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GREATER MANCHESTER POLICE WINS SALFORD STAR SHAMEFUL AND UNACCEPTABLE PRACTICES AWARD
 

Star date: 3rd January 2018

GMP WINS SHAMEFUL AND UNACCEPTABLE PRACTICES AWARD

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 11th annual Salford Star Mary Burns Awards, which are given out to honour the most deserving individuals and organisations in the city for their stupid statements, dodgy dealings and iffy activities over the past twelve months.

In July 2017, the United Nations finally issued its report on evidence gathered at the Barton Moss anti-fracking protests relating to the behaviour of Greater Manchester Police. It found GMP's practices "shameful and totally unacceptable". So, ladies and gentlemen, put your head in a muddy ditch, arrest a schoolgirl for walking slowly and run riot for the winner of the Shameful and Unacceptable Practices Award...Greater Manchester Police!

Full details here...


Barton Moss Anti-fracking protest Salford Barton Moss Anti-fracking protest Salford Barton Moss Anti-fracking protest Salford
Barton Moss Anti-fracking protest Salford Salford Star Mary Burns Award
click image to enlarge

THE SHAMEFUL AND UNACCEPTABLE PRACTICES AWARD

Goes to...

GREATER MANCHESTER POLICE

It was just over four years ago when fracking company, IGas, arrived at Barton Moss in Salford, only to met with six months of protests by local people and anti-fracking campaigners...and an over-the-top presence by Greater Manchester Police and its Tactical Aid Unit (TAU).

What followed were constant complaints about police harassment, dubious arrests and the discarding of the right to protest. It was in February 2014, that a woman was handcuffed and dragged through a field by the TAU, and lay on the floor for 45 minutes before an ambulance arrived. Witness, Diane, told the Salford Star at the time "They were just hitting everybody. It was chaos…horrendous…" (see here)

After these events, solicitor and legal observer, Simon Pook, announced that he was calling in the United Nations to investigate...

"What I have witnessed today at Barton Moss has confirmed my greatest fear" Pook told the Salford Star "...A fear that Greater Manchester Police appear to have discarded the European Convention of Human Rights into the gutter, and replaced it with political policing, re-enforced with overt aggression."

After this incident, there were loads more, including the same woman targeted in front of the gathered media (see here), a Salford schoolgirl arrested for 'slow walking' (see here) and numerous other arrests and charges, most of which were subsequently dropped or thrown out of court.

In July 2017, the United Nations Special Rapporteur, Maina Kiai, issued the report of "instances of use of excessive force by police against protesters"...

"It is reported that Greater Manchester Police frequently pushed and shoved peaceful, protesters, stood on their heels, dug their knuckles in their backs, pushed them down the road and verbally harassed them" the Special Rapporteur reported "Police officers also targeted a number of protesters – including young, elderly and disabled people – for allegedly triggering a 'violent response' from fellow demonstrators.

"Even more disturbing, male police officers reportedly engaged in sexual harassment with female protesters, inter alia insulting them, groping their private parts, and pressing their genitals against them while walking in a line" he added "As a result, many female protesters felt frightened and violated. Unnecessary strip searches were also allegedly performed.

"The Special Rapporteur finds these practices shameful and totally unacceptable" he concluded (see here).

The United Nations report followed another investigation called Keep Moving! by researchers from John Moores University in Liverpool and the University of York, which catalogued a whole series of police indiscretions and the 'dubious legality' of arrests. There were also eye witness and photographic accounts of TAU practices throughout the protests covered by the Salford Star and loads of Facebook groups.

Commenting on the United Nations report, Simon Pook told the Salford Star: "This is the second independent report and both reports make difficult reading about how GMP discharged its duty to peaceful protest and freedom of assembly.

"The only report to find the policing had no case to answer was that overseen by Tony Lloyd the then Police and Crime Commissioner" he explained "The United Nations report is particularly important as it holds the Government to account for the policing at Barton Moss."

Indeed, throughout the Barton Moss protests, the Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner did nothing and said nothing in support of those being brutalised at the anti-fracking demonstrations (see here).

Similarly, not one single Salford councillor, nor the Salford City Mayor, even bothered to visit the site to see for themselves what was happening to their own citizens, despite constant pleas.

It turned out, via a Freedom of Information response to police monitoring organisation, Netpol, that, behind the scenes, Salford City Council was actually colluding with IGas, GMP, Peel Holdings and other organisations, sharing intelligence, communications and branding.

