Ira Berkovic picked up a copy of the Metropolitan Police’s “Total Policing” leaflet on the 20 October TUC demonstration.
If it was more honest, it would have said something like this…
The Metropolitan Police Service hopes that you stay at home.
However, if you insist on demonstrating, we are here to make sure you only do it within strictly defined parameters and with constant reminders that we are in charge. This leaflet explains how the demonstration will be policed.
What you can expect to see?
A large police presence. We’re clever about this, because we’ll do a “good-cop” thing by having the nice, smiley cops in the sky-blue tabards wandering around giving out these leaflets, but we’ll also make sure you get a look at mounted cops and the Territorial Support Group, who might be filming you, so you won’t get any dangerous ideas about deviating from the planned route or taking any more impacting direct action. Don’t fuck with us.
You can also expect to see us maintaining heavy presences around shops that we think you might target. Because although we say we’re “here to facilitate a safe and peaceful protest”, we’re really here to protect the interests of private property. Don’t fuck with it… or us.
What will officers be wearing?
In the main you can expect to see officers in yellow jackets and traditional police hats. If violence or disorder takes place, however, we will tool up.
We’re talking visors, shields, night-sticks, and specially-trained two-tonne animals. We also have 50,000 volt tasers, and we’re not afraid to use them… especially if you’re a 61-year-old, blind stroke victim.* Don’t fuck with us.
What if I become a victim of crime?
Depends who commits it. If it’s us... forget about it. Since 1990, more than 1,400 people have died in police custody or after contact with the police. Not a single police officer has ever been convicted for any of this. On 9 December 2010, we beat student protester Alfie Meadows to within an inch of his life. But he was the one who ended up in the dock. Don’t fuck with us.
What if there is violence or disorder?
We can’t be held responsible. And we won’t be. Don’t fuck with us.
What if I want to make a complaint?
Haha. Good luck.
* Colin Farmer was recently tasered in the back by police after they mistook his white stick for “a samurai sword”.