UK Indymedia – January 13, 2008
During the freedom to protest assembly this afternoon, Brian Haw (who was peacefully filming events in whitehall) was violently attacked by a territorial support group policeman who lashed out at him, smashing his camera into his face and causing a deep cut. police then arrested brian for an unspecified public order offence and further assaulted him in a police van.
A number of people were milling around the road outside Downing Street where a group of around a dozen had laid down with linked arms in the road.
Without warnings the territorial support group moved in and began violently pushing and man-handling people to the pavement. one young woman was grabbed round the throat and dragged. others were pushed from behind. Brian was miving backwards towards the pavement with a camera to his face when officer U1019 lunged at him deliberately and without provocation. the blow was aimed directly at Brian's face and pushed his camera into his cheek causing a deep wound.
Shortly afterwards, Brian was snatched from the crowd and taken to a police van, from which witnesses heard him screaming. after several minutes he was dragged out of the van looking very alarmed and frightened, and taken to another cell van where he was driven to Belgravia police station.
Supporters there are worried for his safety, but after an hour of no news, they were told that he was being taken to see the prison doctor. there are concerns about his treatment during that hour.
Steve Jago, on seeing the snatch, pushed forward to try to help Brian, but was immediately pounced on by four heavy tsg thugs who violently dragged him to the ground, sat on him, and aggressively hand-cuffed him before apprently arresting him for an unknown offence.
In an afternoon of filming, at no time did I see a single act of violence towards the police from the peaceful protestors, and yet police used completely disproportionate and aggressive tactics to disperse and control peaceful sit-downs and blockades. i saw a 61 year old woman being dragged wihout any heed for 'health and safety' and dumped on the pavement. another elderly man was thrown over his bicycle (despite having recently had an accident leaving him in considerable pain)
There were several other arrests this afternoon, mainly for obstruction and public order offences. one person was arrested for 'organising an unauthorised protest'
Attached photo was taken by nuj journalist Terence Bunch and remains his copyright although he has kindly allowed publication here - for any commercial usgae please contact him via www.terencebunch.co.uk
Last updated 17/01/2008