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Posted by Editor on 2nd April 2009 at 06:13 PM
Video update: G20 Protester's death - the eyewitness account

by Martin Baxter in London

Witnesses to the death of a man during yesterday’s G20 protests in the City of London have called for an official enquiry into the incident after seeing what they believe was a murder on the streets of London.

Ian Tomlinson, 47, was apparently on his way home from work as a newsagent, and allegedly collapsed and suffered a heart attack during the protest.

The allegations were made after the widow of the man today lead a march for her partner who she said “died for the crimes of capitalism.”

One female witness who wished to remain anonymous talked of “police brutality and heartlessness” and directly implicated members of the police force in the “murder” of the protester who, in tributes left outside the Royal Exchange in the city, was described as a “hero.”

She spoke of the “unwarranted” attack made by “masked policemen in riot gear.” After being struck in the head by a police baton she said the man was then bloodied and left unconscious on the street.

Ian Tomlinson collapsed in St Michael's Alley close to the junction of Birchin Lane and Cornhill at 7.30pm.

She said the police had formed an “animal pen” around the protesters to contain what was slowly becoming a heated encounter.

In a statement made on behalf of the dead man's wife, witnesses were urged to come forward and give statements to expose what was called “the failures of both the police and members of the media in the accurate reporting of yesterdays incident.”

Today’s memorial procession began just metres from the RBS headquarters in The City, that has in recent times become the symbol of corporate capitalism, culminating in a gathering of over 200 protesters, journalists and passers-by who joined those in grief for the man described as a “brother of the revolution.”

A police spokesman said officer sent in police medics through the cordon line and into St Michael's Alley, where they found a man who had stopped breathing.

The officers then apparently took the decision to move him as, during this time, a number of missiles ,believed to be plastic bottles, were being thrown at them."

The death has since been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

A spokesman said: "IPCC investigators will be assessing the circumstances throughout the day. They will be examining CCTV and attending the post-mortem this afternoon, as is usual in cases of this nature.

"When all the available information has been assessed, the IPCC will make a decision about the level of involvement it needs to have in progressing the investigation into this case."



Related Links

Very interesting blog post about the importance (or not) or protests click here
To watch the video of when Tomlinson was struck by police click here
Report as offensive or innapropriate Comment by Guest  8th April 2009
Now a classic exercise of whitewash/cover-up is being employed by the police. This has been done for many years and was very strong in the 1980's. Now that many of the public have phones with cameras the police, who once were distinguished by numbers on their shoulders (changed policy in the 1980's), are now being anonymous while on duty. This is to allow further policing travesties to be done. It will not be long before protesters will defend themselves from policing tactics(???) even though they wear riot gear. The police should adopt a more reasonable attitude as they too can be, and are, filmed by many sources. They once used this tactic to make protesters feel uncomfortable. Now they too should feel they are being watched.

Report as offensive or innapropriate Comment by Guest  8th April 2009
************"she said the man was then bloodied and left unconscious on the street" He looked dazed, but there was not a scratch on him. Not 1 drop of blood (unless it was on the back of his head?) "collapsed in St Michael's Alley close to the junction of Birchin Lane and Cornhill at 7.30pm" I didn't see any police near him. He was lying outside the Starbucks on Cornhill. Look on google maps - there's no alley near to that. "during this time, a number of missiles ,believed to be plastic bottles, were being thrown at them" It was glass bottles. Plastic dowsn't shatter and rain down on you. Too many inconcistencies in this article.******** I just wonder if whoever wrote this was actually there? or are you like the majority of people who just talk with no real substance? The Guardian video indeed discounts some aspects of this witnesses account but thats only in relation to Ian Tomlinson- given the indiscriminate police brutality is it not plausible to imagine that this account could have happened to someone? The Guardian video also shows a 'single' plastic bottle being thrown- forgive me if I didn't see- what was it you said- "Glass raining down on people?" or something else completely ridiculous... Finally, I spoke to the police who moments after released the official press release. Their official report stated that he was found on St Michael's Alley close to the junction of Birchin Lane and Cornhill...He was also moved... If you were genuinely a witness to this incident and I think its apparent that you aren't then get in touch with Bindman's Solicitors in Kings Cross, London on 02078334433...

Report as offensive or innapropriate Comment by Guest  8th April 2009
And now there's video on the Guardian website of Mr Tomlinson being attacked from behind by a policeman in full riot gear. The policeman first striking him on the leg with his baton and then pushing him to the ground, The police then just stand around whilst a civilain helps Mr Tomlinson. There can be no doubt that the attack was unnecessary and unprovoked. If that was a member of the public on CCTV it would be manslaughter at the least. Remember that photographing policemen is now illegal, anyone wonder why?

Report as offensive or innapropriate Comment by Guest  8th April 2009
what next? the police going to use tanks to stop protesters, they tried that in china didnt they? or maybe gordon browns socialist bullies(the police) have forgot to inform us that we no longer live in a democracy, and showing your disgust in public is outlawed

Report as offensive or innapropriate Comment by Guest  7th April 2009
The Metropolitan Police: New Liebour's Storm Troopers strike again.

