The World (of G20) According To Paola Totaro

The great majority of the police, seemingly ever-patient and self-controlled, stood for hours as kids baited and yelled, shoved and provoked. A handful of officers used well-placed elbows while batons were raised only in response to the vandalism.

~ G20 protesters strike at London’s heart, Paola Totaro, The Age, April 2, 2009

Paola Totaro is the London-based Europe correspondent for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald. In this capacity, Totaro recently authored a series of articles on the G20 Summit in London:

Not unexpectedly, Totaro’s writing assumes the attributes and perspectives of her presumed readership. To be precise, the liberal middle class: “Compared to the Herald Sun, The Age attracts 72,000 more AB readers across Mon-Fri, 163,000 more AB readers on Saturday, and 75,000 more on Sunday.” (See also: December 2008 Circulation and Readership [PDF].)

Thus “[i]n eastern and central Europe” there were “years of boom in the wake of the fall of the Iron Curtain”, while “Protesters are using Twitter, the fast, mobile-phone based social networking tool, to stay ahead of police”. Like Ian Bone’s decision to wear “a well-cut dark overcoat, [a] scarf tied nattily at the neck, [and] an elegant gold ring”, the ability of ‘protesters’ to utilise technology is — apparently — remarkable.

In December, Totaro described ‘YouTube, Facebook fan fallout over slain Greek teen’ (Sydney Morning Herald, December 12, 2008). According to Fairfax’s Europe correspondent — and contrary to the mountains of evidence to the contrary; remarked upon for at least the last decade or more — anarchist and other troublemakers only discovered teh Intertubes when Facebook and YouTube did. Mind you, Paola also writes “In Turkey, 12 [sic] protesters were reported to have painted the Greek consulate in the same colour red used on the Turkish flag”; alternatively, in the colour of blood. Which has, like, symbolic resonance?

As for G20, while Totaro believes police were extremely patient, never aggressive, and employed violence only when themselves subject to assault, the death of Ian Tomlinson and, moreover, the existence of video footage which demonstrates that he was the subject of an unprovoked assault, renders her account slightly silly; a product of privilege, not experience. That she should then proceed to blame protesters for pissing on the streets when, in reality, access to public toilets was denied them by police, further suggests that Totaro is not only naive, but genuinely ignorant of police tactics; tactics which, largely as a result of Ian’s death at the hands of an extremely patient police action, are now subject to rather widespread criticism.

On dealing with the police tactic of kettling in particular, see ‘FITwatch suggestions for dealing with public order policing on G20 protests’, FITWatch, March 29, 2009; the Earth First! Guide to Public Order Situations is also useful, as is the following doc: UK Riot Police 2009. “The British police public order tactics manual is a secret document establishing a paramilitary third force in the UK, under the control of a private company ACPO with permission from the home office…” The series of articles Why the police riot? (January 17–March 22, 2009) is also available on Indymedia UK.

Finally, Musab Younis has been busy ‘Correcting the media narrative of the G20 protests on April 1, 2009’ (April 6, 2009) @ Ceasefire zine, while some other foreign-sounding quack — ‘janos’? hmpf! — has compiled a lovely series of photographic imgs of the protests: chapter 1: the anarchists are coming! | chapter 2 part 1: storm the banks? | chapter 2 part 2: a tale of kettles, and death | chapter 3: police work.

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The Met police treated the demonstrators as criminals, corralling thousands in socalled “kettles” of containment for several hours. They were also reliably reported to snarl: “Now for the fun” while putting on riot gear. A witness saw three coppers smash a man against scaffolding and beat him with truncheons. When he escaped, a riot officer chased him shouting: “Do you want a piece of this, huh, do you want to come and get some?” ~ Act Quick to tame the police, Paul Routledge, Daily Mirror, April 10, 2009

    I was a part of the G20 protest in the peaceful Climate Camp, and we were rushed by police, and beaten despite having our hands in the air chanting ‘this is not a riot’, I was brutally assaulted for NO reason, knocked out and was taken to hospital via ambulance just for sitting on the floor. People there were hurt for NO reason and so was poor Ian. ~ littletreepixi, YouTube, April 10, 2009

Today was a pretty shameful day for the Metropolitan Police. During a peaceful static demonstration at Climate Camp in Bishopsgate, Metropolitan riot police stormed through the barricades without warning and unprovoked. They batonned unarmed protesters who were holding up their hands and chanting “Peace not Riot” in a show of non-violence. Many were knocked to the ground and numerous individuals injured in this disgraceful act of brutality.

These protesters, who were exercising their democratic right to demonstrate, were then barricaded into the street unable to leave until around 11.30pm. ~ G20 Climate Camp ‘Riot Police’, woo-war, flickr, April 1, 2009

Bristle’s Blog from the BunKRS has excellent coverage. Another blog, What I saw, provides eyewitness accounts of the actions of the ever-patient-and-self-controlled-police-who-stood-for-hours-as-kids-baited-and-yelled-and-shoved-and-provoked.

‘Growing evidence of police brutality at G20 protests’ reckons the mob @ Last Hours; they oughta get in touch with Totaro.

See also : APEC : Paddy “surprised and very happy” Gibson (March 9, 2009) | Deputy Sheriff Paul Schene assaulted by “real lippy” teenage carjacker Malika Calhoun (March 3, 2009) | Oscar Grant murdered in San Francisco… (January 8, 2009) | Failure to communicate : Epaminondas Korkoneas in court (December 12, 2008) | The police murder of Andreas Grigoropoulos (December 10, 2008) | Always Look On The Bright Side of Life : The AIDEX ‘91 Story (November 24, 2008) | Chris Hurley : Promotion and $100,000 | Lex Wotton : Six Years Prison (November 7, 2008) | Beating Up: A Report on Police Batons and the News Media at the World Economic Forum, Melbourne, September 2000, Dr. Bernard Barrett, November 28, 2000.

1. Making history

In a Melbourne street, just before dawn on Tuesday 12 September 2000, television cameras recorded a significant event in Australia’s political history. Baton-wielding police, from the paramilitary Force Response Unit, swooped upon 50 citizens who were holding a political assembly on a major public issue. The police wore helmets and visors, making their faces unrecognisable. Furthermore, most had removed their personal name tags from their jackets, thereby becoming unaccountable.

The 50 civilians were sitting passively and quietly on the pavement at a vehicle gateway outside Melbourne’s Crown Casino. The FRU police, assisted by mounted police and others, surrounded the civilians, making it difficult for anyone to escape the kicks and blows.

The police had given these 50 citizens no forewarning about this baton-charge and had not directed them to move. Police regulations permit officers to use enough force to make an arrest or to prevent a crime. However, this attack resulted in no arrests or charges. At worst, the citizens were obstructing a vehicle thoroughfare but the lawful penalty for this is perhaps a fine, not a thrashing. Punishments are supposed to be administered by the courts, not by police. And corporal punishment is not normally practised in Victoria.

No police were injured in this incident but ambulance paramedics treated the injured civilians, sending some to hospital.

The attack is also significant because the civilians included two members of the New Zealand Parliament. This may well be the first time that Victorian police have physically attacked members of a parliament.

Twelve hours later, after dusk, the Force Response Unit carried out another baton-charge at the same gateway against an assembly of about 100 civilians. The police also targeted news photographers, injuring some and smashing their equipment.

The success of this day’s police operations is measured not in arrests but in the number of civilians injured. The media reported that about 70 people were injured in the two attacks, including 24 who were taken to hospital.

However, newspaper stories and television news scripts during the preceding three months had built up an expectation that these 70 injured civilians were criminally “violent” and that they deserved “what was coming to them”.

The purpose of this paper is to examine the articles and scripts about “violence” in the light of the available television footage…

History repeats…

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2020 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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16 Responses to The World (of G20) According To Paola Totaro

  1. BristleKRS says:

    Greetings from Up North – cheers for the plug, and nice one on collecting together all those links.

    Thought you might be interested, I’m trying to identify the cop witnesses at the assault & subsequent death of Ian Tomlinson (as is FITwatch). I’m hoping that across the interwebz we might be able to compel those complicit in the death of Ian Tomlinson to come forward. Currently only four officers have been reported as admitting that they were there. Photographs and video footage show at least eighteen.

    Apologies for the C P (I’ve been working on this for around 15 straight hours):

    Can you help identify the cops who witnessed the assault of Ian Tomlinson?

    If you were in London that day and took photographs, you may have snapped one or other of the 18 officers who were in the immediate vicinity of Ian Tomlinson’s assault at some other time.

    You may even recognise a regular from your pub, a neighbour, a copper off your local area.

    If you do, please don’t just leave it be.

    If enough people – ordinary people, people like us – take the time and trouble to hold those responsible (through their action or their inaction) for the death of Ian Tomlinson, force them to come forward and be held accountable, then we might – just might – help prevent this happening again, only next time to your father, my mother, our friends, our loved ones. Don’t leave it to the IPCC.

    FITwatch is also working hard to identify any Forward Intelligence Team types there in the events which were shortly followed by Ian Tomlinson’s death at the age of 47.

    Keep up the good work.

  2. dj says:

    She probably just phoned this in after she spent the day reading comments from the right wing trolls on the Guardian site while off her brain on her mind-altering substance of choice.

  3. @ndy says:

    Cheers.

    I will keep one step ahead of the police by Twittering. Or YouTubing. Or possibly Facebooking.

    Important coded messages follow:

    The eagle has landed.
    The horses are on the track.
    Mrs Smith has hung out the laundry.
    Mr Smith is IN THE GARDEN.

  4. thaddeus says:

    you and dj obviously don’t know totaro. she has lefty credentials and personal politics that make you tryhard cunts look like the crypto-fascist we-suck-cock-by-choice liberal voting fucktards you’ll inevitably end up. and that’s the problem with you trust fund fucktards. you scream ‘trot’ now, but you’ll all turn into brendon nelson.

    or murdoch journos.

    and i’m never wrong!

  5. @ndy says:

    You’re a funny fella thaddeus.

    No, I don’t know Totaro. I’ve no idea what her “left credentials” are, or her “personal politics” — nor do I care. They bear no relevance, as far as I can tell, on her reportage. Rather, and quiet obviously, I’m responding to her misrepresentation of events @ G20. Specifically:

    1) Her account of police action and;
    2) Her portrayal of the protesters themselves.

    1)

    “The great majority of the police, seemingly ever-patient and self-controlled, stood for hours as kids baited and yelled, shoved and provoked. A handful of officers used well-placed elbows while batons were raised only in response to the vandalism.”

    This, presumably, is based on her own observations. The problem is that her observations are offered as a general characterisation of the event as a whole. As other accounts make clear — not least possible police responsibility for the death of Ian Tomlinson — the patient, self-controlled boys and girls in blue were far from the benign presence she portrays them as being.

    2)

    Totaro indulges in the usual tropes. Some bloke sneaks up a pole, hangs a banner, masses roar with approval. “London’s financial heart transformed into massive, naughty teenager’s street party eerily guarded by a full-scale army of bouncers in police riot gear”.

    While reasonably extensive accounts are given of the political machinations taking place behind the walls of the temporary multi-million pound fortress constructed to host the leaders, no references are given to critiques of their economic or political practices, let alone serious consideration of the content of these critiques.

    What Tim Blair remarked upon was the following: “Unfortunately, the walls of the banks and every available corner were also used as urinals.” There is a reasonably simple explanation for this situation, and a hint is given in her report: “Police then embarked on a well-rehearsed containment strategy, bringing in reinforcements including mounted police in full facial helmets. They not only blocked access to the bank but controlled all entry and exit points in surrounding streets.” People pissed on the walls as the only alternative to their bladder bursting.

    None of this would be especially important — and Totaro is hardly unique — but what gives it political significance is revealed by the fact that The Age readership Monday – Friday is about 707,000; my blog attracts about 1/1,000 of that figure. And yet the overall impression of G20 given by her report is of naughty children and tolerant police.

    Finally, your choice of insult is also rather odd: tryhard cunt? Crypto-fascist? Cocksucker? Liberal voter? Fucktard?

    Bit silly really.

    Anyway, I don’t have a ‘trust fund’ (an Americanism of limited applicability to a 30-something anarchist from Melbourne), scream ‘trot’, or expect to become a qualified medical practitioner.

    PS.

    Two final points.

    1) Totaro makes no reference to the practice of kettling in her reports.
    2) Nor does she refer to the fact that, while there was an abundance of police surveillance, from February of this year laws in the UK makes it a criminal offence to photograph police. The consequences in terms of holding police accountable for their actions are too obvious to bear repeating.

