Reports emerge of similar police tactics in other cities – reports here from Bristol, Glasgow and Edinburgh

A picture is starting to emerge which suggests the arrests in Newcastle are part of a wider picture across Britain of a policing strategy aimed at harassing, intimidating and gathering information on anti-cuts activists, in addition to the arrests and more extreme police violence in London. Below we repost a report by Edinburgh University Anti-Cuts Coalition, and similar reports are emerging from Bristol, with one account here and a defence campaign reportedly being launched in the new year, and from Glasgow. Far from scaring people off the streets, these actions by the police are only increasing determination among anti-cuts activists, and providing a rapid education in the nature of the British police and their subservience to corporate and banking interests.

From, submitted on 2010/12/22 at 5:43 pm

Edinburgh has been facing similar tactics of intimidation by the police. On numerous occasions members of the group have been stopped in the street and asked for their details (Under Scots law anyone can be stopped and asked for their details by a police officer if they are suspected of being involved, or a witness of, a crime). On one occasion the police cited ‘assault’, we believe this to be in relation to police officers being hit by snow balls. On another occasion they cited ‘criminal damage’, almost an hour after a brief protest that left no damage whatsoever. On the first occasion three people were stopped, all gave their details. On the second, six were stopped (with a significant amount of force used). Three refused to give their details, were arrested and charged (DNA and photos taken). They are currently on bail.

The police are using the limits of their powers to collect details and intimidate peaceful protesters.

On both the occasions cited (the only that I have the full details for), plain clothed police officers were used.

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