A peaceful demonstration started at around midday 25th August 2007 against travel agent *Thomas Cook opposite Gloucestershire Animal Action’s information stall.
After a few moments a female staff member came out and told the lone activist who was handing out leaflets to members of the public “It is illegal to protest outside here, move away or I will have you arrested.” She then retreated back into the shop.
Staff inside the shop were holding an A4 sheet of paper which activists suspect is a list of police directions regarding protest as this has been seen before being produced by staff at Thomas Cook outlets around the country during peaceful demonstrations.
Shortly afterwards police community support officers (PCSOs) were on site informing us that we needed a permit from the local council to hand out leaflets to which we responded; “Only if we are selling something or touting for business which we aren’t, do we need a permit: This excludes religious or political leafleting”.
A PCSO then asked for the activist’s details. The activist refused as he had not broken the law or been anti-social once during the protest.
“It doesn’t matter,” she (PCSO 9118) said. “Are you refusing to give your details then.” The activist replied: “Yes, I only need to give them if I have been anti-social and I haven’t”, To which PCSO 9118 stated “OK, you will be arrested then” and called for back up.
Ten minutes later a male officer, PC 1931 and Sergeant 1958 arrived at the scene and entered the travel agents after asking if anyone had been inside to which the activist responded: “No, you have been watching on CCTV so you know that”.
Moments later the Sergeant calls in the PC, exits and proceeds to inform the activist that he is being arrested under Section 5 of the public order act.
The activist then sat down on the floor and went limp. Handcuffs are then placed on the activist, who is asked by the PC: “Are you going to resist?” The activist replied “No.” (Passive resistance is not resisting arrest; you are fully within your rights to go limp when officers try to arrest you).
The male PC twisted the cuffs causing a cut on the wrists of the activist and considerable bruising after veins were broken.
The officers then called for back up as it is apparent they will not be able to lift an 18+ stone man into a police car by themselves, even if they are resulting to assault to get him in the car.
Minute’s later two male police officers tried and failed to lift the activist. Another officer in his wisdom decided to pinch the inside of the activists arm leaving an 11cm bruise (which has been documented by a police doctor – if you are injured by an officer during arrest always ask for a doctor at the station. It is your legal right to be seen by one).
The activist was finally pushed into the car with a crowd of around 100 people shouting at officers for stopping peaceful protest and not doing real police work.
Gloucestershire isn’t becoming a Police state it already is.
*Thomas Cook are being asked to boycott the holiday island of Mauritius because of the trade in wild caught macaque monkeys on the island destined to be tortured in vivisection labs around the world.