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Police use unprovoked force against peaceful Occupy London campaigners


Yesterday evening (Monday), a number of supporters of Occupy London, campaigners for social and economic justice, staged a peaceful direct action outside the Guildhall, while the new Lord Mayor David Wooton entertained David and Samantha Cameron at his annual banquet. Other guests included Theresa May, the archbishop of Canterbury and the bishop of London.

The peaceful action aimed to highlight the extreme concentration of wealth and power represented at the Guildhall’s flagship event, as in contrast, at the Occupy London Stock Exchange site just by St Paul’s Cathedral, there was a parody event entitled the Banquet for the People.

That small OccupyLSX action of 20-30 people was kettled by approximately 40-50 police officers from the Met and City forces, when a section 14 order was put in place around 9.30pm. Those inside the kettle were informed that failure to disperse before 11pm would result in arrest – which the campaigners complied with. During the kettle occupiers offered the police chocolate cake, which none of them accepted. Legal observers from Green & Black Cross were also present.

In the event, five campaigners were arrested at Guildhall, four under section 14 and one for “assaulting a police officer”. According to legal observers, when people left the area they appeared to be arrested for just being there. It was not violent.

The five people arrested were taken to Bishopsgate Police Station and around 15 occupiers went there to show their support and solidarity for their friends.

It became evident that, despite the wintry weather outside, the duty officers of Bishopsgate Station were not keen to have protesters staying within the police station. It also appears that they were displeased by the presence of the OccupyLSX livestream crew, who had been filming events throughout the evening.

More than 3,000 people from around the world were shocked to see unwarranted force being used, without any warning, against peaceful protesters when they were forcibly ejected from Bishopgate Police Station, when watching the OccupyLSX livestream, which was also syndicated on the Global Revolution livestream.

Two further Occupy London supporters were arrested during the forceful removal from the station, one of whom was attempting to film the incidents with a camera phone. Another campaigner (not arrested) has a suspected broken finger from police using force.

Occupy London has learned that one protester has been arrested on bail, pending a court appearance next week. Their bail conditions prevent them from visiting the Occupy London St Paul’s site so they will, instead, be transferring to Finsbury Square.


55 Responses to “Police use unprovoked force against peaceful Occupy London campaigners”

  1. Again with the police bashing when they proved their impartiality by saving u from eviction by the EdL. The police actions seem reasonable once u look past your likely exagerations and framing of the truth and thanks to the fantastic accountability we enjoy over the police, legal observers were present and will report on and deal with any misbehaviour by the police. Focus on establishing some achievable aims rather than picking fights with those who are legally impartial to your cause

    • Focus on the criminal families who control the system through Private Central Banking and their little puppets like Cameron and Wootton – something all those brave people did on our behalf last night. Thanks to you all!

    • So far, Occupy has picked fights with:

      1. St. Pauls Cathedral and the Church of England.
      2. The Corporation of the City of London.
      3. Transport for London.
      4. The Met and City Police Forces.

      All utterly irrelevant to their protest. Stop playing the victim and actually make a difference with that huge sum of money that you’re hoarding (and won’t disclose where it came from or what the rest was spent on).

      • Nice post Jim. Maybe you’ll get an answer one day.

    • The point that the police ‘have shown their impartiality by saving u from eviction from the EDL’ is a ridiculous statement to make. Firstly, the EDL cannot legally evict the occupiers, who by the way are doing such a noble and brave thing by standing up for the rights of the 99% – yes that includes you. Secondly, the police were hardly out in force to protect the occupiers from the EDL, and as far as I know the EDL did not venture down to St Pauls en masse.

      I also believe that the article I just read which has prompted so many responses is detached and well written, unlike other articles I often read in the national newspapers. I didn’t see the ‘police bashing’ which you speak of, just an outline of the facts – in that regard the police are obviously bashing themselves. As a lawyer who has experienced the operational and procedural ‘bending-the-law-and-making-it-up-as-we-go -along’ strategy pushed down from those on high, I could have written much worse. Also, where is this legal accountability we hold over the police? It may be one of those rhetorical things – written down, enshrined in legislation (not that I am aware), but in practice our say over how the police conduct themselves is sorely underrepresented.

      Let us be clear, I am not against the police i.e. Bob the policeman who works hard to protect his locality on the basis of kindness and a sense of duty to the people he serves. Indeed, I thank those on the force who protect and serve and are there to answer questions from you without getting offended and swearing at you.

