Around a hundred people gathered outside the swanky entrance of 1 Commercial Street – a luxury block of flats with a handful of social housing properties included. A weekly demonstration has been held outside the building ever since it emerged that the tenants living in social housing are forced to use a different door to the toffs occupying the posh flats.
Last night’s protest saw an effigy of London Mayor Boris Johnson burst into flames whilst an angry mob chanted “Burn Boris Burn”. A heavy police presence looked on, but the mood remained jovial and defiant as people waved sparklers, whilst occassional red flares added some Bonfire Night pizazz. After Boris was reduced to a pile of simmering embers, a clearly amused member of the fire brigade tipped water over the Mayor’s remains after instructions from police.
The protest, as on previous weeks, was scheduled to end at 7pm. At around five to seven, just as things were starting to wind down, police lurched into the crowd grabbing several of the fantastically named Class War Women’s Death Brigade who were dancing with a banner. Their target was Jane Nicholl, a member of the group and long standing supporter of the Poor Doors protest. Despite valiant attempts from the crowd to release her, Jane was bundled into the back of a police van which was then promptly surrounded by protesters shocked at this senseless and unprovoked arrest. Police reinforcements soon arrived and punchy coppers with dogs began to push protesters away leading to one more person being detained.
The arrest of Jane Nicholl, who was refused her medication and threatened with ludicrous arson charges, reveals a sinister pattern of events. The only previous arrest at the these protests was of her partner and anarchist blogger Ian Bone, a high profile member of Class War who helped to instigate the demonstrations It appears that the police are trying to force people off the streets by targetting and arresting those they have decided are ring leaders. The only possible response to that is for as many people as possible to get down to next week’s Poor Doors protest and show the bastards we will not be intimidated.
Both Jane and the other person arrested were finally relased in the middle of the night. Freedom Bookshop have issued a call for witness statements to help with any upcoming court cases.
Please helps spread the word: Poor Doors Demo, every Wednesday, 6pm, 1 Commercial Street, E1, next to Aldgate East tube
Pic: Guy Smallman
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