Police at Gaza demo ‘caused stampede’

By René Lavanchy |

FURTHER allegations of police brutality at last Saturday’s demonstration against the Gaza violence have emerged, as activists promise to take up complaints with the Metropolitan Police.

A steward told Tribune that children and babies risked being crushed in a “stampede” in an underpass as police baton-charged the demonstrators.

The trouble occurred when a portion of the protesters who had marched uneventfully on Trafalgar Square headed towards the Israeli Embassy, under police supervision.

Tansy Hoskins, a steward and member of organisers Stop the War Coalition, said: “The police sort of sprinted down the tunnel and really laid into people. This obviously led to people turning and stampeding back”.

“There were people with pushchairs, families with children. The police didn’t care about any of this. I was incredibly scared. There was nowhere to go.” The StWC is gathering statements for a complaint.

A police spokesperson said officers made one advance into the crowd using “recognised and proportionate tactics”, and that some protesters had thrown missiles and tried to drag police into the crowd.