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From The Socialist newspaper, 2 February 2011

Police attack 'save EMA' protest in Leeds

School, college, and university students in Leeds were met with police violence on a recent peaceful protest against Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) being axed.

Jay McInness, Leeds Met Socialist Students

Protesters were violently attacked with batons outside Lloyds TSB in the city centre.

A number of completely unprovoked injuries were inflicted. The most horrific was the arrest of college student Matt Dawson after he was set upon by multiple police officers.

Eye witnesses and film footage on YouTube show officers snatching a flag from him before unleashing a savage and unwarranted hail of abuse. In the assault his arm was broken before he was dragged 300 yards and thrown into a police van.

The remaining protesters were then subjected to the infamous 'kettle' technique used by police on the student protests last year. One police officer made it clear that they were 'kettling' our demonstration to make it less visible to the public, less likely to get news coverage and to have less resonance.

After police officers were heavily reinforced, the protest was then force-marched to nearby Leeds Metropolitan University.

The protest then regrouped and marched to Bridewell Police Station where Matt was thought to be held and demanded his release. A heated negotiation ensued which gained some media attention. More arrests were attempted but were prevented by the crowd.

Since then West Yorkshire Police have refused to comment but have charged Matt Dawson with possession of an offensive weapon (his belt buckle).

Socialist Students demands that the charges against Matt Dawson are dropped. Due to pressure so far an internal investigation has been launched bringing further into question police handling of peaceful demonstrations.

This is not the first time that police in Leeds have harassed peaceful protests - they 'kettled' the 30 November demonstration and repeatedly harassed and threatened to arrest Socialist Students activist Ian Pattison.

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In The Socialist 2 February 2011:


International socialist news and analysis

Egypt in revolt


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Defend the NHS!: Fight the Con-Dem cuts

The madness of King George cuts


Anti-cuts campaigning

Scottish Anti-Cuts Alliance established

Stop attacks on disabled claimants

Liverpool: Jobs axe must be fought

No to the racist EDL! Unite to fight the cuts

Hands off our forests!

Protesting against all of the cuts


Socialist Party news and analysis

Tommy Sheridan jailing: Political vendetta ends in draconian sentence

John Macreadie memorial

TV Review: Posh and Posher Why Public School Boys Run Britain


Socialist Party feature

'Struggle or starve!' 1932 - when Birkenhead workers beat the means test


Socialist Party youth and students

Young people march for a future

Tories have no solutions to youth crime

Police attack 'save EMA' protest in Leeds


Socialist Party workplace news

Justice for Unison Four

Unison self-destructs at TSA but unionism stronger than ever

Building action against cuts

Defending jobs at Leeds council

Ford challenged in legal bid: Pay the Visteon pensioners now!

Arriva Trains Wales - strike called off

Defend democracy in the CWU

Keep the post public demo

Discussing an electoral challenge to service cutters


Socialist Party Marxist analysis

'In reality, Britain is facing a savage economic ice age'


 

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