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From The Socialist newspaper, 7 July 2021

Bristol: Police to blame for protest violence

photo Paul Mattsson

photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Tom Baldwin, 2021 TUSC candidate for Bristol mayor

When a Bristol demonstration in March ended in clashes between protesters and police, it was splashed across the front page of every capitalist newspaper.

The media and the great and good, including Bristol's Labour mayor, made sweeping, one-sided condemnations of demonstrators.

Much less widely reported is the finding of a recent parliamentary inquiry - the police used unnecessary and excessive force.

This included 'blading', bringing riot shields down on the heads of seated protesters.

The report describes "particularly troubling" incidents of "revenge policing" - violent assaults on two peaceful demonstrations the following week and subsequent arrests. The forcible break up of a vigil for the murdered Sarah Everard in Clapham was also criticised.

These findings will come as no surprise to those that have witnessed heavy-handed policing of protests. The police act in defence of big business, and have a long history of violent attacks against those deemed a threat to the rule of profit.

This report vindicates those of us who have blamed disorder on police provocation. But the more important question is - will it restrain them in the future?

The very police bill which the protests were opposing increases police powers to block demonstrations, and makes police violence against demonstrators more likely. This cannot be allowed to happen. We must continue to oppose the bill, and push for democratic working-class control of policing and public safety.

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In The Socialist 7 July 2021:


What we think

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The Struggle for World Socialism

The struggle for world socialism


NHS

Fight is on to save our NHS

NHS workers' protests


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Manchester death rate caused by deprivation

Bristol: Police to blame for protest violence


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Morrisons private equity takeover proposals - Usdaw needs to move to a war footing

Safety campaign in DWP: What has happened to our ballot?

Striking Brush workers continue to protest 'fire and rehire'

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Derby academies closed by strikes against brutal cuts and changes

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Israel: Hospital ancillary workers strike over pay parity and workload


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Road closures: Hackney residents have not been consulted


Reviews

The story of Joe Clough - Britain's first black bus driver

Exhibition: What next for the statue of slave trader, Edward Colston?

TV - Statue wars: one summer in Bristol


 

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Big business:

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