Sussex students arrested under anti-terror laws
A new interactive online map reveals the nature of police activity in Brighton during an anti-war march.
The map covers events surrounding the Smash EDO demonstration on October 15th. Plotting events and linking them with relevant video footage, photography and eyewitness reports, the map makes for deeply concerning reading. Issues raised include:
- The arrest of a disabled student, who was held for 7 hours and denied access to a doctor
- Students attacked by police dogs while peacefully protesting
- Arrests of nonviolent protesters and observers under anti-terrorism laws passed in November 2001.
One student, who was arrested while observing the event and suffers from a severe disability, insists she was not a part of the protest. 'I suffer from Fybromyalgia Syndrome, which means I have to keep wrapped up warm. Police took one look at my scarf and decided I was a protester. They didn't want to listen when I said I was disabled and not part of the protest.'
The student, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was held in custody for 7 hours and denied access to a doctor. She was also cut off from her solicitor and refused reconnection. All her clothes and possessions were confiscated, including her phone and camera. She is still under bail terms and has not had her possessions returned.
Another Sussex student describes the attacks upon protesters by police dog units. 'We linked arms with our hands in the air to show we meant no harm, and walked towards the police lines, very slowly. I kept on saying, We're not going to hurt you, We don't want trouble.
'I was trying to joke and laugh with the policeman in front of me, who kept on shouting, and wouldn't look at me. Eventually, I said, Are you afraid to make eye contact, because you've been taught that if you do, you won't be able to hit me? He didn't like that - at that point he set his dog on me. I was knocked down with the dog's teeth around my left arm.'
The creator of the map, Sussex student Josh Jones, says:
'When police are using anti-terror laws to arrest peaceful protesters, something has gone seriously wrong in our society.
'It is my hope that by raising awareness around these events, police actions in the future will have to be more reasonable.'
The map can be viewed at http://photographywithoutborders.blogspot.com
Contact: Josh Jones, University of Sussex Student's Union
m: 07787 337687
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