A Nation Ruled By Swine: Police Assulted Man Who Died During G20 Protest

o-tell-of-gods-might Remember that guy who died during the G20 protests, on whose death there was no information delivered by Ze Meeja at the time other than "people threw missiles at the Police as they tried to help him"?

Well, it turns out that dude wasn't even protesting anything. And that cops did him.

According to witness statements received by the Independent Police Complaints Commission, Ian Tomlinson, 47, was attacked violently by police as he "made his way home from work at a nearby newsagents".

"I can remember seeing Ian Tomlinson," said Anna Branthwaite, a photographer. "He was rushed from behind by a riot officer with a helmet and shield two or three minutes before he collapsed."

"I saw a man violently propelled forward, as though he'd been flung by the arm, and fall forward on his head," said one witness. "He hit the top front area of his head on the pavement. I noticed his fall particularly because it struck me as a horrifically forceful push by a policeman and an especially hard fall; it made me wince."

Another said she saw Mr Tomlinson being hit "near the head" with a police baton.

Unsurprisingly, Mr Tomlinson's death was attributed by a police post mortem to natural causes.  "[He] suffered a sudden heart attack while on his way home from work," read the City of London police statement. But when photographs of the man were published on Friday witnesses started to come forward.

According to The Guardian:

An IPCC statement was due to be released the same day and is understood to have portrayed the death as a tragic accident. However, the statement's release was postponed as the complaints body received information that police officers may have been more involved in events than previously thought. An IPCC spokesman said yesterday that in light of new statements it was "assessing" the information it had received before deciding whether to launch a full investigation... Part of the commission's inquiries will involve the examination of CCTV footage from the area."

Expect Ze Authorities to claim the tapes have been lost damaged abtucted by Aliens by Monday, and cameraphone footage showing the assault to hit the web around the same time.

Which will suit Our Glorious Leaders just fine. A show of force is always good to keep the proles mindful off who's in charge, eh? I mean, did you hear about the climate camp? Eyewitness Beth McGrath wrote the following in The Guardian's comments section, and it was later published as  a blog.

I was held at the climate camp until midnight last night. When I arrived at 6pm to celebrate the creative sight of a camp in London's grey financial streets, the police allowed me to walk straight into the camp with my bike. As the reports have said, the atmosphere was very warm and positive: schoolchildren and old-time protesters sharing a space full of colour and music.

Within an hour of arriving, the same police who had stepped back and let me through closed in around the camp and refused to let anyone in or out. I then watched the police push forward into the crowd with a brutality that was not only shocking but utterly unnecessary. All the protesters put their hands in the air and sat down collectively on the road. Yet as the crowd lowered I saw a young man stagger back with his head split open, another boy with a broken nose, a girl next to me had been kicked between the legs.

People were badly hurt and the atmosphere spun into a frightened panic. A friend of mine from university who had come from Nottingham to join the camp just put his head in his hands and cried. This was the scene minutes after people had been allowed to wander into the camp without any warning of the planned police actions, or any chance to leave peacefully.

As they rolled in back-up police and black armoured riot vans, and as the police kicked and crushed people's bikes, the protesters called out to them, and the onlooking bankers, up in their ivory towers, "This is not a riot!". As their batons came down, legal observers called out to people to take the police numbers of those who had hurt protesters. En masse, the line of police all covered up their badges. It was a chilling show of a police force unaccountable to their own laws, and their own humanity. The police were indeed braced for violence, but most of that young crowd of protesters were not.

Despite our repeated requests to be searched and allowed to leave the space, we were held there for six hours with no access to water, food, toilets or medical care. Proudly, throughout all this, not one person in the crowd reacted with violence to any person or property. People shared the little they had and held public meetings about the aims of the G20 summit. There was little show of anger, but much unhappiness. When, finally, we were herded out one by one at midnight, I felt cold to the core, chilled by the unprovoked aggression of those who I had been brought up to trust. I am deeply ashamed of my state, in which reasonable and calm protesters are criminalised and provoked in such a manner.

Their use of section 14 on 800 campers was mindless, their violence was a tragedy and their very presence, with armoured cars and helicopters, a ridiculous waste of public money.

I am writing this today because I grew up in this city and treasure the right to use this city space to speak out to our elected leaders in a peaceful, creative way. There were no harmful intentions in that climate camp, but the harm done by the police last night goes far deeper that the physical wounds inflicted; it is in the chaos of unnecessary state violence that fear is born and trust is lost.

Is there anyone left on this rock who doesn't get it?

Harry Fainlight got it, as evidenced by this beautifully succinct quote, shown to me today by the good Dr Martin Sexton:

The definition of a politician is an amateur criminal, one still hampered by the bourgeois ethic. The politician who has overcome this disadvantage is the military commander.

And what was it Hunter said?

In a nation ruled by swine, all pigs are upward mobile — and the rest of us are fucked until we can put our acts together: Not necessarily to Win, but mainly to keep from Losing Completely...

And  here's me, full of joy and hope for wonders yet to come, and a World Without Swine. Ad astra per aspera.

EDIT, 07/04/09: Bang on schedule, this shows up: