Star date: 17th February 2014


Vanda, the Barton Moss protector mother, whose brutal arrest on Saturday was captured on film and photos and flashed around the world, was today back at the Barton Moss Community Protection Camp accusing Greater Manchester Police of acting `like a pack of wolves'.

Meanwhile, despite bailiff notices this morning, around sixty anti-fracking campaigners slowed down lorries delivering to the iGas exploratory drilling site.

Full details here…

Vanda's Arrest by Greater Manchester Police Vanda's Arrest by Greater Manchester Police Vanda's Arrest by Greater Manchester Police
Vanda's Arrest by Greater Manchester Police Vanda's Arrest by Greater Manchester Police Barton Moss 17th February 2014
Barton Moss 17th February 2014 Barton Moss 17th February 2014 Barton Moss 17th February 2014
Barton Moss 17th February 2014 Barton Moss 17th February 2014 Barton Moss 17th February 2014
Barton Moss 17th February 2014 Barton Moss 17th February 2014 Barton Moss 17th February 2014
click image to enlarge

"I told him he was strangling me when he was doing it and he completely ignored me, and that's when I went into complete shock..."

On Saturday night, environmentalists the world over were horrified as video footage and photos of the arrest of Vanda, a mother from the Barton Moss Community Protection Camp, were flashed around the world.

The images showed a police officer with his arms around Vanda's neck, handcuffing her and dragging her across a muddy field, then watching as she appeared to have a fit. It led the Camp's lead solicitor, Simon Pook, of Robert Lizar Solicitors, to call in the United Nations and remark that "Greater Manchester Police appear to have discarded the European Convention of Human Rights into the gutter" (see previous Salford Star article – click here).

This morning Vanda was back at the Camp and, in an interview with Salford Star, accused Greater Manchester Police Tactical Aid Unit (TAU) of acting like "a pack of wolves"…

"It was brutality" she said "It was like you're sheep in the middle and a pack of wolves are all just ganging up on you, the whole lot…The TAU just lined up then came charging down the hill…"

She recalled that she was videoing another protector who was on a lorry near the iGas exploratory drilling site entrance when she saw other protectors being chased by police officers on the field beyond the fence from the road…

"I came down the embankment and, as I started walking over, the copper pushed me out of the way so I turned around and called him a `wanker'" Vanda recalled "It was the natural thing to say more or less, but then he spun on his heels, turned around and charged at me. I tried to run away but that's when they grabbed hold of me and basically dragged me around like a rag doll.

"He put my arms up my back, I told him he was hurting my arms and I couldn't feel them or anything but he gripped hold of my coat and dragged me across the mud" she added "I told him he was strangling me when he was doing it and he completely ignored me, and that's when I went into complete shock."

Vanda didn't go into a fit as first thought but the shaking that can be seen on video footage are spasms from a trapped nerve during her ordeal.

"They think that they trapped a nerve in the bottom of my back and hip and that's what was setting off all the spasms and they gave me something in the ambulance to stop it" she said "They said in the ambulance that my sugar levels had dropped, and that my pulse and my blood pressure was high but it wasn't because my body temperature was cold or anything. The hospital x-rayed my arms to make sure they weren't broken, they were just badly bruised.

"They de-arrested me in the hospital but still summonsed me for breach of the peace" she explains "The only reason I can think of for that is that they didn't want the press at the hospital.

"It was out of order what the police did" she concluded "I was treated wrong. I didn't do anything, all I did was walk down the field and he pushed me out of the way…"

This morning more bailiff notices, without headed notepaper or signatures, were handed out warning of `trespass' on Peel Holdings land. But it didn't stop around sixty people slow walking the iGas delivery lorries down Barton Moss Road.

As people shouted `Public Footpath', first a protector sat down in the road reading his rights, and then another lay down in the path of the police lines pushing the public up the road. There were no arrests.

The Barton Moss Community Protection Camp is now waiting to see whether any official documents will be produced from Peel Holdings and its various companies and whether eviction notices will be served.

* The Salford Star has contacted the Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner for a statement about Saturday's events but, so far, there has been no response.

UPDATE: 5pm 17th February

Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner, Tony Lloyd, has sent over a statement which is fairly old in the scheme of things but there may be an update in the coming days...

