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From The Socialist newspaper, 25 July 2012

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.

Fightback

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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The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 25 July 2012:


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Related links:

Olympics:

triangleInvest in grassroots sports needs

triangleWould you call G4S for help over discrimination?

triangleBarcelona 1936: the people's Olympics

triangleFilm review: Eddie the Eagle

triangleAthletics doping scandal: big business profits behind global sports corruption

Police:

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triangleProtesting is not terrorism

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London:

triangleAll in this together? The 'Blitz spirit' myth

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triangleWest London Socialist Party: Globalisation/deglobalisation and the world economy

Democratic rights:

triangleResist attacks against free speech on campus

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