    Photographers fear they are target of new terror law
    Jo Adetunji
    The Guardian
    February 12, 2009

    Taking photographs of police officers could be deemed a criminal offence under anti-terrorism legislation that comes into force next week. Campaigners against section 76 of the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008, which becomes law on Monday, said it would leave professional photographers open to fines and arrest.

    The National Union of Journalists and the British Press Photographers’ Association said the law would extend powers that are already being used to harass photographers and would threaten press freedom. Hundreds are due to converge on Scotland Yard on Monday in a mass picture-taking event organised by the NUJ.

    Under section 76, eliciting, publishing or communicating information on members of the armed forces, intelligence services and police officers which is “likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism” will be an offence carrying a maximum jail term of 10 years.

    Marc Vallee, a photojournalist who specialises in covering protests, said photographers were frequently harassed by police using stop and search powers under section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000. The new powers would be too vague to prevent abuse.

    He said: “They will now be able to arrest you if a photograph could potentially incite or provoke disorder. But isn’t that any protest?”

    Justin Tallis, a freelance, said although legislation did not necessarily mention photographers, they were often targeted. “I moved to London six months ago and it’s already happened to me two or three times.”

    Vernon Coaker, the minister for policing, crime and security, told the NUJ last year that photography could be limited “on the grounds of national security”, in “situations in which the taking of photographs may cause or lead to public order situations or inflame an already tense situation or raise security considerations”, or “to prevent a breach of the peace”.

    A spokeswoman for the Home Office said the law was not specifically intended for photographers and concerns about how it would be used were speculative. It would be the job of the police and the courts to interpret the law.

    Val Swain, a member of Fitwatch, a collective which photographs police intelligence teams taking pictures of protesters, said: “I took a picture of an officer on my camera phone and he walked over and said, ‘you are going to delete that’. We’re in a public place, he’s in a public role and he knew that. They’ve been gearing up for it but so far they’ve stopped short of arresting people. Now they will have the power to do it.”

    Jeremy Dear, general secretary of the NUJ, said: “Police officers … believe they have the power to delete images or to take editorial decisions about what can and can’t be photographed. The right to take photos in a public place is a precious freedom. It is what enables the press to show the wider world what is going on.”

  6. thaddeus says:

    two for effort; you are a cut-and-paste legend. the fact is, she was there, you weren’t. and you remain clueless.

    unfortunately, you lost me when you started quoting tim blair. what next? miranda devine references?

    so, keep maintaining the rage on collins street, enjoying the fruits of yr bourgesoise [sic] upbringing. (anarchists offended by abuse?! harden up, you fucking softcock).

    peace, love and mung beans, comrade.

  7. @ndy says:

    zero for effort; you are still very silly. the fact is, i haven’t disputed the fact totaro was in attendance — however, i’m not sure you’re all there.

    tim blair quoted totaro in his column A BIT OF STICK.

    on the devine miss m, see Greens Kill! Timber Industry Saves!

    i will continue to enjoy the fruits of my bourgesoise upbringing for as long as you continue to spell good and think smart.

  8. dj says:

    Andy, you really do attract some poor quality trolls to this site. Lift your game. Sorry, I’d like to chat for longer but I must go and check how my trust fund is going in these troubled times.

  9. @ndy says:

    For God’s sake dj, are you too busy screaming ‘trot’ to send the hired help? That’s what they’re there for!

    Yours Liberally,

    Brendan Nelson.

  10. dj says:

    Andy, this is exactly why I go myself. Last time I sent the hired help to gather this information, they insisted on an increase in their compensation. Needless to say, they were summarily dismissed. This is why I was seen screaming ‘trot’ when I found them waiting my table at Davos later that year.

    Oh and thanks for helping me out that one time when I was on a bender and found myself in the gutter in Kings Cross at 3 am.

  11. @ndy says:

    No worries mate: us bourgesoise must stick together. Btw, you’ll be glad to learn that the police officer who objected to my landing the ZOG helicopter on the street nearby in order to rescue you was later dismissed from the force.

    Yours Helicopterally,

    Brendan Nelson.

  12. @ndy says:

    “The great majority of the police, seemingly ever-patient and self-controlled, stood for hours as kids baited and yelled, shoved and provoked. A handful of officers used well-placed elbows while batons were raised only in response to the vandalism.”