      One last point: I grow so tired of Sun reading responses of ‘duh, you ain’t got a purpose’. This serves only as an ad hominem attack once you strip away the vitriol. Read the initial statement, partake in the GAs and working parties – many of the voices there are intelligent, genuine and purposeful – people that can be bothered to try and make the world a better place by challenging the divide between the exploiters and the exploited.

      For this, I commend you all! Keep plugging away because the rest of the 99% will ‘get it’ soon…..

      Oh, and its ‘exaggeration’. Peace.

      • Sara,

        You’re wrong, the police arrested 179 EDL supporters to stop them evicting Occupy, and that would have taken substantial planning and manpower. EDL were planning to march to St Paul’s on mass but the police stopped them with this pre-emptive action. See the article below for the details


        I agree with you that EDL had no legal right to evict you and personally I think that they’re a bunch of hooligans. However, my point is that you continually bash the police but they are simply maintaining public order and defending the law. They will deal with whoever is causing trouble regardless of political persuasion. Turn your fire elsewhere.

        Secondly, the headline “Police use unprovoked force against peaceful Occupy London campaigners” is definitely police bashing and wholly misrepresents the situation.

        Thirdly, I have said before that I agree with some of the core complaints of Occupy but when you wrap them up with paranoia, conspiracy theories, police bashing and ridiculous rhetoric, your message is lost.

    • QUOTE: “Again with the police bashing when they proved their impartiality by saving u from eviction by the EdL.”
      The EDL had not made any statements about going to the occupy London camp. That was all made up rubbish by the police which was published in the media. They were two miles away in Whitehall waiting to take part in the remembrance day services.

      • Terry

        This is what I mean about conspiracy theories. Why would the police pretend that the EDL were going to evict Occupy EDL and then arrest them all? How does this play into the whole establishment conspiracy?

  2. Shut up Dave.

    • 8. Foster a spirit of mutual respect: Listen to the wisdom everyone brings to the group.

      • nicely done dave

        • Thankyou Dave.

          For the others, please note that some of the criticism written on these pages could actually be used in a constructive manner to help improve your organisation. In replies to my comments, which simply defended the police, I was told both that I was part of the 99% and that I should shut up.

  3. Support and love sent to all in conflict with the corporation of law – I am not an expert but can the Freeman stuff help with the guys on bail?
    Good luck to you all and stand strong x

    • Agree with Karen,
      Also regarding guys on bail paranoia? I.e. reported and unreported police infiltrations and detentions inside and outside St Paul. Now I can confirm that people that have been leading specific tends, workshops, actions or addressed the GA with specific demands have been detain and prevented to come back. More info @ GBC Legal and BINDMANS

  4. I watched this last night on the live stream feed. Quite honestly i was shocked to see the reaction by the police, they are trained to “protect people”.. not enforce the goverments distasteful display of utter greed, feasting on a banquet while “little” people, many of whom have lost their, jobs homes etc continue to pay the price of economic games.

    I observed one office holding his head in shame..Reminds me of the Oakland riot officer who stood and cried whist observing the thousands of people who shouted give us back our street.

    I do not condone any violence..i think its a credit to the occupy movement that they have stayed peaceful and strong whilst enduring criminal acts of aggression and blatant mis- use of the law by the police.
    During the stream i also witnessed several traffic offenses committed by the “peoples police”
    Hmm..lots of double standards going on here. I hope more people get to see whats really going on, not because i dislike authority or the enforcers of law..but i think its important for others to see the truth of the situation.

  5. Music industry rumours surrounding the alleged reformation of 80’s icons The Special Patrol Group appear to be true.

  6. @dave matthews. The article just presents the facts: Despite it being a peaceful, non-violent protest, the police put in place a Section 14 Order, kettled the demonstrators, and arrested 5 of them. Later the police violently ejected peaceful campaigners from the Bishopgate station – possibly breaking one campaigner’s finger.

