>Is this what a police state looks like?

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>Excerpts from the New Statesman post:

“Protestors trickled in down the path from Tower Bridge, dispersing among the crowds of camera-toting tourists and their toddlers, high school volleyball teams on school trips, students and local workers. But what was planned as a protest against the elections and a blockade of the BNP became little more than a demonstration of power by the London Metropolitan Police and the now-notorious Forward Intelligence Team (FIT)…

“However, despite the thousands of leaflets printed advertising the action, and despite the months of planning, postering and stickering, barely one hundred protestors gathered at City Hall for the demonstration. Many stayed home, or at a distance, soured by the persistent police presence at such widely-advertised protests, and wary of further encounters with the FIT team…

“At least two hours before the scheduled 6pm protests, police officers had already established a concentrated perimeter around City Hall, stretching beyond the borders offered by the picturesque London and Tower Bridges. “Suspiciously dressed” passengers were systematically stopped and searched by officers on foot at Underground stops. By five o’clock the small brownfield off the south side of City Hall was filled by 24 police vans encircled by police cameras mounted on tripods and multi-story cranes…

“Police medics and hundreds of police officers swarmed around City Hall, patrolling the area in pairs, equipped with earpieces and accompanied by the FIT-team outfitted in blue vests. As demonstrators arrived in small groups, FIT-team officers slowed into motion, tailing individuals, photographing groups of would-be protestors, stopping and searching anyone wearing a black hooded sweatshirt.”

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