Thursday, April 02, 2009

BBC silent on dead demonstrator

Why is the British press so quiet about yesterday's casualty?

Predictably, reports of yesterday's confrontation between protesters and the police are diverging considerably. The Daily Mail focuses on the fact that "officers were pelted with bottles", adding that "anarchists hijacked protests in the City. They clashed with baton-wielding officers and ransacked a bank as they taunted police and bombarded them with missiles". The Mail's account is exactly in line with their industrial quantities of scaremongering in the run-up to the demo.

But a look elsewhere shows a different story. A number of independent bloggers (see here, here and here), as well as Rowena Davis and George Monbiot in the Guardian, tell something else: the tale of a crowd completely hemmed in by the police with thousands of people not allowed to leave the demonstration or go anywhere. As tension rose, many asked for an explanation. The officers' reply was to simply to take down details of those asking questions.

The demonstrators complained of feeling claustrophobic. As we wrote last night, the foreign press were the only ones to write that a man died during the stand-off. It appears that his heart gave way and the only way to get help was for the demonstrators to alert the police that the man had collapsed.

Now, is it coincidence that the BBC and the main press organs are saying nothing to very little about it? A man dying during an international summit doesn't reflect well on the host country, as the Italian police discovered during the disastrous G8 meeting of 2001, but for the BBC to literally say nought about it on their website smells of vintage Soviet behaviour. Could it just be that showing the consequences of having thousands of people cordoned off for hours and hours by the London police may not look too good to the international public?

5 comments:

MJW said...

Interestingly the Guardian is reporting that when Police medics tried to treat him they were pelted with bottles by protestors. Nice way to show solidarity.

Emiliano said...

Further proof that the BBC is willing to overlook the truth in order to keep Whitehall happy. They can't get away with it these days, as we have access to foreign media...

claude said...

In the old days of those crumbling communist regimes, people would learn about stuff from abroad, from West German radios or similar.

Yesterday, Her Majesty's subjects had a taste of it.

claude said...

MJW,
you need to be a little more critical of what you read in the press. The stuff that "Police medics tried to treat him they were pelted with bottles by protestors" was taken back by several papers.
It was basically bullshit.

More to be found out here

harpymarx said...

"It was basically bullshit."

Spot-on Claude.

And kettling is nothing more than collective punishment used by the State combined with controlling people by using brutal casual violence by the cops.

Will we ever establish the truth in how this man died? I don't hold much hope.