    You might be okay with that, but these are the actions of a fascist police state. This has been going on for years now. I suggest you watch Smash Edo’s documentary, ‘On the Verge’, or watch the police brutality against a peaceful Climate Camp in 2009 here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQkjrO1UJvk

    Or google police intimidation against Menwith Hill protesters, or watch the documentary ‘Taking Liberties’.
    It’s the same in the US. Watch this recent police brutality against peaceful students at Occupy Berkeley http://www.commondreams.org/video/2011/11/10

    The EDL claim their raison d’etre is to stop the Islamification of Britain (a non-issue), so you might want to ask why they are menacing Occupy camps. You also might want to ask who is behind the EDL – we know from history that such groups are often started or encouraged by the ruling elite (and the secret services) whenever Capitalism is in trouble. Mussolini’s Black shirts for instance, the Freicorps in Germany and the German Worker’s Party, which went on to become the Nazi party – all instigated and supported by the ruling establishment.

    The whole police stopping the EDL attacking the Occupy London camp is a stunt. It’s all so predictable for anyone who knows the true history of the 20th century (and before).

    MI5 and MI6 don’t exist for our security; they exist to ensure the status quo – that is, the system of ‘entitlement’ for the ruling elite. The chiefs of police are no better. ACPO meets in secret in unminuted meetings – not to prevent crime but to stop any challenge to the system from dissenters and protesters. It is where they devise and coordinate their strategies and tactics against protest – agent provocateurs, kettling, false flags etc

    Poice using agent provocateurs at the G20: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/may/10/g20-policing-agent-provacateurs

    What people around the world are learning is that the police as an institution are the security militia of the ruling elite.

    As i write the NYPD are violently evicting the Occupy Wall Street camp from Liberty Plaza/Zuccotti,& censoring the media. Freedom of assembly is a fundamental birthright that precedes the law or any sham democracy (elected dictatorship). Does that seem reasonable to you also?

  7. Was the section 14 order introduced in the interests of security or in the interests of avoiding an adverse media image of the Prime Minister leaving the Lord Mayor’s banquet? I think we should know how, why and from whom the order was enacted.

  8. Is it just me or is the behaviour of some in ‘power’ in our ‘democratic’ western societies beginning to slightly resemble – in a different, less extreme and modified way – that of any dictatorship that is confronted by truth, failure and public discontent?

    I still think a modified form of ‘capitalism’ probably is the best of our flawed systems – we are human. Just not with so much inequality etc and without ALL the power being vested in ‘bankers’ and ‘markets’. I suppose any system that is dominant for a period of time will be corrupted. Personally I think we need to be more ‘social’, more ‘moral’ and more ‘humanist’. The system seems to want to cut out all individuality, any form of criticism and turn us all into ‘consuming’ drones that do what they are told and hail the all conquering Gods that are the money men or ‘markets’ or whatever.

    And to the many who disagree all I can say is that how long do you think people everywhere, but especially in Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain etc, will tolerate losing jobs, income, public services etc while everything is done a appease the ‘markets’ and ensure ‘investors’ will not lose out? A very, very dangerous game. Merkel may be right.

    If the occupiers seriously held a ‘dinner event’ and asked politely if David Cameron, etc etc, to attend………..WOULD THEY ?
    Obviously no.
    WHY ?
    Because they would regard everyday people as not important enough.
    How does that make you feel ?
    What makes the people at that banquet important ?

    OCCUPYLSX organise your own ‘BANQUET’ , invite the ‘powerful’, let us know their response !

    • Yeees,
      Lets invite poor-in-ethics to our December 25th banquet.

  10. Sounds like yet another diversionary tactic to deflect attention from the lack of financial transparency in the Occupy movement. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it yet again:

    I understand that Occupy LSX now have a bank account with the Co-op with around £10k in it. That’s quite significant for an organisation not even a month old and if you are trying to tackle other organisations on transparency, you need be completely transparent yourselves so I call for Occupy to publish the following on this website:

    1. A list of every monetary donation made to date, whether it was made by an individual or organisation and if the latter, the name of the organisation. The same for all future donations.
    2. A list of all expenditure to date backed up by receipts for each item. Provide an explanation for missing receipts. The same for all future expenses.
    3. The amount of money lost to theft or otherwise cannot be accounted for.
    4. A list of all donated items where the value of an item is £10 or greater.
    5. The names of every signatory to the Co-op bank account, their occupation, qualifications, and a brief sentence on each person as to why they got involved in Occupy.
    6. Whether single, joint, or multiple signatures are required for cheques and over the counter withdrawals.
    7. The number of debits cards linked to the Co-op account and who has responsibility for them.
    8. If you have internet banking, the number of user IDs, ActivIDentity tokens, and who has responsibility for them.
    9. Weekly bank transaction and balance reports. Very easy to download in PDF format – I have a Co-op business account so know how this works.
    10. Weekly petty cash transaction and balance reports.
    11. All GA minutes in order to show consensus on spending decisions.

