A legal observer writes:
Last September demonstrators and Legal observers were being bussed from the Stop NATO peace camp in Tredegar Park to the anti war demonstration taking place in Newport, where the No to NATO group joined, among others, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) to march on to Celtic Manor resort which was hosting the summit itself.
Shortly after leaving the peace camp the bus was pulled over by police using section 1 of PACE. The main power used on a daily basis by police. It allows police officers to stop and search a person or vehicle for stolen or prohibited articles. The power can only be exercised if the officer has “reasonable grounds” for suspicion. Stop and Search and Stop and Account are always being abused by the police to gain information and intelligence. Here is a prime example of that abuse of power.
The demos at Stop NATO were peaceful and quite small. Never at any point was the summit under any threat from these peaceful protests. The summit protected by gun ships, with a police and military operation puffing up it’s chest for the world to see. A ring of steel which disrupted anybody going about their normal business and shops shut down for security or from fear-mongering. The police and state over exaggerated the risks from the demonstrations and the numbers of protesters expected, creating an atmosphere of fear. Fear a tool of control.