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Jody McIntyre was pulled from his wheelchair twice by police at Thursday's Student protest, this is his account of the day.

Jody McIntyre

It was referred to as ‘Day X’, the ‘Day Parliament Would Vote On Tuition Fees’. For us, the momentum had to continue.

When I first arrived in Parliament Square yesterday, however, it seemed that the opposite had happened. It was good to see thousands of students packing out the Square as “our” politicians sat cocooned in a bubble just across the road, but the lack of action was somewhat disheartening. You don’t bring down governments by standing around and shuffling your feet.

It wasn’t long before my qualms were settled. People began running toward the far end of Parliament Square, and we followed. As we got to the front of the crowd, it was clear that the police were desperate for violence. This does not come as a surprise; of course, it is the job of the police to protect the government. Nothing is a bigger threat to the government than the scenes we saw on the last student march of November 30th; thousands of students spontaneously marching across central London, without permission from the police, and not an ounce of violence. So how do they combat that threat? They attack us.

When we reached the front, the batons began to fly. One came landing straight onto my left shoulder, sending a sharp, shooting pain down my arm. Others were taking blows to the head. Children, women, men, all being brutalised by the police. Then the horses came, horses that could easily kill people, but we would not budge. We held our ground.

Suddenly, four policemen grabbed my shoulders and pulled me out of my wheelchair. My friends and younger brother struggled to pull me back, but were beaten away with batons. The police carried me away. Around five minutes later, my younger brother was also forced through, the wheelchair still in his hands.

A crowd of around 200 had by now gathered on the other side of the police lines. We turned, and began marching, running, in the opposite direction. Morale was high. Anger at the government was even higher. Kicks and punches were thrown as we passed the Department of Education.

Eventually, we found ourselves back at Parliament Square, this time approaching from the side of the now-infamous Millbank. Riot police came charging our way, but now they looked weak. Mounted police were just behind, waiting to charge.

Somehow, me and Finlay managed to weave our way through the police line. We found ourselves in a large no-mans-land, in between the riot police trying to stop the crowd, and the police horses getting ready to charge. I turned in my wheelchair to face the police. “Move out of the way!” one of the mounted police shouted at me. I shook my head.

From the corner of my eye, I spotted one of the policemen from the earlier incident. He recognised me immediately. Officer KF936 came charging towards me. Tipping the wheelchair to the side, he pushed me onto the concrete, before grabbing my arms and dragging me across the road. The crowd of 200 ran and surrounded him. I got back up and stood in front of the horses.

When I finally got home at 5am, exhausted but pleased at what can only be seen as a victory, I found that the picture of me being pulled from my wheelchair had been creating a bit of a storm online. But I am not the real victim. The real victims of yesterday are people like Alfie Meadows; a 20 year-old student who was rushed to hospital for emergency brain surgery after internal bleeding caused by police truncheons.

We need a change, and we need it now.

From Life on Wheels

Comments   

 
#1 MrJanus Avivson 2010-12-12 20:48
more well documented comments like that should be sent to local MPs and media and a court case should be prepared in order to make such behaviour of Police officers simply illegal. And let's the courts decide who is on the side of the law here.
 
 
#2 RE: Jody McIntyre: Account of student protester dragged from wheelchair by riot policeJane 2010-12-16 13:41
Quoting Janus Avivson:
more well documented comments like that should be sent to local MPs and media and a court case should be prepared in order to make such behaviour of Police officers simply illegal. And let's the courts decide who is on the side of the law here.

If Mr McIntyre was swearing at Police, then the Police took the appropriate action. They would have been slated more if they would have arrested him by pushing him away in his chair. I think people only hear one side of the story here, the Police have a terrible job sorting this out. Being in a wheelchair doesn't make you an angel.
 
 
#3 Defence of the StateAaron Gooch 2010-12-16 23:56
You state that "suddenly four policemen grabbed my shoulders and pulled me out of my wheelchair" as if this is wholly unacceptable behaviour. How else can those who enforce our law deal with those who require wheelchairs? Though it may not be pleasant treatment, neither is forcing the police to act in retaliatory manner to an obviously aggressive threat. I am not simply throwing the word "threat" in there without reason, after all you state in this article that you were told to "move out of the way", however, in your words, "I shook my head". This clearly demonstrates that you ignored a warning that, regardless of what you insinuate is his intention, may have been beneficial to your own health and safety. Not only that but surely that means you are hindering the police in their efforts to uphold the law.

You mention that "kicks and punches were thrown" but who by? Is this the police trying to control the riot that is occurring before them, in front of what is the most influential political building in Britain, or is this by the aggravated student protestors against the police? Either way, I condemn such actions, as attacking the police is a criminal offence regardless of the motive, and if the police are facing overwhelming numbers (which is the impression I receive from this article) then they reacted in the according manner.

