The Socialist 25 July 2012
Olympic Britain - We’re priced out
Pre-emptive arrests: "straight out of 1984"
Ian Pattison, East London Socialist Party
Straight out of 1984, on the morning of last year's Royal Wedding, protesters were pre-emptively arrested by the London Met police to prevent them organising anti-monarchy political activity or attending republican festivities on the day. The police justified the arrests on trumped up grounds of "stolen bicycles".
With similar attacks on democratic rights during this year's Jubilee and now the Olympics, the protesters involved decided to take the London Met police to court for breach of their human rights. This month, out of touch, un-elected judges in the High Court have found against the arrested protesters, and in favour of the unjustifiable actions of the police.
Around £11 billion has been spent on the Olympics, and big business want nothing to get in the way of their mega-rich profiteering. For example, a dispersal zone has been introduced in Leytonstone, not far from the Olympics site, for the duration of the Games and beyond - allowing the police to 'move on' people in 'groups' of two or more.
There will be tens of thousands of security personnel policing protest during the Games. Ground-to-air missiles have been installed on residential roofs.
Four graffiti artists were arrested for conspiracy to commit criminal damage and despite not being charged were banned from being near any Olympic venue, owning spray paint or marker pens and using most public transport for the period of the Games.
The police will use pre-emptive arrests to intimidate working class and young people from fighting back against austerity.
On Saturday 28 July, as the Olympics start, Socialist Party members will join the Counter Olympics Network protest from 12 noon in Mile End Park, east London, which will feature events from the Youth Fight for Jobs 'Austerity Games'.
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