The police violence at the climate change protest camp at Kingsnorth, Kent this summer was well documented. The Home Office however reported that 70 police officers were hurt. This has proven to be a lie:
Vernon Coaker, the Home Office minister, told MPs at Commons question time yesterday: “I was informed that 70 police officers were hurt and naturally assumed that they had been hurt in direct contact as a result of the protest. That clearly wasn’t the case and I apologise if that caused anybody to be misled.”
Not a single police officer was hurt by protesters. Not one.
Instead, police records showed that their medical unit had dealt mostly with toothache, diarrhoea, cut fingers and “possible bee stings”.
Politicians across the spectrum are starting to appreciate that the police behaviour was unacceptable and wrong by any reasonable measure:
Labour’s David Taylor said: “When people expressed concerns about the vigour and resources devoted by the police to the Kingsnorth climate camp, we were told that it was justified because there were dozens of injuries that occurred. Unless the protesters are to be held responsible for wasps and the weather, aren’t we to conclude that the justification used at that time was wholly bogus and vacuous?”
Yes. It means there was no justification for the police violence whatsoever. And it’s telling that the truth was only uncovered by a Freedom of Information request, otherwise they’d have got away with spinning their way out of it. This was an example of the police being used all too willingly in political repression and their political masters having no problem with it at all.