A Memorandum of Understanding was drawn up setting out the "ongoing cooperation and co-ordination between the Parties in order to promote and contribute to their mutual interests" etc etc (see here).

Responding to the United Nations report, Simon Pook concluded: "It is clear that the policing at Barton Moss must never be repeated; if it is repeated then the police and the state must be held to account via the judicial process..."

Why is all this still relevant? Apart from police practices at other anti-fracking sites across the UK, just before Christmas local Irlam councillor, Roger Jones, told Moss Farm Fisheries owner, Alan Whitehead, in a Facebook interview that the frackers will be back at Barton Moss...

"I don't think fracking will go away because they've done all the tests and we've heard nothing from them since but their attitude has always been 'We've got to get the gas out of the ground'" he said "So they may come back next year on fracking, they may not come back for another four or five years, but sooner or later I'm not in any doubt that they will come back..."

So, ladies and gentlemen, charge your glasses - and anything else that appears on a public footpath – put the kettle on and drink in the wonderful democracy that engulfs us for the winner of the Salford Star Mary Burns Shameful and Unacceptable Practices Award...

Greater Manchester Police!!!

If someone from GMP would like to make an acceptance speech, please use the comments box below...


Winners of 2017 Salford Star Mary Burns Awards...

Feed The Rich Award (part 1) – Fred Done – click here

Disappearing Salford Award – Villafont – click here

Dick Turpin Award For Services to Bridge Hold Ups – Peel Holdings – click here

Carly Simon Award For Vanity – Councillor Derek Antrobus – click here

Feed The Rich Award (part 2) – Conservative Government and the HCA – click here

Corbynista Council of the Year – Salford City Council and Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett – click here

Grenfell Tower Urgency Award – Salford City Council – click here

Uncle Joe Stalin Award for Open and Democratic Government – Salford City Council – click here

Self Destruction Award – Salford UKIP – click here

Our Friends In The North Memorial Prize – Salford City Council – click here

Deborah Kay wrote
at 15:24:46 on 04 January 2018
Hmm I was there I am local I dont want fracking . Lets just say GMP were totaly out of order they bullied , pushed , tripped , strangled people the behavouir they showed was a disgrace . I was pounced upon by 3 TAU thugs and covered in bruises this was a attemot to scare me or keep me away from Barton Moss . Did that happen NO made me more aware of just what GMP really are nothing but THUGS
 
Tip of wrote
at 07:16:27 on 04 January 2018
I'm sure there are 1000's of people across Greater Manchester, who have horror stories about GMP. Theresa May has reminded the police on a number of occasions that they only police by consent. It is now time to call a day on them. We can do better, a police force that people trust and believe in. The CPS has a lot to answer as well, they should have never let a single one of these false charges get to court in the first place. The two test were never met, a reasonable chance of a conviction or in the public interest.
 
Felsey wrote
at 07:16:19 on 04 January 2018
If I was Mayor I would ban Fracking. That's all I am saying.
 
Irlam and Cadishead Resident wrote
at 07:16:10 on 04 January 2018
Councillor Rodger the ultimate fence sitter with more faces than big Ben this Labour Stalwart has well and truly been compromised and found out with his arrogance in my opinion only counts politics at the local traffic jam folly Polly meeting down at Hogwarts newly privatised Academy a big fingers up to local concerns and up for grabs votes in May
 
Alice wrote
at 18:47:36 on 03 January 2018
I saw all this myself and was impressed by the determined but peaceful demonstrators. What I wasn't impressed with was the bullying and rough handed tactics of the police. I felt frightened by their approach which, to me, showed no understanding of why these people, most of them local residents, were objecting to their environment being sabotaged. Most of these people understood the destructive nature of fracking, had read about the results of it in USA and knew that France and other countries were against it. They were driven by knowledge of the likely damage. The Police, in contrast, were blindly doing what their uninformed 'master' told them. No Councillors visiting tells you all! Yes, give them the Award!
 
neillv@talktalk.net wrote
at 18:47:19 on 03 January 2018
I wouldn't be too hard on the GMP as they're all we've got. Salford is utterly riddled with the cancer of scum gangsterism and this is the organisation that has to take them on for us. Obviously there was a time when the fourth estate would be at the forefront of the fight against organised crime. But neither the Star or even the MEN have the cajones these days. The Star is a good read but it'll never win any awards for intrepid and courageous journalism. It nearly always prefers fish in a barrel to have a pop at.
 
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