Campaigners have condemned the “extreme pre-emptive violence” by the London police against anti-capitalist demonstrations on Tuesday, which left several people injured.
The Stop G8 campaign group said in a statement that the police surrounded the deserted building they were using as their Social Centre and then forced their way into the precincts using tasers, chemical sprays and riot gear, under the pretext that the protesters were armed.
The group said officers also hit unarmed squatters, who were holding their hands in the air in submission, with shields and fists, injuring several people.
According to Stop G8, at least two protesters suffered serious head injuries, several were hurt and at least 30 people were arrested at the building.
TV footage showed police chasing and nabbing an injured protester, who was trying to escape through rooftops.
“The police claim that they raided Beak Street because they suspected there were weapons on the building. In fact the only weapons were the police tasers, batons, shields, chemicals, fists and dogs,” a Stop G8 spokesman said.
The campaigners were squatting at a deserted police station on Beak Street, calling it “Stop G8 Social Centre”.
The group was also holding a street march, named Carnival Against Capitalism, that passed outside several well-known “places of power” in the elite West End area of London, including offices of oil giant BP and multinational arms dealer Lockhead Martin.
The Stop G8 said the rally went ahead peacefully except for the episode where the police “snatch squads violently arrested and assaulted” demonstrators who were taking part in the anti-capitalist Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Circus marches.
“The world over, the cops do the same job, protecting the robbers…. In London today they came with batons and tasers to clear the Beak Street social centre… [but] police violence against our week of action will only make us stronger,” the group said in its statement.
Tuesday was the first day of the Stop G8’s week of action in London that will lead to protests timed to coincide with the G8 summit in Northern Ireland on June 17 and 18.
The group is also holding a demonstration against militarism and capitalist violence outside the offices of world’s third largest arms producer BAE Systems in London on Wednesday.
This is while campaigners said they are also gathering witness statements about police brutality on Tuesday to release a detailed account of the attacks and injuries.
daily alternative | alternative news – Anti capitalist campaigners rap UK police ‘extreme violence’