I am sat here with a university student who is currently undergoing his second year in a politics course. He does not disagree with me. He does not agree with the tuition fees increasing, but neither does he agree with the nature of the protests that have occurred in reaction to budget. In his view, our education system is second to none, and as such, or unacceptable, even though it is not favourable. He would almost claim that every time there is a protest in favour of a left-wing policy there is something done by the protestors that provoke the police to act aggressively and then complain about the treatment they has. It is provoked violence used to the advantage of the protestors, which is quite frankly disgusting.

I understand the grievances that the student body feel. Understand that there are many other tiers of the government that are feeling the affects of the current budget review, for example HM forces. Could you argue that the sacrifice of theirs is greater than yours, sat so proudly at the front of a "peaceful" march? Do you argue that the sacrifices that have been given by my friends are in vain? I am 21 years old and I have suffered the loss of 4 close friends. Would you say that you, being dragged by four police officers from your wheelchair, are even close to the sacrifices made by my brothers in the line of duty? I ask you to answer this in a most honest forum; in fact, I challenge you to make the point for your cause in a more just and fair way to the one of mine. Why should you challenge government and complain at the alleged brutality of its police officers when my friends and I may die on the frontline?
 
 
#4 who wants to live in a police state?Adrian Cousins 2010-12-17 10:32
Quoting Aaron Gooch:
You state that "suddenly four policemen grabbed my shoulders and pulled me out of my wheelchair" as if this is wholly unacceptable behaviour. How else can those who enforce our law deal with those who require wheelchairs? Though it may not be pleasant treatment, neither is forcing the police to act in retaliatory manner to an obviously aggressive threat. I am not simply throwing the word "threat" in there without reason, after all you state in this article that you were told to "move out of the way", however, in your words, "I shook my head". This clearly demonstrates that you ignored a warning that, regardless of what you insinuate is his intention, may have been beneficial to your own health and safety. Not only that but surely that means you are hindering the police in their efforts to uphold the law.


Aaron, you seem to be confusing civil society with the military. We do not live in a police state. We are not obliged to follow every order issued by those in authority immediately and without question. In fact, neither are those in the military - unless you want to repudiate the law as applied at the Nuremberg trials?

We live in a democracy, where protest is permitted (even in wartime). Jody had a right to protest and a right to be in Parliament Square. Therefore he had the right to refuse to move. In fact protesters couldn't leave Parliament square because the police were preventing them from doing so.
Its disturbing that you consider refusing to move a "threat". This is peaceful resistance.
You consider it a "threat", justyfing any response from the police that they see fit. This is an aggressive, militarised approach to peaceful dissent. It has no place in a democracy - but it would be at home in a police state. Are these the type of 'rules of engagement' you'd like to see on Britains's streets?


Quote:

You mention that "kicks and punches were thrown" but who by?
By the police - Jody can't do that - hence the need for a wheelchair (its called "disabled")


Quote:

Is this the police trying to control the riot that is occurring before them, in front of what is the most influential political building in Britain, or is this by the aggravated student protestors against the police? Either way, I condemn such actions, as attacking the police is a criminal offence regardless of the motive, and if the police are facing overwhelming numbers (which is the impression I receive from this article) then they reacted in the according manner.
Again, we don't live in a police state. If you are being attacked by the police and you feel you are under threat you still have a right to self defence - just because someone is wearing a uniform it doesn't mean they are immune from the law (remember the democracy thing?).

If you bother to look at any of the eyewitness accounts of students who were present (and who didn't take part in any violence) its clear that they were kettled in Parliament square from the beginning, that despite having nowhere to go they were charged by mounted police and baton wielding riot officers. The riot you speak of wasn't conjured up by a few masked anarchists, the violence was a direct result of police tactics, and in fact the violence mainly consisted of police tactics.

Police tactics consisted of unlawfully detaining thousands of peaceful protesters (its called collective punishment), and then charging them on foot and on horesback.

Police tactics consisted largely of violence against people who had committed no criminal offence. Student A throws a stick, so student B (innocent of any criminal activity) is beaten over the head.



Quote:
Could you argue that the sacrifice of theirs is greater than yours, sat so proudly at the front of a "peaceful" march? Do you argue that the sacrifices that have been given by my friends are in vain? I am 21 years old and I have suffered the loss of 4 close friends. Would you say that you, being dragged by four police officers from your wheelchair, are even close to the sacrifices made by my brothers in the line of duty? I ask you to answer this in a most honest forum; in fact, I challenge you to make the point for your cause in a more just and fair way to the one of mine. Why should you challenge government and complain at the alleged brutality of its police officers when my friends and I may die on the frontline?
This is a truly remarkable statement. Firstly, the majority of the public don't support the troops being in Afghanistan. They don't believe that its a war to defend our rights and freedoms and they don't agree with the sacrifice of human life involved.