Tony Lloyd said:

“There have been a number of incidents referred to the GMP’s professional standards department, where serious allegations have been made about police conduct at Barton Moss.

“There is legitimate public concern over this operation and it is right and proper that allegations of police misconduct are investigated fully and thoroughly.

“I have – publicly and privately – called on the Chief Constable to provide assurances that the operation at Barton Moss is proportionate. It is a complex situation where police have to balance the legitimate rights of people to lawfully protest with the rights of those who live and work in the local area.

“Given there are active investigations into the conduct of police, it is difficult for me to say more at this stage, but I expect the outcomes to be made public and if misconduct has occurred, appropriate action to be taken.”

Main photo by Stevanie, Vanda's daughter

fenwoman wrote
at 7:57:45 AM on Saturday, December 6, 2014
the war has started. It is the Police against the people. They are violent, have no regard for the law or people's rights and when they are committing violence against and UNARMED person, they seek to hide from the cameras by crowding around their fellow officers as they commit abuse against her. The war started decades ago when doctors were told that the masses needed to be medicated into acceptance and docility. This was done by telling people they are depressed and need brain chemicals. And the idiots actually believed it and willingly took this poison. So now, when big business seeks to make huge profits at the expense of public health, most people won't object or care. The chemicals have seen to that. The few who refuse to take the poison and are angry and astute enough to see what is happening are deemed to be agitators, terrorists and criminals. Needless to say no lawyer would ever stand up to defend people who have been violently abused by the government army against the people (police), because the establishment would have his licence and hound him to death, unless they killed him themselves first like they have done so many times.
Michelle wrote
at 1:15:15 AM on Sunday, February 23, 2014
Daniel Hulse, you don't know what your talking about. Hundereds of local people from Salford have been to the camp to support the protesters and given donations such as food and general supplies. There has been overwhelming support from the local community. You definitely don't speak for Salford, though you'd probably do well writing for the Daily Mail with comments like 'The unwashed brigade' and 'send the dole office down'. Also, exploratory drilling, which is what is going on at Barton Moss IS fracking. The protesters are not parasites, they are brave people who are risking thier safety and freedom in the face of brutal policing, and camping out for months in the cold, wind and rain, to stand up for what they believe in. I'm sure they'd all love to go home and have a nice hot bath, but they are busy standing up for our planet and our supply of freshwater.
Daniel Hulse wrote
at 11:29:48 AM on Thursday, February 20, 2014
Utter, utter tosh. The unwashed brigade, no jobs and nothing better to do get sound bites over the "evils" of fracking. These career protesters dont care about Salford, they don't care about Fracking, and they certainly don't care about the landscape. They are violent thugs interfering with lawful exploratory work. NO FRACKING IS EVEN TAKING PLACE. The easiest and quickest way to clear these parasites out is to send the dole office down, they'd soon clear off. These people do not speak for Salford, they are another example of the parasitical loony left embarrassing us all. "Gas Land" has also been discredited by every single ACTUAL scientist who has watched it as being wholly based on psuedo scientific tit for tat and not actually scientifically credible, so please, please stop referring to it. Morons.
Polly wrote
at 1:01:32 PM on Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Fred - how charming. I don't know about baths, it seem like you are in need of a brain. Now get back under the bridge like the troll you obviously are.
Chaz wrote
at 3:19:40 AM on Tuesday, February 18, 2014
A Northern community gets battered and brutalised by its own "police" force and the whole Country sits in silence, this is the greatest shame. People in 60% of the nation where fracking is slated sit there in silence when they can see exactly what's heading their way. An industry that's going to have a transformative effect on our land and is therefore a major issue for every one of us isn't even subject to a national debate...its violently imposed upon us and subjected to a national news black out. If this doesn't wake people up to just how close to a police/fascist state we are then f**k knows what will?!?!?! I'm witnessing the kind of shameful scenes that I never thought that I'd have to witness in my own Country and I'm so very close to making like an early 1930's German Jew and leaving you all to this sickening mess, but I'm English and I've decided to stand and fight, for a while. But if I don't very shortly see some sort of proper backbone from you shepple I'm putting my Grandkids first and I'm out of here quicksmart and wishing you all the best of British.
