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Teenage girl faces jail over G20 violence
Seventeen-year-old admits smashing window and computer in attack on Royal Bank of Scotland branch during G20 protests
* Anil Dawar and agencies
* guardian.co.uk, Friday 3 April 2009 17.11 BST
Police react to G20 protesters as they block access to a branch of RBS in London.
A teenage girl has been told she faces a prison sentence after admitting smashing a computer monitor and a window in an attack on the Royal Bank of Scotland's City branch during the G20 protests in London.
The 17-year-old, from Scotland, pleaded guilty at West London youth court to criminal damage and burglary.
The teenager, who travelled to London specifically for the demonstration, had drunk up to four cans of strong lager before donning a mask and joining other protesters, the court heard.
In mitigation, the girl's solicitor, Miranda Ching, said her client came from an unconventional background, having left school at 13 and living an itinerant lifestyle at a series of protest sites, including a long-established roads demonstration in Edinburgh.
Describing the scene when the girl was arrested, Ching said: "It was complete chaos, people running around everywhere, police shouting. She had no specific intention of entering the building, no specific intention of causing damage. However, she was vastly influenced by her friends."
Ching said the girl was "remorseful" and had "made a rash decision". "The events of 1 April were very exceptional circumstances," she added.
Judge Jeremy Coleman warned the defendant, who cannot be named because of her age, she could be jailed when she is sentenced on 24 April.
Meanwhile, a Lithuanian G20 protester was remanded in custody at City of Westminster magistrates court after being charged with arson recklessly endangering life at the RBS building.
Prosecutors alleged that Mindaugas Lenartavicius, 21, helped other demonstrators get into the bank through broken windows and repeatedly tried to set fire to blinds using a cigarette lighter.
The man, who lives in Palmers Green, north London, was among four people arrested at the bank, during demonstrations in the City on Wednesday.
His attempts to start a fire in the building put the lives of staff and other demonstrators at risk, the court was told.
Lenartavicius is scheduled to appear at Southwark crown court on 4 June.
Meanwhile, the photograph posted with that article shows State boot boys not "recklessly endangering life" in any way, shape or form.Meanwhile, a Lithuanian G20 protester was remanded in custody at City of Westminster magistrates court after being charged with arson recklessly endangering life at the RBS building.
G20 protests: RBS bank vandalised as protests turn violent
By Mirror.co.uk 1/04/2009
A violent mob targeted a Royal Bank of Scotland building in the City of London today as the G20 protests spiralled into violence.
Windows were smashed and a group of demonstrators - their faces covered by bandanas - entered the building near the Bank of England.
Around the branch, which is believed to be empty, hundreds of demonstrators charged police lines as officers hit back with baton charges.
A group of 4,000 were penned in by officers who cordoned off surrounding streets amid what Scotland Yard called "increasing levels of violence".
At least one officer was injured as RBS became a flashpoint for what had been peaceful protests.
A printer and other office equipment was thrown out of the window and graffiti daubed on the side of the building.
Hundreds of protesters cheered as a blue office chair was used to smash one of the blacked-out branch windows.
At around 2pm a line of police - backed up by a line of mounted officers - began to slowly attempt to move protesters back down Bartholomew Lane and into Threadneedle Street.
Demonstrators continued to hurl missiles at broken windows at the RBS and attempted to break down a door.
Police in riot gear could be seen inside the building, filming the demonstrators.
One protester with a megaphone yelled: "Push the police back. These are our streets."
The demonstrators then began to chant: "Our streets."
Protesters also let off a fire extinguisher into a broken RBS window.
Mounted police blocked off Bartholomew Lane as protesters continued to smash windows at the RBS building.
Vandals sprayed graffiti on to the windows including one, wearing a scarf over his face, who spray painted the word "burn".
In Threadneedle Street, police wearing helmets and carrying shields continued to hold a line against the demonstrators.
At around 2.15pm, lines of police in Threadneedle Street began to push demonstrators back using riot shields.< At least one protester was seized by officers.< Officers drew batons as they clashed
STOP THE WAR COALITION
3 April 2009
Tel: 020 7801 2768
EMERGENCY PROTEST MARCH AGAINST POLICE
BRUTALITY ON G20 DEMONSTRATIONS
ASSEMBLE 12PM SATURDAY 4 APRIL BANK OF ENGLAND
MARCH TO BETHNAL GREEN POLICE STATION
Stop the War is supporting the protest march against the police brutality on
the G20 London demonstrations this week. Not only were these marches attacked
but the recent demonstrations against the invasion and blockade of Gaza were
also met with extreme force from the Metropolitan police. It would seem that
the police have taken it upon themselves to deny the right to peaceful protest.
The protest march will also be to express compassion with the family of
Ian Tomlinson who tragically died during the 1 April protests at the Bank
of England. The march organisers are calling for an independent public inquiry
into the instances of police violence that occurred thoughout the week and to
establish the full circumstances of Ian Tomlinson's death.
Police 'assaulted' bystander who died during G20 protests
* Mark Townsend and Paul Lewis
* The Observer, Sunday 5 April 2009
The man who died during last week's G20 protests was "assaulted" by riot police shortly before he suffered a heart attack, according to witness statements received by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
Investigators are examining a series of corroborative accounts that allege Ian Tomlinson, 47, was a victim of police violence in the moments before he collapsed near the Bank of England in the City of London last Wednesday evening. Three witnesses have told the Observer that Mr Tomlinson was attacked violently as he made his way home from work at a nearby newsagents. One claims he was struck on the head with a baton.