    ~ G20 protesters strike at London’s heart, Paola Totaro, The Age, April 2, 2009

    Comment: the whole barrel was rotten last week at G20 protest
    Tom Whipple
    Times Online
    April 8, 2009

    As dusk fell on the City of London last Wednesday, an elderly woman remonstrated with a policewoman. “Why won’t you let us out?” she asked, slumped against the Bank of England between two puddles of urine.

    The policewoman responded that she was only following orders. Even as the Metropolitan Police press office was telling newspapers that protesters were being released, it was clear that no one was being allowed to leave.

    If, as yesterday’s footage seems to imply, just half an hour later a policeman struck Ian Tomlinson from behind, the police have an obvious response. The policeman involved was a bad apple who has let everybody down. It was an isolated incident. He was disobeying orders.

    Last week, after spending seven hours as a journalist locked into an increasingly small cordon, after watching police officers charge with truncheons and shields and after watching peaceful protesters retreat bloodied, I wrote about my experience.

    I claimed in this paper that the police action – detaining thousands of innocent people without charge, and then systematically squeezing them over a period of hours – seemed guaranteed to produce violence. I argued that many of the police involved seemed not just prepared, but eager, for a fight.

    After the article was published, Sara McAlpine – who said that she had happened to pass a demonstration the following day to mark Mr Tomlinson’s death – sent me an e-mail. There is no way to corroborate her account, except that it tallies with so many others. “This is what I witnessed myself in 15 minutes standing near the Bank of England,” she said. “The police split the protest into two groups on two cornering streets, not letting anyone leave. Suddenly, a policeman threw a punch at the face of a male, who raised his right arm to try and block the punch (no retaliation, merely a block). Immediately, three officers threw him up against the scaffolding, knocked him to the ground and beat him with their batons. They then carried him horizontally away.

    “A photographer on the spectator side of the cordon tried to capture it. An officer ran over and grabbed him, trying to force him into the cordon. He escaped but the officer came after him and squared up to him (who was right next to me at this point) shouting, ‘Do you want a piece of this, huh, do you want to come and get some?’ He was then called back by another officer.

    “A few minutes later, a girl no more than 10 metres away from me, who was on the front line of the cordon, was suddenly shoved up against a wall and kicked repeatedly by a policeman. He left her as she stayed cowering.”

    “At that point, five police surrounded us (as quite a crowd had amassed in horror by now) and told us that we would be arrested if we didn’t move along. One guy said he had a right to stand there and watch and the policeman threatened him in no uncertain terms that he would either be arrested or thrown in the cordon if he didn’t move. He did. I left.”

    Hers was not the only e-mail. Steven McManus, who says he is a barrister and a former special constable, was in Threadneedle Street on Wednesday. “At around 6pm I was outside the Royal Exchange chatting with some officers. I was between the officers and the protesers. The atmosphere was calm and non-confrontational. I shared a few jokes with one officer and was just generally chatting.

    “A short while later the line began to move forward. The officers began to shout that we should all move back. I turned towards the crowd and began to move off in that direction. As I was walking away I was struck from behind by a baton and pushed forward towards the steps of Bank Underground.

    “I was more than a little shocked at having been hit. The officer who had struck me was one I had been chatting to moments earlier, who knew about my City Police connection, and to whom I had my back turned. I remonstrated with the officer as to why he had hit me – his reply being: “F*** off, move back”. He said he could not help but be reminded of the manner of the attack on Tomlinson.

    Elsewhere in the city, other groups were reporting similar incidents. Richard Howlett was at Climate Camp, a separate demonstration in Bishopsgate that – after 12 hours of non-violent protest – was cleared by riot police in the early hours of Thursday, April 2. “They moved in and blocked us in from both ends. Utterly unprovoked, the police then pushed forward in full riot gear using their truncheons and shields to beat people indiscriminately. Friends of mine were beaten and there were several injuries,” he said.

    “Climate Camp responded in a totally peaceful manner. We sat down and chanted, ‘This is a peaceful protest, this is not a riot’. It was incredibly saddening to see the police resort to totally disproportionate tactics in dealing with totally peaceful protesters.”

