"The police here are stopping peaceful protest"

8 April 2009

Jenny Jones, Green Party Home Affairs spokesperson and London Assembly member, has called senior police in the Met "complacent" over their belief their officers behaved professionally at all times during policing of the G20 protests. Jones labelled the aggressive tactics used by police offices to manage G20 demonstrations as a threat to public safety.

Jones is calling for officers who were needlessly violent to be suspended from public order policing, pending the outcome of an inquiry by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Jenny Jones: "The police's primary objective at all times should be to maintain community safety.  Their management of the G20 protests clearly failed in this respect.  Any officer involved in needlessly violent actions should be identified and suspended from public order policing pending the outcome of ongoing inquiries."

On Newsnight (7th April 2009), Jones added that:

"Kettling [of protesters] is probably reaching a point where it's a very violent thing to do, and you're beginning to punish the protesters, and potentially, completely innocent people."

"Kettling could create problems of its own -- people get crammed in, and begin behaving differently."

"The Met used to rush in and take troublemakers out of the crowd, and I think that was effective. Treating everybody as guilty is not the way forward."

"Several people have said to me that they won't ever go to demonstrations ever again. That's putting off the very people who want to be there, the people who are not lawbreakers, and want to protest peacefully. The police here are stopping peaceful protest and that is clearly against the law."


From Green Party press office, 020 7561 0282.

Published and promoted by Tracy Dighton-Brown for the Green Party of England & Wales, both at 1a Waterlow Road, London N19 5NJ.

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