G20 protests: Climate Change Camp

UPDATE from The Guardian 05/04/09:

The man who died during last week’s G20 protests was “assaulted” by riot police shortly before he suffered a heart attack, according to witness statements received by the Independent Police Complaints Commission

Mr Tomlinson, a married man who lived alone in a bail hostel, was not taking part in the protests. Initially, his death was attributed by a police post mortem to natural causes. A City of London police statement said: “[He] suffered a sudden heart attack while on his way home from work.”

But this version of events was challenged after witnesses recognised the dead man from photographs that were published on Friday.

Aside from the 30-something man who apparently died of natural causes while being ‘kettled‘ (and, upon release, photographed and had their details taken, or else back into the kettle – why?), what on earth happened at the peaceful and quite fun climate change camp on Bishopsgate??

From this (4pm-ish, see the green ‘Nature Doesn’t Do Bail-Outs’ banner?):

To this (Guardian photo at 6 or 7pm, right by the banner):

What happened?

One commenter on the Guardian had this to say:

I was held at the climate camp til midnight last night. When I arrived at 6pm to celebrate the creative sight of a camp in london’s grey financial streets, the police allowed me to walk straight into the camp with my bike. [Me too] As the reports have said, the atmosphere was very warm and positive; school children and old time protesters sharing a space full of colour and music. Within an hour of arriving, those same police, who had stepped back and let me through, closed in around the camp and refused to let anyone in or out. I then watched the police push forward into the crowd with brutality that was not only shocking but utterly unecessary.


There was little show of anger, but much unhappiness. When finally we were herded out one by one at midnight, I felt cold to the core, chilled by the unprovoked agression of those who I had been brought up to trust. I am deeply ashamed of my state, when reasonable and calm protesters are criminalised and provoked in such a manner. Their use of section 14 on 800 campers was mindless, their violence was a tragedy and their very presence, with armoured cars and helicopters, a ridiculous waste of public money.

I saw some people about who clearly get off  the freedom to run about the streets – mostly teenage-looking boys taking the opportunity to sneak in a can of cider behind their parents’ backs. Some people were chatting to the police, one dude was getting a bit angry and people stopped to stare at him because he was the only one. I’m not sure what he was on about, but the police seemed more amused than anything. Mainly, though, people were sitting about near their tents and hanging out. How did it turn out like that? I’m glad I didn’t go through later – I could have been penned in till midnight.

Footage from Indymedia here:

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I like the comma in American headlines, I think England needs it.

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