Casey wrote
at 3:19:21 AM on Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Thanks for the heartfelt support Fred. Now why don't you go and take a bath while you still have the choice, or don't you mind being pushed around and your basic human rights being abused? There was no need for your comment. Better to keep quiet and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt. Now go and do something useful. The GMP need "witnesses".
Kenneth Mckelvey wrote
at 3:19:09 AM on Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Lisa kelley from New York is spot on / The damage the Frackers are doing in the USA is frightning As a stated in previous letters the pollution and deveststion these Frackers cause is unbelievable Now Star Readers have heard it off a person who has seen it, As for this money mad filth we call a government they will pull out every dirty Trick in the book to get their grubby hands on all that potential wealth from Fracking As for the Police they will do exactly what they did to the miners/ Arrest people then take them to Tory run Citys to be tried by tory magistrates Thats what torys call a fair trial and British Justice A government
Lisa Kelley wrote
at 10:37:44 PM on Monday, February 17, 2014
I live in New York where my community is slated for drilling, fracking, etc. I grew up in Pennsylvania where drilling has destroyed the community where I was raised, easily found online, Montrose Pennsyvania and Dimock Pennsylvania. Not only did it destroy the environment but also the townspeople themselves. I would normally never picture myself doing anything like chaining myself to a tree but to prevent fracking in my town I would. There is nothing safe about it, these people protesting are %100 correct.
irene wrote
at 10:37:40 PM on Monday, February 17, 2014
I watched a video of this incident on the internet. I have to say that I thought the TAU were brutal. Because of this I watched the live feed this morning. The police presence was excessive. The protesters were peaceful yet repeatedly manhandled by the police. They could frequently be heard saying "Don't touch me". Obviously this is a public footpath and I believe a court has already ruled that this is so, consequently, I fail to understand why heavy lories are allowed to drive down every day. As a tax payer, I am ashamed to be indirectly funding GMP in this operation.
John Baker wrote
at 10:37:33 PM on Monday, February 17, 2014
So sorry to see people having to take this kind of violence. This is exactly the way Irish Gardai, "policing" protests and actions against Shell in Mayo have been behaving since about 2006. Private security for the oil and gas firms indeed. Stay strong up there folks and look after yourselves..
Patrick Sudlow wrote
at 10:37:10 PM on Monday, February 17, 2014
I think Tony Lloyd's response to be pathetic, he is acting as he did as a MP, sitting on the fence doing nothing. Greater Manchester Police has become politised and Tony Lloyd just happens to be a former Labour MP.
James Larkin wrote
at 4:24:34 PM on Monday, February 17, 2014
Once again salford star at the cutting edge of journalism. Great to read Vanda account, this is in stark contrast to the press statment given to the BBC yesterday. The tone of the press release suggest nothing happened on Saturday, it then goes on to personalise matter to the solicitor Simon Pook. Well GMP what says you now! Have you viewed all the video footage online? Are all the members of the public who gave posted here and there on Saturday mistaken? Perhaps the events at Barton Moss on Saturday never happened just like hillsbouragh, orgrave, Lawrence, Dugan and grainger? How can the public have confidence in GMP when they release press statement line the one on Sunday? How can the public have confidence in Tony LLoyd when he sends old press releases, and remains silent ?
Mr_A wrote
at 12:53:53 PM on Monday, February 17, 2014
Brutal arrest! Thinks you may need a dictionary as that arrest is not brutal! Hitting some one with a nailed bat is brutal!
Pamela Jevon wrote
at 10:45:10 AM on Monday, February 17, 2014
The TAU at Barton Moss are brutal and do act like wild animals, I am appalled by what I witnessed their myself. Where are the Salford MP's? Where are the BBC? national newspapers? Its a disgrace
Dave Haslam wrote
at 10:45:06 AM on Monday, February 17, 2014
Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Greater Manchester Telephone: 0161 604 7711 Have they no response, really? Is Mr Lloyd happy with GMP's handling of the protests? Is he concerned that the public are paying for GMP to act as a security firm for the energy companies?
Joan wrote
at 10:44:48 AM on Monday, February 17, 2014
Yes there was this is also captured on live feed he was punched in the face then knocked to the ground where 4 police men were on top of him.
Fred wrote
at 10:43:57 AM on Monday, February 17, 2014
She looks perfectly healthy to me, if in need of a bath.
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