Report as offensive or innapropriate Comment by Guest  7th April 2009
Accidents unfortunaly happen, If you like at every other heated confrontation with the Met, no deaths whatsoever. I doubt very much he was the victim of police Brutality as some emotionaly charged individuals would like to assume, the police are working class folk like yourself and me trying to do their job under exceptional circumstances, I would invite any G20 protester to try organise and police such a demonstration. The woman in the video is an idiot, her statement is contradicted by 15 other witnesses, she would like beleive like many others on that day that we live in some kind of facist police state with no democracy, if we did how come she is speaking freely? I doubt if she even knows what a facist, Nazi or police state is.

Report as offensive or innapropriate Comment by Guest  6th April 2009
Its about time this brutal government attack dog, known as the police is bought to justice for its sickening attacks on the innocent.R.I.P Millwall man

Report as offensive or innapropriate Comment by Guest  6th April 2009
This is tragic, whichever way it is viewed, whether protestor or newsagent, brutality or heart attack. A man died and the police were responsible, whether directly or indirectly, baton or cordon. My heart goes out to all those grieving. May answers be found and Ian rest in peace.

Report as offensive or innapropriate Comment by Guest  6th April 2009
I think this "eyewitness" is confusing the man who had a heart attack with a protester who was hit on the head by police and was covered in blood. Ian Tomlinson was not covered in blood when he died.

Report as offensive or innapropriate Comment by Guest  6th April 2009
"she said the man was then bloodied and left unconscious on the street" He looked dazed, but there was not a scratch on him. Not 1 drop of blood (unless it was on the back of his head?) "collapsed in St Michael's Alley close to the junction of Birchin Lane and Cornhill at 7.30pm" I didn't see any police near him. He was lying outside the Starbucks on Cornhill. Look on google maps - there's no alley near to that. "during this time, a number of missiles ,believed to be plastic bottles, were being thrown at them" It was glass bottles. Plastic dowsn't shatter and rain down on you. Too many inconcistencies in this article

Report as offensive or innapropriate Comment by Guest  6th April 2009
police brutality and media corruption

Report as offensive or innapropriate Comment by Guest  6th April 2009
everyone lies police brutality and media corruption !

Report as offensive or innapropriate Comment by Guest  5th April 2009
"...why would anybody go on a march your brain dead get a job." [sic] Really are some morons out there, aren't there?

Report as offensive or innapropriate Comment by Guest  5th April 2009
Blame the police for everything why don’t you shouldn’t go on protest it’s a waste of time and where would you get the time.

Report as offensive or innapropriate Comment by Guest  5th April 2009
the police batter people without recorse, of course the occasional unfortunate will die. nothing will change

Report as offensive or innapropriate Comment by Guest  5th April 2009
Your lying you need to get some help with that fertile imagination and why would anybody go on any march your brain dead get a job.

Report as offensive or innapropriate Comment by Guest  5th April 2009
I was there too and the police brutality was shocking. I saw two familes with very small babies, I mean a few months old get kettled in at 11.45am and straight away they begged to leave and the police said no. We all cried 'lets the babies go' and they wouldnt. There was also a couple of tourists who were told that they would be lucky to get out by nighttime. When asked where we should go to the toilet, the reply was piss in the street. So we had to. Some where held in that kettle for hours. I broke free with a masss of people at about 2.30pm and went to climate camp. There I was kettled in till 11.30pm and saw terrible acts of violence on peaceful protesters with the hands raised and scrteaming this is not a riot and shame on you. Everyone who was there should come forward and write up your account. Let flood the internet with the truth.....

Report as offensive or innapropriate Comment by Guest  3rd April 2009
I didn't see this, but was in the procession from Liverpool Street, which was denied access to the area outside the Royal Exchange, where all the other marches had congregated. Police formed two lines to separate the crowds, which were peaceful and happy. Once the first Police lines had been breached, the Police again formed two lines in Threadneedle street, nearer to the RBS. Another series of pushes and shoves took place, and the Police again left the march lines, so that those attempting to meet up did so outside the (unprotected) RBS. So the press got their pictures, the Bank was dubbed the target of anti-capitalist rage (whereas it is the system) and the Riots of the City were duly recorded on media around the world. This entire incident took about 1/2 hour - I was in the crowd. Then we were corralled for three hours, until I was able to leave the Royal Exhange/Threadneedle Street area, and during that time there was a peaceful happy atmosphere with musicians and sound systems entertaining the crowds. All Police operations were commanded - and crowds filmed - from the Bank of England Building itself.

Report as offensive or innapropriate Comment by Guest  3rd April 2009
my sympathy's to the family. God bless you. I hope you get all the answers you deserve. This should never have happened.

Report as offensive or innapropriate Comment by Guest  3rd April 2009
This only confirms a pattern of behaviour by the Metropolitan Police which we saw a few years ago in the shooting of Jean-Charles de Menezes and the subsequent organised campaign to exonerate the perpetrators. Our sympathies to the widow and friends of the victim. Tobias Abse and Jane Ennis

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