterprising MPs filed some Freedom of Information Act requests to find out what really went on.

I think that makes it worse than a mere one-off lie: it is a concerted effort at sustained deceit on the part of the police, and a lack of effort on Coaker’s part (although the cynical side of me questions the veracity of his claims) to find out the truth.

I’m not sure how I feel about direct action against a private business and its power station, but I wholly disagree with what some* of the police got up to at the Climate Camp at Kingsnorth, and the Government turning a blind eye to it until enough of a fuss is made by, for example, the Labour and LibDem MPs who participated in it.

Interesting of course there is no mention of numbers of protestors injured, or those deterred from attending any further protests because of the actions of the police, which ranged from intimidation to physical violence.

* It must be said that not all the police were bad, there are glowing reports of some officers from protestors, who felt that these individuals were doing their jobs in a very reasonable way, and everyone got on nicely until certain other officers thought it would be a good idea to intimidate, threaten, and assault.

Never mind, there is going to be yet another review, and yet more lessons will be learned, etc, ad infinitum, ad nauseam.

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