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Anarchists hijack police protest
(13th March 2002. Reports from u75 boards, Indymedia and Guardian)
Anarchists turn up at Police protest
IN what has to be one of the most surreal protests of the year, police officers from across Britain gathered around Parliament to protest at reforms to the police service proposed by the home secretary, David Blunkett.
Banned from actually demonstrating in uniform or with placards, hundreds of men with skintight haircuts loitered around Westminster seeking more money. One figure dressed as John Bull and covered in Union Jacks displayed a sign "New Labour, the boys in Blues are sick of you."
The police brass band complete with plastic 'bobbie' helmets drafted in for the day were drowned out when an assortment of Globalisation, environmental and social justice campaigners turned up with a Samba band. As the media descended upon the activists, signs were displayed with "Remember the Miners" slogans and others highlighting oppressive policing of protests.
Great humour was shown by the anti-capitalist protesters who handed out leaflets saying, "We demand a zero hour week for the police to give them fair times for reading, leisure activities with their friends or perhaps their partners, time for giving vent to their frustrations by making love, and to play football with the local kids and for chats with elderly passers-by, with who they could discuss the meaning of freedom."
Even the cops found it funny, with Constable Phil Bennett, of Thames Valley police, saying he found the leaflets "hilarious" and that they were going to publish it in their next magazine.
Shouts of "You've had your protest, now go home" were shouted at the throngs of officers as a humourous reminder of what is heard from police at each demonstration. One seething officer from East London told undercurrents that he wasn't "allowed to bring a banner but the anarchists could, and that it wasn't fair."
The Home secretary attempts at creating a new type of civilian police force has angered many in the force. Some activists called for officers to strike on Mayday and others displayed a banner saying 'Anarchy is Attractive'. A reference to a Lambeth Police Commander who stated the anarchist way of life attracted him.
Meanwhile Mr Blair PM,is still insisting that the majority of police officers agreed with his government. Someone has to we guess.
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