    Any inquiry into policing at the G20 protests must look beyond the circumstances surrounding Mr Tomlinson’s death. Because if the rest of the operation – both the tactics employed and the officers deployed – is ignored, then there is a good chance an individual tragedy will have been compounded by a wider travesty.

    The helper: Ian Tomlinson was obeying police orders, says G20 protester
    Paul Lewis
    The Guardian
    April 9, 2009

    The man who lifted Ian Tomlinson to his feet after a riot officer hit him with a baton and threw him to the ground told the Guardian last night how the attack unfolded.

    Alan Edwards, 34, from Derbyshire said he rushed to Mr Tomlinson’s aid because he was worried the officers would continue the violent attack. “I didn’t know what they were going to do to him,” he said. “I couldn’t just leave him there.”

    Edwards said he had been trapped inside police cordons around Cornhill, near the Bank of England, for about six hours when he first saw Mr Tomlinson. “I was stood on the corner, and basically they’d pushed [Tomlinson] around. He was saying: ‘I want to go home. I live down there. I’m trying to get home.'” Mr Tomlinson was obeying police orders to move up the street, Edwards said.

    His attention had been drawn to Mr Tomlinson when the street suddenly became flooded with barking dogs.

    “I was watching up the street where the dogs were. He came flying towards me and because of where I was he literally came straight at me,” he said.

    “It’s just the way he flew – he went about six feet. I didn’t talk to him straight away. I was more concerned police wouldn’t get at him. They’d already pushed him over.”

    Edwards will make a full statement to the Independent Police Complaints Commission today. But he has already given a preliminary description to the police watchdog of what happened. “When I spoke to the lady at the IPCC she asked what happened when [Tomlinson] fell over. I said: ‘He didn’t fall, he was pushed.'” Edwards’s evidence could prove crucial to the criminal investigation into Mr Tomlinson’s death. He is the only person to have said publicly he made direct eye contact with the riot officer who assaulted Mr Tomlinson.

    “I tried to eyeball him to see if I would remember who he was but he was balaclavaed up,” Edwards said. “All you could see was his hands and his eyes. He looked slightly crazy. That’s why I stood my ground a bit.”

    After picking up Mr Tomlinson from the ground, Edwards had a brief exchange with him. “I said, you OK, mate? He said: No, I live down there – that’s where I live. I can’t get there any other way. I’m trying to get home.”

    Edwards, who had been to demonstrations before, said at the time he had not been “particularly shocked” by the assault because he had seen similar incidents in the past. His message to Mr Tomlinson’s family would be: “I am sorry I could not help any more.”

    3:40.

    An extremely patient and self-controlled policeman gives an uppity protester (presumably not one of Paola’s yuppie mates) a shove.

    An extremely patient, self-controlled and massively brave policeman then gives a lippy woman (presumably not one of Paola’s yuppie mates) a backhanded slap across the face, then proceeds to hit her with his baton.

    These actions obviously took place only after the pair had exited their time machines, in the intervening period — literally in the blink of an eye, undetectable by all but the most eagle-eyed of reporters — having spent literally hours during this temporary time/space warp yelling, shoving and provoking police, and engaging in mindless vandalism.

    In short: bitch was asking for it.

  13. Dr. Cam says:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8004222.stm

    “A policeman has been interviewed under caution on suspicion of manslaughter after new tests overturned the cause of a newspaper-seller’s death.

    Paul King, Mr Tomlinson’s step-son, said “First we were told that there had been no contact with the police, then we were told that he died of a heart attack.

    “Now we know that he was violently assaulted by a police officer and died from internal bleeding. As time goes on we hope that the full truth about how Ian died will be made known.”

    Jules Carey of Tuckers, the family’s solicitor, said the family had known about the results of the second post-mortem for the past week – but had reluctantly agreed to remain silent while the IPCC continued its investigations.”

  14. @ndy says:

    Why did Tomlinson insist on being a kid and baiting, yelling, shoving and provoking the police for hours on end?

    That’s the question the IPCC should be asking.

    As for the patient and self-controlled policeman accused of complicity in the kid’s death — who was in reality* only doing his duty under extremely adverse conditions — my guess is he’ll do a Hurley, have his defence paid for by the police union, be cleared of manslaughter, be promoted, receive $100,000 compensation from the London council, and be transferred to a sunnier station.

    It would help if Tomlinson had black skin, but being a drunken Millwall fan is close enough.

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