Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Climate Camp - Activists Charged Over RBS Action

We all remember how the police adopted a very low profile at Climate Camp last summer. The Inspectorate of Constabulary, on page 8 of its review of public order policing published in November 2009, even went as far as claiming that "the Metropolitan Police Service policing operation surrounding the Climate Camp at Blackheath in August 2009 demonstrated a tangible success in integrating the findings and recommendations of Adapting to Protest". But as ever, London's coppers have issued one final reminder why, no matter how much they bang on about 'constructive dialogue', you simply can't turn your back on them for a second.

On 1st September last year, seven activists from Climate Camp took part in a largely symbolic protest at the Royal Bank of Scotland, super-gluing themselves to the bank's trading floor. After solvents were used to remove the glue, they were arrested, removed from the building and then promptly de-arrested. End of story, apparently.

Now, nearly six months on and long after the the police's 'positive' response to Climate Camp has become the accepted narrative, the seven have suddenly been charged - just days before the expiry deadline beyond which charges could no longer be brought.

You've got to give it to them - that is how you get to have your cake and eat it. But it's a long way from stopping people seeing the police as utterly untrustworthy.

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