A Labour MP has condemned a decision by Kent Police to let officers wear riot gear during a clash with activists at an environmental protest camp.What, precisely, were they supposed to wear to a protest gathering? Tutus…?
Bob Marshall-Andrews said he was horrified by the footage he saw showing police and campaigners clashing at the Kingsnorth plant on the Hoo peninsula.
The force said officers needed the gear to protect themselves from missiles.What the hell are we supposed to use, man? Harsh language?
But, following an hour-long meeting with senior officers, Mr Marshall-Andrews said the decision to use shields and helmets was "provocative and heavy-handed".
Mr Marshall-Andrews, who is the Labour MP for Medway, said the scenes in a field about 2m (3.2km) from Kingsnorth power station had prompted him to return to his constituency.But not to help, or to appeal for the protestors to disperse or at least protest peacefully, oh no. Merely so he could carp and criticise the police from the sidelines. Quotes this political genius:
"I find the use of police in riot gear incomprehensible and I think it was a mistake," he said.Well, if the protestors (sorry, a ‘large proportion of the protestors’..) say they aren’t going to cause any trouble, why not take them at their word? Apart from the fact that it’d be criminally irresponsible not to prepare for the worst, of course.
"A large proportion have not said they are going to break the law as far as I am aware.
"One of the things we want to avoid in circumstances such as these is provocation, and I think that it was. "
Police said on Tuesday evening that there had been 13 arrests and eight people had been charged in connection with incidents at the Climate Camp.Obviously they belonged to that ‘small proportion’ of protesters, I guess, Mr Marshall-Andrews.
Officers said weapons, including a knife and a throwing star, were found in a wooded area on the Hoo peninsula on Monday evening.
Go here for a look at what the police have to put up with on these demos, and then tell me they aren’t entitled to wear riot gear without some arse of a Labour party official whining about it…