    I don’t believe that to be unfair – does anyone disagree? Perhaps someone could respond on behalf of Occupy?

    And I’ll add to this – why doesn’t Occupy publish a formal statement in response to what I’ve written?

    • Hey Jim, great job. I’ve just made a donation and OccupyLSX now have an extra £10. Thanks again for your nagging.

      • Haha Graeme thats well funny.

        Wonder how long it will be until corporations hire their own police force.

        Oh thats right been to a Tesco’s lately? (i try not to haha ;),

        They allready do.

        Times a changing.

        All the money in the world won’t buy them protection from the police pretty soon.

        I still believe there are good coppers out there and i think sooner or later their conscience will get the better of them, and they will begin to enforce true law, and not “vested interest law”.

        • To be fair i imagine the majority do enforce true law, (i.e humanity), but the vested interest laws are the ones that need to be revised i feel. 😉

    • Jim, I think the occupy movement are more interested in picking a fight with the police, than providing any kind of transparency regarding their organisation!

    • Hi again, Jim. I was interested in your 11-point plan so I rang the Co-op to see how many of your proposals were a legal requirement for an organisation having an account with them.

      Unfortunately it became rather awkward and embarrassing as the person on the other end started laughing and I started to get upset and rather confsued. They did say something about ‘petty’ which may have been to do with cash, but I did wonder if they meant it some other way. Help!

      • Are you saying that people in the Occupy movement should limit their demands from the 1% to things that are legal requirements?

        • I was wondering what the legal requirements were for any organisation holding an account with the Co-op, that’s all.

      • Nice diversionary tactic, but you’re missing the point – Occupy demand transparency from others but then refuse to disclose where the money came from or what it has been spent on.

        • Jim, I still can’t quite see why you’re obsessed with the small amounts of money donated to Occupy London and yet have made no comment on here (that I’m aware of) of the billions stolen out from this country by inept gamblers and the ruthlessly greedy.

          But thanks for helping me make my mind up. I shall cease being an ‘interested by-stander’ and spend the rest of my life supporting the Occupy movement.

          • Thats the spirit Interested by-stander.

    • Jim, this really is a case of massively missing the point.

      I suppose you will be requesting OLSX hand in a business plan, register at companies house and start issuing share stock on the open market next?

      I’m exaggerating of course but really, you see, this is a protest movement, not a PLC, let alone a Corporation that has existed for hundreds of years with a seemingly clandestine apect to its true operations.

      I have noticed you post this on a number of threads and have seen response to the effect that transparency will be provided by the movement in due course.

      You are beginning to sound a bit like a creaky door on this one. Please have patience. Why? Again, bear in mind this is a protest movement.

      Look, someone could demand that the Corporation of London set up its own protest camp immediately to justify and promote it’s grievances against OLSX in response to the camp at St. Pauls. I’m sure you see that that would be ridiculous now, don’t you?… (!)

      • Eddie, you’re totally out of touch with reality! If this organisation seeks to impose massive change, they become political As such, financial transparency is vital. Failure to provide it, suggests they have something to hide!

        • Billy if you read more posts you will see that Occupy have said they will be transparent about monetary issues. Be patient. If only the Corporation of London where as accomodating.

        • Billy, please take time to read again what I said and you will notice this;

          “…transparency will be provided by the movement in due course”

          Your concerns are quite valid for large, established, groups / bodies / organisations / corporations / political parties.

          Please take time to consider why you are projecting these concerns onto this movement at this time. Do you imagine it to already be that powerful? Why not go and visit, say hello, meet a few of the people there. This may put your mind at rest and you may get a better understanding of what a protest movement is all about. A lot I have read and seen in the mainstream media distorts the reality in many ways compared to my experience of visiting the site.

          Truly, if you can, just visit. You may be pleasantly surprised to discover that the spectre of the monster organisation that troubles you is nowhere to be found.

    • “Sounds like yet another diversionary tactic” to discredit the Occupation at LSX! Why not put your quest for transparency where your mouth is: what is your full name and who do you work for? Your income and outgoings etc. I regard as a private affair unless you are a public institution, registered charity or one of Frank’s boys?