They oppose it because it is being fought at a time of massive cuts at home and question the wisdom of spending billions on an unwinnable war that has nothing to do with defending their way of life whilst the public sector is cut to ribbons (the real threat to our way of life).

Nobody is saying that being dragged from a wheelchair or hit over the head with a truncheon is the same as being killed are they? So why pose it like that? Its ridiculous (and slightly offensive).

What you are saying is "me and my friends risk death to defend your rights so stop complaining".

The war in Afghanistan is nearly ten years old. That means that all protest in the last ten years is illegitimate in your eyes. And as the war is set to continue for several more years, it means that all future protests will be so too.

You imply that you're defending our rights by fighting in Afghanistan but you attack us for exercising those same rights.

We have a right to protest without being kettled and attacked. When we are attacked we have a right to defend ourselves.

What you are defending is an unacceptable attack on our democratic rights and a thuggish attack on a disabled citizen exercising those rights.

And attacking those exercising their legal rights to protest by reference to your dead friends is more than a little bit distasteful.
 
 
#5 RE: Jody McIntyre: Account of student protester dragged from wheelchair by riot policeJane 2010-12-17 14:56
Quote:

You mention that "kicks and punches were thrown" but who by?
By the police - Jody can't do that - hence the need for a wheelchair (its called "disabled")
What a stupid comment...he may be in a wheelchair but he is quite capable of breaking the law..being disabled does not allow you to be above the law. Actually i think you will find that this gentleman CAN use his arms and legs anyway. (I am not suggesting for one moment he was, just pointing out that he could if he wanted)
 
 
#6 RE: Jody McIntyre: Account of student protester dragged from wheelchair by riot policeAdrian Cousins 2010-12-17 15:16
Quoting Jane:
What a stupid comment...he may be in a wheelchair but he is quite capable of breaking the law..being disabled does not allow you to be above the law. Actually i think you will find that this gentleman CAN use his arms and legs anyway. (I am not suggesting for one moment he was, just pointing out that he could if he wanted)


Well lets re-phrase that for you shall we Jane? Is it really reasonable to describe as a "Threat" a man that requires a wheelchair pushed by another person?

Are you saying that he was throwing kicks and punches?

What manner of threat is posed by a wheelchair bound protester faced with police horses, riot shields and trucheons?

He was not breaking any law. The same cannot be true of the police officer who assaulted him.
 
 
#7 RE: Jody McIntyre: Account of student protester dragged from wheelchair by riot policeJane 2010-12-17 15:34
Well lets re-phrase that for you shall we Jane? Is it really reasonable to describe as a "Threat" a man that requires a wheelchair pushed by another person?

Are you saying that he was throwing kicks and punches?

What manner of threat is posed by a wheelchair bound protester faced with police horses, riot shields and trucheons?

He was not breaking any law. The same cannot be true of the police officer who assaulted him.
Quoting Adrian Cousins:
Quoting Jane:
What a stupid comment...he may be in a wheelchair but he is quite capable of breaking the law..being disabled does not allow you to be above the law. Actually i think you will find that this gentleman CAN use his arms and legs anyway. (I am not suggesting for one moment he was, just pointing out that he could if he wanted)


Well lets re-phrase that for you shall we Jane? Is it really reasonable to describe as a "Threat" a man that requires a wheelchair pushed by another person?

Are you saying that he was throwing kicks and punches?

What manner of threat is posed by a wheelchair bound protester faced with police horses, riot shields and trucheons?

He was not breaking any law. The same cannot be true of the police officer who assaulted him.



Your first paragraph is again quite silly. Of course ANYONE is a threat if they are concious and breathing. Secondly, if he was told to move and he refused (as he admitted he did) then because he's in a wheelchair, do the Police leave him? Do they say 'Oh well it was worth a go trying to get this man to move, but he dosen't want to, hey ho lets go home ' Of course they dont. If you choose not to do something a Police Officer tells you in the order of your safety then take whats coming.

Your second paragraph is also silly. If you read my entry you will notice the sentence in brackets..there is a hint there!

If the Police have asked you 20 times to move (after all they have to follow orders too in the interest of everyones safety) and you say NO...what on earth do you expect the Police Officer to do? Anyone is a threat to the Police if they stand their ground and defy any instruction given by an Officer. They did exactly the right thing taking him out of his chair. If I was standing and did what this man did, I would be taken to the floor and detained. Just because he is in a chair this procedure would still apply. (You cant go pushing someone's chair with them in it...thats enough to cause more of an outcry).

