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Winwick Quay, November 29, 1983

Started by Dave Hughes, October 09, 2022, 12:02:58 AM

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Dave Hughes

As someone who was arrested on trumped-up charges on this picket line, I am very grateful to Alan Royston for posting this poem. I have not seen it before, and it brought back some unpleasant memories.

We were not victorious in this dispute, as with so many, but my conscience is clear. To quote the late Bob Crow (RMT) "If you fight you might lose, but if you don't fight you will always lose."

I hope the police who were there that night spent their overtime money wisely, and are able to live with their consciences.

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Dave Hughes

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Stockport Messenger dispute of 1983 Alan Royston has recommended this recently-published book, which he has contributed to.

Here's the blurb from Amazon:

Charged is an essential investigation into the role of policing protest in Britain today. As the UK government tries to suppress all forms of dissent, in their pursuit of more control, how do the police manage crowds, provoke violence and even break the law?

Since the 1980s under successive governments the police have been allowed to suppress protests, using aggressive tactics - from batons to horse charges to kettling. The landscape of how police deal with protest changed following criticism of the police during the 1981 Brixton riots. New military-style tactics were sanctioned by the Thatcher government, in secret. Over the next forty years those protesting against racism, unfair job losses, draconian laws, or for environmental protection were subject to brutal tactics. In the aftermath, media attention denigrates protesters while the police are praised and continue to act with impunity.

Looking through these moments of conflict widens our understanding of policing public order to reveal the true character of the state. Since the 1980s successive governments, from Thatcher to Johnson, covertly plot to suppress protests, using standardised aggressive tactics - from batons to horse charges to kettling. Through undisclosed documents and eyewitness accounts the authors reveal organised police violence against miners at Orgreave, print workers at Warrington, anti poll tax campaigners, student protestors and Black Lives Matter. The voices of protesters however have been undeterred.

Here's a link to the book on Amazon (UK): Charged: How the Police Try to Suppress Protest

And the US version: Charged: How the Police Try to Suppress Protest

At the time of writing if you use the "Look Inside" feature on the Amazon website it is possible to read Chapter One of the book, which covers the Stockport Messenger dispute, almost in its entirity.

Here's the start of the chapter:

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