Netpol – the network for police monitoring – is a grassroots organisation made up of various community groups which works for activists, supporting their right to effective protest. Netpol supports activists and community groups by:
- monitoring policing,
- writing reports and
- campaigning about oppressive policing such as excessive use of force, data gathering and intimidation of protestors.
In the current climate of counter-EDL demonstrations and protests about the cuts, Netpol urgently needs more funding to continue its work and increase its reach and effectiveness.
To donate to Netpol please click one of the standing order options below:
We aim to have one-off donation options available soon.
The following statement was made by the stopG8 group in response to the excessive level of force used against protesters yesterday (Tuesday).
StopG8 held a “Carnival Against Capitalism” in the West End of London today (11 June), demonstrating against 100 murderous banks, corporations, “dens of the rich” and other hiding places of power in the run up to the G8 Summit.
The carnival went ahead despite extreme pre-emptive violence from the Metropolitan and City Police, which caused a number of protesters to be injured. The police surrounded the StopG8 Social Centre on Beak Street, W1 from 10am, and then broke in through the front doors and from the roof later in the morning. At the demonstrations starting at 12 noon in Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Circus, police snatch squads violently arrested and assaulted more demonstrators.
People present in the Beak Street building report that the police used tasers, chemical sprays, and dogs, and hit unarmed people with shields and fists as they held their hands in the air or covered their heads. We are currently gathering witness statements and will release soon a detailed account of the attacks and injuries. We know that at least two people received serious head injuries, and many more were beaten. We are still waiting on reports from at least 30 people who were arrested.
“I could hear tasers going non stop for at least a minute,” said one witness, “I never heard anything like it in my life.”
A StopG8 spokesperson commented: “The police claim that they raided Beak Street because they suspected there were weapons on the building. In fact the only weapons were the police tasers, batons, shields, chemicals, fists and dogs.”
On Saturday 1st June the police arrested 58 people who had been protesting against plans by the British National Party to march to the cenotaph in Westminster. Anti-fascist protesters had breached restrictions imposed on their protest, having refused to be contained within an area designated by the police. Police confronting them used considerable force – eye-witnesses have described officers punching protesters, and one woman was taken to hospital with a broken leg. The police then carried out ‘snatch squad’ style arrests until two buses had been filled with handcuffed people.
The 58 people were all arrested for breaching conditions imposed on an assembly. They were taken to police cells, but none were charged with any offence. Instead they were released on police bail with instructions to return in July to be told whether or not charges would follow. Most were also given highly restrictive bail conditions, banning them from any form of protest and excluding them from much of central and west London. Continue reading
The Network for Police Monitoring (“Netpol”) seeks to monitor public order, protest and street policing, and to challenge and resist policing which is excessive, discriminatory or threatens civil rights. This article summarises the submission made by the Netpol Lawyers Group (“NLG”), a collective of solicitors and barristers who specialise in representing protesters, to Ministry of Justice (MOJ’s) consultation paper “Transforming Legal Aid.” Continue reading
Netpol, the Network for Police Monitoring, has updated its list of solicitors that are experienced in dealing with the police and protesters.
A spokesperson for Netpol said,
“A decent lawyer who recognises the importance of things like “no comment” during police interviews can make a huge difference to someone’s chances of defending themselves in court, or suing the police. Our list of solicitors list is an attempt to pool knowledge from across the movement.” Continue reading
The organisers of planned protests in London against the UK G8 summit in June have issued the following legal advice to people who may be travelling to London or Northern Ireland from EU and non-EU countries.
Crossing the border.
If you want to come from another country to join us in London in June, you are very welcome! We have had a few questions from people asking if they may have any problems crossing the border to get into the UK. We don’t anticipate any major extra problems for the G8, but here is some information you might find useful.
If you are an EU citizen:
Britain is not in the Schengen zone, so you will get stopped and asked to show your passport or ID at the border. The police have the power to
search you and ask questions.
However, according to experienced legal activists (LDMG), it is very unlikely that you will be refused entry to the UK (unless you are very
high profile). If they think that you are coming for the G8, it is quite possible that you will be searched and asked questions, but then let
through the border.
If you are stop and searched or to held in a kettle, you DO NOT have to give police your name and address. The police will often ask for your details in these situations, but you DO NOT have to provide them.
However, under section 50 of the Police Reform Act the police DO have powers to take your name and address (but not date of birth) IF they reasonably believe you have engaged in anti-social behaviour. Anti-social behaviour (ASB)is defined as doing something likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to others.
Section 50 powers are sometimes used by the police as a routine or blanket means of obtaining names and addresses, especially during stop and searches. But if the police do not have a genuine and reasonable belief that the person they are dealing with has been involved with ASB, the use of this power would be unlawful.
If you are told to give your details under ‘section 50′:
- Clarify that they are using s50 Police Reform Act. If possible, record them saying this. In some circumstances the police have subsequently denied using s50 powers, claiming that people gave their details voluntarily.
- Ask them to tell you exactly what they believe you have done that constitutes anti-social behaviour. They must have a reasonable belief that you did something likely to cause ‘harassment, alarm or distress’.
- If possible film what they do, or record what they say on your mobile phone.
- It is not enough for the police to say they believe you are ‘going to’ engage in anti-social behaviour. Section 50 powers do not apply to possible future actions – only if a person ‘has been acting, or is acting in an anti-social manner’.