Star date: 9th December 2013


"You cannot arrest someone for walking down a road backwards"

This morning Greater Manchester Police made five arrests during a peaceful blockade of lorries heading for the IGas drilling site in Barton Moss. Video footage appears to show police snatch squads targeting some of the twenty people who were involved in the action, with an inspector apparently overheard saying the police needed to make `one more arrest', indicating some kind of quota.

The police were accused of being "aggressive" and "out of control" by campaigner Ian R Crane.

Full details here…

"What we're dealing with here is a police force that is very much acting as the hired help for the corporations" Ian R Crane

Greater Manchester Police came under fire today as the force made five arrests at the Barton Moss Community Protection Camp blockade of lorries heading for the IGas exploratory drilling site on Barton Moss Road.

"It's my opinion that what we've seen today is the police on a mission to make five arrests and they did indeed make five arrests…One of the inspectors was actually overheard saying that `We need to make one more', which would indicate that they had a quota" Barton campaigner Ian R Crane told an iTookYourPic video -see here

Indeed, footage on this video posted on YouTube and titled "Aggressive" Policing at Barton Moss Protection Camp, shows one arrest where the arrestee appears to be doing nothing, while another video shows yet another arrest of someone who appears to have been targeted (see embedded video). With the footage circulating on social media sites the main reaction has been outrage…

"Disgusted"… "Shocked and saddened"… "You cannot arrest someone for walking down a road backwards"… "It is done to intimidate others from joining the demo"…

Many have made formal complaints to Greater Manchester Police and Police Commissioner, Tony Lloyd.

"The front line of the police was very, very different today to anything we've seen previously – they were, non communicative, they were very aggressive they were pushing people forcibly in the back" said Ian R Crane "Policing which, in my opinion, is out of control.

"What I've seen today, and the attitude and behaviour I've seen today" he added "makes me very concerned that what we're dealing with here is a police force that is very much acting as the hired help for the corporations"

Crane called for more local people to join the daily blockades between 10:30 and 1pm at the site.

"There were only about twenty protectors in the front line, the great tragedy is that the local population were conspicuous by their absence" he said "In reality if this campaign is going to succeed the local population is going to have to express its displeasure by coming down to Barton Moss and participating in the blockade.

"Otherwise the reality is that if the police come down with an arrest quota over five or so then, in the space of a few days there's not going to be too many people here and IGas will effectively be awarded their social licence through the apathy of the local population" he added

"The population of Greater Manchester has a very difficult choice to make right now" he explained "Do they simply allow this industry to kick off and just learn to live with the consequences of this whole area, from here right across to the Wirral, becoming an industrial wasteland within the next couple of decades…The land effectively becoming toxic, the water becoming toxic and leaving a legacy for future generations that doesn't bear thinking about…"

The Salford Star asked Greater Manchester Police for a comment on whether the policing today was heavy handed, and if there are arrest quotas in place. So far, GMP hasn't responded.

UPDATE 10th December 4pm - GMP Responds

Greater Manchester Police has now responded to Salford Star questions about yesterday’s arrests. We asked whether the policing was heavy handed and whether there were any quotas for arrests.

GMP stated: “Greater Manchester Police (GMP) respects everyone's democratic right to peacefully protest and officers are monitoring the demonstration and working with partner agencies, in particular Salford Council, to ensure it passes safely.

“Due to the nature of the protest, a proportionate number of police officers are required to ensure the safety of all sections of the public. These officers are drawn from across the Force including specialist departments.

“We are not aware of any complaints being made about police conduct.”

GMP added that five people have been charged following the arrests: Timothy Williams, Alexandra Hart, Hytham Chlouk, and Ian Tushingham were charged with obstructing the highway. Hedar Abid was charged with obstructing the police.

Tim Williams was unconditionally bailed today and the other four will appear before Trafford magistrates on Friday 20 December.

See also previous Salford Star articles...