There is every reason for an Officer to suspect that this man had weapons or would stir up trouble as he was refusing to move. If you listen to the audio of the lads who took the video you can hear them talking about the 'man in the wheelchair' Words to the effect of he's mad, tough. So he was no kitten sitting there.
And just how do you know he wasn't breaking the law? Were you next to him? I doubt it. You have absolutely no idea what he was saying to the Police or how many times he was warned for lets say...swearing at them (in a public place)
To conclude, What I am saying is that lets not get carried away with the sympathy act here. Being in a wheelchair does not allow you to breach the peace commit provoking behaviour..or any other criminal offence. He admitted that he was surprised to see his story had hit the headlines so actually either he was not innocent at all or he didnt think what happened to him was over the top.
Simples.
 
 
#8 RE: Jody McIntyre: Account of student protester dragged from wheelchair by riot policelyapunov 2010-12-17 15:44
"Your first paragraph is again quite silly. Of course ANYONE is a threat if they are concious and breathing."

quite right. the only unthreatening protestor is a dead protestor.

more forward-thinking policing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judge_Death
 
 
#9 RE: Jody McIntyre: Account of student protester dragged from wheelchair by riot policeAdrian Cousins 2010-12-17 15:44
Quote:

If the Police have asked you 20 times to move (after all they have to follow orders too in the interest of everyones safety) and you say NO...what on earth do you expect the Police Officer to do? Anyone is a threat to the Police if they stand their ground and defy any instruction given by an Officer. They did exactly the right thing taking him out of his chair. If I was standing and did what this man did, I would be taken to the floor and detained. Just because he is in a chair this procedure would still apply. (You cant go pushing someone's chair with them in it...thats enough to cause more of an outcry).

There is every reason for an Officer to suspect that this man had weapons or would stir up trouble as he was refusing to move. If you listen to the audio of the lads who took the video you can hear them talking about the 'man in the wheelchair' Words to the effect of he's mad, tough. So he was no kitten sitting there.
And just how do you know he wasn't breaking the law? Were you next to him? I doubt it. You have absolutely no idea what he was saying to the Police or how many times he was warned for lets say...swearing at them (in a public place)
To conclude, What I am saying is that lets not get carried away with the sympathy act here. Being in a wheelchair does not allow you to breach the peace commit provoking behaviour..or any other criminal offence. He admitted that he was surprised to see his story had hit the headlines so actually either he was not innocent at all or he didnt think what happened to him was over the top.
Simples.
OMG
This is beyond rationality.
 
 
#10 My war is bigger than your warCaptn Tripps 2010-12-17 16:24
In a bold attempt to bring up a different angle to the story I offer up this.

http://www.mitchell-images.com/#/jody-mcintyre/4546538655

Quote:

A series of shots taken during the afternoon of the latest student protest in London. The young man in the shots, Jody McIntyre claims he was assaulted by the police.
This claim relates to an event later in the evening, however, these shots show the way the police dealt with Mr McIntyre in the afternoon.
At the time these shots were taken the police were under a barrage of bricks, bottles and metal fence panels, as well as being involved in hand to hand fighting with the crowd.
Mr McIntyre was in the front row of the crowd and in a very precarious position, especially as he is wheelchair bound.
It was clear from my vantage point that the police moved him as gently as possible and in doing so the officers put themselves in personal danger from the hail of missiles.
Once he had been moved away from the front line to a safe distance, the officers sat him on a low level wall. Mr McIntyre got up and started arguing with an officer. He was so wound up that he eventually tried to strike an officer and was only stopped from doing this due to the intervention of a famale passer-by.
Given his condition it would be insulting to suggest he is and is not capable of as I do not know him. So all I can really say is that if Jody thinks he has been hard done by, it is within his rights to complain and should do so, and will dealt with appropriately away from casual insinuations from the media and places like this.
 
 
#11 RE: Jody McIntyre: Account of student protester dragged from wheelchair by riot policeAdrian Cousins 2010-12-17 17:33
Bold but not the point...
The incident that is really at issue, and the one that has got the media attention due to the video footage is the second time Jody was manhandled by the police - when a police officer tipped him out of his wheelchair by pushing it on its side and then dragged him along the concrete floor.
So serious an incident in fact that another police officer felt the need to intervene - pulling the offending policeman away from the scene.

Nobody appears to be defending the actions of this police officer who clearly judged the actions of his colleague to be inappropriate.
 
 
#12 You weren't there, manCaptn Tripps 2010-12-17 19:06
Dutifully, I re watched the video of the later incident and I commend any one who can accurately detail the motivations of all involved parties.

What I was trying to do was try and go beyond the isolated incident and shine some light on the larger picture. It is easy as it to say a protester started behaving violently as a result of police tactics as it is to say the behaviour of a protester lead a police officer to decide to remove them from their wheelchair.

I am not saying either is right, it is not for me to judge. If a complaint has been made it will handled in due course by IPCC.

And before anyone starts getting dismissive about the IPCC, if we can't have faith in them then perhaps protesting against the cost of university tuition might be seen as "taking your eye off the ball" perhaps?
 

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