      In the slim hope that you are genuine: attend a GA and listen to the Finance Working group report. Better still attend a Finance working group. Then if you have any problems: criticise constructively.

      Otherwise this sounds like a diversionary tactic.
      Who do you work for again?
      In the interests of full transparency…

  11. “staged a peaceful direct action”

    What was the direct action element?

  12. You praised the police when they saved your cowardly backsides from the EDL, now you despise them. You have no central core – you’re for the church then against it, you’re for democracy then against it, you occupy in the warm and go back to your bedrooms in the cold night.

    You’re middle class, bored, and just want to look good in the page of Vice magazine. Grow up, get a job, and stop polluting the Internet with this “power to the people” nonsense.

    • What nonsense the EDL were in Whitehall waiting to take part in the remembrance day service. They had no intention of visiting the occupy London camp! Don’t believe rubbish put out by the police.

      • again, I ask, why would the police make this up. What crazy conspiracy would this serve?

        • Why would the police pull a man out of his wheel chair? Why would the police shoot a man in Tottenham? Did you see the documentray about the undercover cop on channel 4 last night? Google these names to find out about police injustice: Brian Douglas, Ibrahima Sey, Shiji Lapite, David Oluwale, Joy Gardner, Wayne Douglas, Christopher Alder, Roger Sylvester, Sarah Thomas and Harry Stanley…

          • that doesn’t answer my question

    • Alas if you see my link above on this matter you will discover that the EDL Facebook and Twitter threads were threatening the residents of Tower Hamlets and other ethnic communities as well as LSX. However when they started to assault the staff of the pub they were drinking in WITH BAR STOOLS the police moved in. The police were also then assaulted with bar stools.

      As far as I know no Bar stools were present before during and after the Guildhall kettle 😉

  13. I wonder how many judges from our Judiciary are at the Banquet last night. This was a Banquet of the 1% for the 1%, a historical networking event for the 1%.

    The response to the current crisis from the politicians has been behind the curve. It seems that politicians are behind the curve again about the public support for the cause s of the occupy movement.

    With the constant spotlight created by the Occupy Movement removed, the political and financial elite can go back to their comfortable murky darkness

  14. The response to the current crisis from the politicians has been behind the curve. It seems that politicians are behind the curve again about the public support for the cause s of the occupy movement.

    With the constant spotlight created by the Occupy Movement removed, the political and financial elite can go back to their comfortable murky darkness

  15. Occupy movement was started in September by a few students who slept overnight in cupboard boxes in a park near Wall Street and by 15 October it has became an international movement. This is not a stunt, this is a movement that is representing many people who have realized that their MPs, politicians are powerless or have become irrelevant in the currently international financial crisis and can no longer truly represent them.

    The small people around the world are now organizing themselves to find a way to tackle this sense of powerlessness and the impotence of our currently political reality.

    For those politicians who became politicians to do good not just for themselves, either in the UK or other western democracies, they must by now have the realization that they have been outsmarted and outgunned by the Market and those who control the money in the Market. It is now the Market who ousts and imposes prime ministers, not the people.

    It is true that the Occupy Movement has yet produced alternative solutions, but it is even more true that none of the political parties or governments have so far come up with any alternatives either (or are confident that they are about to find one).

    If you are not content that the purpose of your remaining political career should merely be a functionary slave foreman, you should do all your can to preserve and assist the Occupy Movement all around the world, as this maybe the only forum/movement of wide open online an offline participation that may find an international solution ( at least in the western democracies).

    • Bravo well said! However it would seem that all political parties with the exception of Caroline Lucas (Green MP) have all signed on the dotted line in blood. Their fate is sealed unless we have some last minute Repentance…

  16. Will members of the Occupy movement stand a candidate in the Feltham and Heston by-election?

    • I would luuuuuv someone from occupy to run for London Mayor. Occupying City Hall would be where Occupy London could make a great deal of changes 😉

      • Bloody brilliant idea HMS, like it, a lot. 🙂

        • this is an excellent idea and I’ve been saying all along how Occupy should stand for election. Then if its gets enough support for its policies it will be voted in and it can implement them. This is Democracy. Of course the candidate will have to come up with some policies first.

          • Dream on dave, 1 candidate/MP doth not make a change in legislation.
            Nice thought tho !
            Its a bit of an enigma that you need money, lots of it, to get things changed, something most occupiers are against, I think.

      • Echo That!


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