* Salford Anti Fracking Rally Tells the Labour Party To Get Off The Fence - click here

* Barton Moss Sees GM Police Overkill - click here

Mrs a williams wrote
at 2:30:49 PM on Saturday, February 22, 2014
Just come across Barton Moss videos and am appalled at the behaviour of these police. Surely some of them must have children,and should be worrying for their future . I am worried for my grandchildren but sadly not well enough to join the protest. I take my hat off to these caring protesters
Kenneth w mckelvey wrote
at 2:01:10 AM on Sunday, December 15, 2013
What is our New Labour Tory Council and MPs going to do about this Harrasment of a perfectly legal protest by the Anti Frackers / It is the Police Who Are Breaking The Law /We are perfectly within the Laws on the Right to Peacefully Protest anywhere within the UK .It was alright for Mr Cameron and his entourage to Strut about the streets of Cairo urging the Egyptian Protest leaders to carry on with their protests even though a lot of people had been injured / But when a perfectly Peaceful Protest is Occurring on his doorstep not a word spoken. Can we only assume We can only Protest When it isn't interfering with Business or the Government vested interests/
Richard T. Desvernine Jr. wrote
at 3:03:15 AM on Saturday, December 14, 2013
"Confused" is spot on. Confused writes: "Look you are all protesting in the wrong place. The police are enforcing the law as it is, so why can IGAS drill on the moss? Because Salford council gave them permission too, that's where you should be protesting, outside the Civic, but if it was me I would be outside the houses of those who claim to represent us." I'm suggesting that you have a croquet party on some Lord's lawn or do something cleaver that will get press. But for heaven's sake don't throw your pregnant women and elderly to the wolves. People will get hurt and they'll frack anyway.
Confused wrote
at 1:46:26 PM on Friday, December 13, 2013
Look you are all protesting in the wrong place. The police are enforcing the law as it is, so why can IGAS drill on the moss? Because Salford council gave them permission too, that's where you should be protesting, outside the Civic, but if it was me I would be outside the houses of those who claim to represent us.
A Free Human. wrote
at 11:19:27 AM on Friday, December 13, 2013
It’s disgusting, people are FREE to protest in this free country. Maybe the police should be made to swear a new oath these days, it should go something like “I swear to serve and protect all cooperate businesses and crush any resistance from human beings”. This is the ever thickening edge of fascism that is slowly creeping into this country when the banks and cooperate businesses having far to much power.
Kenneth w mckelvey wrote
at 3:40:31 PM on Wednesday, December 11, 2013
After watching the video of the Police harassing and arresting those totally innocent protesters/Surely there is enough visual evidance on that tape to bring to the Authoritys Attention enough evidence to charge these officers with misconduct/ By the Hooligan behaviour of those Officers/ Where is our Political Protection / We are supposed to live in a Free Country where Peaceful Protest are part of our Freedom / So I would suggest to our freeloading Councillors and MPs/ It is time for them to watch the video then set in motion Charges against these thugs /we call Police Men/
Prisoner Irlam wrote
at 10:36:57 PM on Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Sadly the world over were there are people peacefully protesting they fall prey to Governments that use the police to crush protesting and human rights, so they can get there own twisted policies forced through with the minimum of fuss, aided by a no show of local clowncillors in the mix , what do we have a formulae for twisted policies forced through that's politics for you, if there's nothing in it for them they don't give a hoot !!!! Dear GMP I will be peacefully protesting this weekend against issues that effect my local habitat I would be so pleased if you don't arrest me kind regards Joe Blogs
Kenneth w mckelvey wrote
at 10:36:08 PM on Tuesday, December 10, 2013
These Multi NationalPower Company's are notorious for their Tax Evading Tactics /So on that Assumption if they do not pay tax /They make no Contributions to the upkeep of the UKs Education of children /Armed Forces/ NHS/ And the POLICE/ So why do these Tax Evaders get the full force of the UKs Constabulary / An Organisation provided and financed by the Taxation of the very people they are Harassing / Through the Media and Pro government News papers they would like the public to think that all protester are unemployed / Or on Some sort of Benefits/Having spoken to them I found the opposite they had a genuine conviction on the danger and pollution of FRACKING People with strong convictions are a very rare commodity in this Dog it Dog world we as a Nation are being Steered To
Franko wrote
at 10:35:42 PM on Tuesday, December 10, 2013
@Chaz *unelected scum
Sally Bowman wrote
at 1:52:01 PM on Tuesday, December 10, 2013
“We are not aware of any complaints being made about police conduct.” Try opening your inbox, reading your own social media sites and speaking with Tony Lloyd GMPCC. There have been many, many complaints made. If you are not aware of them then why not??
steven lindley wrote
at 1:51:54 PM on Tuesday, December 10, 2013
open letter to info@gmpcc.org.uk i write to express my concerns over the police actions today at the barton moss protection camp. i believe there was no justifcation in the way these peaceful protestors have been treated. it seems that there is an agenda to systematically arrest a set quota of people in what is obviously an attempt to disband the camp. these people have a right to protest in a lawful and peaceful manner and i believe no law worthy of arrest has been commited. i remind you of tony lloyd, the police commisioners, election pleadge to "Keep our neighbourhood policing by building partnerships with community groups, local councils and right across the criminal justice system to tackle and prevent crime." today actions made the police force look like nothing more than corporate hired henchman. not the behaviour i expect to see from the british police i also understand that no complaints have been recieved regarding this matter so please ensure this is logged as a complaint
Rhonda wrote
at 1:51:22 PM on Tuesday, December 10, 2013
The GMP are lying, “We are not aware of any complaints being made about police conduct.” I for one sent an email to them voicing my opposition to the Brutality metted out on the Peaceful protestors. If they are not aware then it is only due to the fact that they are not interested in the thuggish behaviour of their colleagues. I saw the video on youtube and can verify that there have been many complaints sent to their establishment. I believe the mindless robots are targetting Balcombe Protest Veterans as a tactic to scare newcomers off! The tactic will only enrage the people and recruit even more opposition to the Anti-Fracking movement, so thanks GMP for great PR.
Daniel wrote
at 11:14:14 AM on Tuesday, December 10, 2013
When scientific studies put us close to the tipping point how can this government allow cracking to even be a possibility? They have been elected by us to do what is best for our green and pleasant land not for a multi million pound polluting company. Clearly they are not interested in future generations. Also the behaviour of the police has shocked me, this is the force who stood idly by when people set shops on fire in the riots. Where were they then? And yet here they are arresting and being aggressive towards people expressing their democratic right to protest. Enough is enough!
Sue Lees wrote
at 10:39:38 AM on Tuesday, December 10, 2013
We've been there on a few occasions when the police have been really heavy handed. GMP's comment “We are not aware of any complaints being made about police conduct” is utter bollox. I've tweeted GMP and commented on their FB page, as have others. I've now sent an email to Commissioner Tony Lloyd http://www.gmpcc.org.uk/contact/ you should all do the same
Robert Davies wrote
at 10:10:20 AM on Tuesday, December 10, 2013
I am actually appauled by the actions I have seen by GMP. Look at the video 1:00 minute approaching 1:08 and you can clearly see police aggression trying to stir a reaction from one of the protectors, who remained calm despite what looked like being punched and squared up to. Do GMP have the correct insurance to act on behalf of the corporate sector. I just hope that when CaMoron and Co start to force redundancies or stop pensions etc, GMP don't expect support from us. Maybe IGAS can subsidise their pensions.
Chaz wrote
at 1:34:22 AM on Tuesday, December 10, 2013
We had a beautiful inspiring day at Barton Moss on Sunday, the local community came out, children came out, grandparents came out and people from all over the North. It was a wonderful uplifting day of community love and empowerment with zero police present. Today they decided to teach us a lesson. They decided to brutalise and terrorise perfectly peaceful protesters to put us back in our place and show us who's boss. THIS in ENGLAND!!!!! The BBC has now been jerking itself off over Mandela for four straight days. Meanwhile 3 miles down the road from its ivory towers people are being terrorised in order to remove them from the way of a corrupt industry that wants to poison our loved ones and trash our environment all with the connivance of the elected scum that are supposed to represent us. The guy with the "FRACKING IS OUR APARTHEID" placard at the gathering is sadly right. We are being battered, our rights have been stripped and we are having a killer industry imposed upon us with no choice whatsoever. What a deeply shameful period for my once proud country. I'm outta here and leaving you lot to it, I refuse to live in such a disgraceful undemocratic society, good bloody luck x
Mary Johnson wrote
at 4:17:17 PM on Monday, December 9, 2013
GMP brought shame on our city with their appalling behaviour today. These tactics should NEVER be used - in fact, I have seen violent and dangerous suspects treated with more respect by GMP officers than these protectors were afforded. The official GMP line is that they are protecting the protectors, how on earth can they still claim this with the photographic and video evidence we have seen over the past few weeks? I am absolutely disgusted with GMP as a whole and with the individuals who are carrying out these outrageous acts on peaceful people on behalf of corporate interests.
diane steels wrote
at 3:24:14 PM on Monday, December 9, 2013
After seeing the photos and videos via social networks today I am absolutely appalled at the behaviour of GMP. I am usually to be found at Barton Moss as is my right to peacefully protect this green and pleasant land from such atrocities as fracking.I will not be intimidated by such abhorrent behaviour by these policemen who seem to be protecting not we the public but IGAS and their greedy dash for cash.As a grandma standing up for future generations right to have clean air and water free from poisons will I be on the quota arrest list tomorrow? We shall see.............
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