Tuesday 25 August 2009

Police March Millwall Fans Through Forest Gate

Not great pictures, I know, but there are so many police riot vans, at least seven at the end of my road, that it is hard to get a better view before being moved on. There's a helicopter overhead too, following the police decision to march a group of about 150 Millwall fans through residential side streets, in a predominantly Asian area, on their way to tonight's Carling Cup game with West Ham.

This is the first game between the two sides since April 2005 and given the rivalry between the two clubs (dating back years, with Millwall dockers scabbing during the General Strike of 1926 and West Ham dockers staying loyal - as everyone locally knows), I can see why the police are jumpy.

So why bring Millwall fans down into a street as narrow as Katherine Rd?

The rumour mill is working overtime, inevitably - are they BNP, the local youths are asking? I didn't see any taunting from Millwall, to be honest, but then when you're surrounded by lines of about 50 Territorial Support Group officers, that would hardly be the smartest idea.

More later. Or, hopefully, not.

UPDATE AT 9.20pm

For all the crap that gets spouted about 'citizen journalism', the reality is that those closest to what is going on know the least about what is going on. And that includes me.

It seems that the reason why regular Millwall fans - I think that's all they were - were being funnelled down Bristol Rd with a heavy police presence was because they had been diverted from East Ham station. Upton Park station was shut because of a MASSIVE, clearly pre-planned row between West Ham and Millwall firms. I've been down on Green Street earlier and some of the windows of the Duke of Edinburgh pub look like they've been broken.

What it does mean is that everyone is likely to get tarred with the same brush by the TSG tonight if they're a football fan, although the violence sounds appalling.

The game finishes in 20 minutes, I've just heard on Radio 5 Live that there has been some minor trouble inside the ground - and that Millwall are winning.


weggis said...

Katherine Rd? Where were they coming from?

Millwall are 1-0 up with not long to go!

Glad I don't live there anymore!

weggis said...

oops I spoke too soon.
Extra time it is.
bedlam, apparently.

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