Photographer Anna Branthwaite said: "I can remember seeing Ian Tomlinson. He was rushed from behind by a riot officer with a helmet and shield two or three minutes before he collapsed." Branthwaite, an experienced press photographer, has made a statement to the IPCC.
Another independent statement supports allegations of police violence. Amiri Howe, 24, recalled seeing Mr Tomlinson being hit "near the head" with a police baton. Howe took one of a sequence of photographs that show a clearly dazed Mr Tomlinson being helped by a bystander.
A female protester, who does not want to be named but has given her testimony to the IPCC, said she saw a man she later recognised as Tomlinson being pushed aggressively from behind by officers. "I saw a man violently propelled forward, as though he'd been flung by the arm, and fall forward on his head.
"He hit the top front area of his head on the pavement. I noticed his fall particularly because it struck me as a horrifically forceful push by a policeman and an especially hard fall; it made me wince."
Mr Tomlinson, a married man who lived alone in a bail hostel, was not taking part in the protests. Initially, his death was attributed by a police post mortem to natural causes. A City of London police statement said: "[He] suffered a sudden heart attack while on his way home from work."
But this version of events was challenged after witnesses recognised the dead man from photographs that were published on Friday.
An IPCC statement was due to be released the same day and is understood to have portrayed the death as a tragic accident. However, the statement's release was postponed as the complaints body received information that police officers may have been more involved in events than previously thought. An IPCC spokesman said yesterday that in light of new statements it was "assessing" the information it had received before deciding whether to launch a full investigation.
Part of the commission's inquiries will involve the examination of CCTV footage from the area.
Liberal Democrat MP David Howarth said: "Eventually there will have to be a full inquest with a jury. It is a possibility this death was at police hands."
A police source told the Observer that Mr Tomlinson appears to have become caught between police lines and protesters, with officers chasing back demonstrators during skirmishes. He was seen stumbling before he collapsed and died on Cornhill Street, opposite St Michael's Alley, around 7.25pm.
At around 7.10pm, protesters had gathered outside the police cordon to call for those contained inside - some for hours - to be let out. Officers with batons and shields attempted to clear them from the road.
Around 7.20pm, five riot police, and a line of officers with dogs, emerged from Royal Exchange Square, a pedestrian side street. Three images taken around this time show Mr Tomlinson on the pavement, in front of five riot police, and in apparent distress. He had one arm in the air, and appeared to be in discussion with the officers.
Mr Tomlinson then appears to have been lifted to his feet by a bystander. Minutes later he fell to the ground. "We saw this guy staggering around," said Natalie Langford, 21, a student. "He looked disorientated. About five seconds later he fell, and I grabbed my friends to help him."
Police have claimed that when paramedics tried to move Mr Tomlinson away for urgent treatment, bottles were thrown at them by protesters. He was later pronounced dead at hospital.
Branthwaite added: "He [Mr Tomlinson] was not a mouthy kid or causing problems, but the police seemed to have lost control and were trying to push protesters back. The police had started to filter people into a side street off Cornhill. There were a few stragglers who were just walking through between the police and protesters. Mr Tomlinson was one of those."
The police tactics during the G20 protests were condemned in the aftermath of the demonstrations. The clearance of a climate camp along Bishopsgate by riot police with batons and dogs after nightfall on Wednesday came in for particular criticism.
Protesters marched to Bethnal Green police station in east London yesterday to demand a public inquiry into Mr Tomlinson's death.
April 4, 2009
By Michael Greenwell
A protestor has died at the G20 protests in London.
I have been keeping a close watch on BBC and Indymedia to see how it is being reported.
I have little hope of finding out what actually happened - especially from the BBC who, along with most other major broadcasters, absolutely revel in being as biased as possible on these occasions.
As it goes, the BBC first reported that…
“One man collapsed and died at the protest, police said, and at least 87 arrests were made.”
This was later changed to…
…the circumstances behind the death of a man who was involved in the protests has been referred to The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
Police said the man, thought to be in his 40s, died on Wednesday evening after bottles were thrown at him and he collapsed.
Scotland Yard said he was found unconscious near the Bank of England on Wednesday evening and the London Ambulance Service took him to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
IPCC investigators will examine CCTV footage and attend the post-mortem examination.
They don’t seem to be interested in asking why some people saw fit to report it to Independent Police Complaints Commission. It must be official ‘non-information’ in the double-plus ungood category.
Someone on Indymedia said…
“The circumstances are currently unclear, but he died inside a police cordon (or kettle) where police had crushed and baton charged protesters.”
The police may be telling the truth or they may not be. But don’t hold great hopes for the ‘Independent’ police complaints commission report. Remember Jean Charles De Menezes?
Here is how this is all probably going to go if previous similar events are anything to go by..
1. There will be initial sympathy for the deceased and his family, followed by a series of rightwing lunatics in the press writing ‘it was his own fault/shouldn’t have been there in the first place/lousy malcontent’ sort of articles.
2. The police report will take so long to come that if it transpires that the police were out of order and the report says that, it will be so far from now that any indignation that remains in the majority of the public will have long vanished behind the next football match/royal event or other assorted nonsense.
This is a very short article and I just want to make one small point and ask one simple question on more general issues. The small point is that yes, there are lunatics out there but in any form of sane society the worst, greediest, most egotistical and bloodthirsty ones wouldn’t be the ones controlling it from inside the most beautiful buildings.
The second is that if they are ‘our’ representatives truly fighting to work for the interests of the people of the world, why do they need so much protection from the very people they claim to represent?