Brighton shop protests – 21 arrested

Posted On 05 Dec 2010 at 4:26 pm

By Jim Milnes

Protesters superglued themselves to the inside of Top Shop in Western Road, Brighton, as part of a national day of action organised by UK Uncut.

There were 21 arrests in and around Top Shop after protests began at noon yesterday (Saturday 4 December).

UK Uncut has been organising protests using blogs, Twitter and Facebook to highlight corporations that it accuses of tax avoidance.

Yesterday protests were held outside Arcadia group shops across the county, including Topshop, Miss Selfridge, Dorothy Perkins and BHS, as well as Vodafone stores.

Eight people superglued themselves to the inside of the Brighton Topshop windows and were all arrested for criminal damage and aggravated trespass.

Chief Superintendent Paul Morrison, head of operations for Sussex Police, said: “While we were quite happy to facilitate their right to peaceful protest, a hard core of protesters abused this right and entered Topshop, assaulting a member of staff in the process.

He added: “Regrettably, no organiser made themselves known to us in order that our response could be co-ordinated accordingly, but we are satisfied that our response was proportionate to the activities of the protesters.

“That the vast majority of the city was able to carry on with business as usual is testament to that.”

About 40 people took part in the protest, with police containing the demonstration at the corner of Western Road and Marlborough Street.

A cordon of police vehicles and officers outside the store slowed the Western Road traffic but did not bring it to a halt while corralling the protesters.

Across the road the Vodafone shop that had been the site of previous protests had closed and barred its windows.

Arrests

Sussex police has released details of those arrested:

Steven Luscombe, 20, address not given, was charged with failing to comply with a condition as a public assembly participant and detained in custody to appear before Brighton magistrates tomorrow (Monday 6 December).

Man, 24, Brighton, criminal damage/aggravated trespass/asault (battery), bailed Friday 7 January.

Man, 28, Brighton, criminal damage/aggravated trespass, bailed Monday 10 January.

Man, 26, Brighton, criminal damage/aggravated trespass, bailed Saturday 8 January.

Woman, 20, Brighton, criminal damage/aggravated trespass, bailed Saturday 15 January.

Woman, 25, Hove, criminal damage/aggravated trespass, bailed Monday 17 January.

Woman, 19, Loughborough, criminal damage/aggravated trespass, bailed Monday 17 January.

Man, 36, Brighton, criminal damage/aggravated trespass, bailed Tuesday 11 January.

Woman, 20, Oxford, criminal damage/aggravated trespass, bailed Tuesday 11 January.

Woman, 22, Brighton, criminal damage/aggravated trespass, bailed Tuesday 11 January.

Man, 19, Brighton, Section 14 Public Order Act, bailed Thursday 30 December.

Woman, 22, Brighton, Section 14 Public Order Act, bailed Thursday 6 January.

Man, 21, Mitcham, Section 14 Public Order Act, bailed Thursday 6 January.

Woman, 22, no fixed abode, Section 14 Public Order Act, bailed Thursday 30 December.

Man, 30, Hove, Section 5 Public Order Act, bailed Saturday 8 January.

Woman, 21, address not given, assaulting police, bailed Friday 7 January.

Man, 42, Brighton, obstructing police, bailed Thursday 30 December.

Woman, 39, Brighton, obstructing police, bailed Thursday 6 January.

Man, 65, Worthing, obstructing police, cautioned.

Man, 23, Forest Row, possession of bladed article, bailed Friday 7 January.

Man, 18, Braintree, failing to provide name and address, released after providing details on arrival at custody.

Video

Film of one arrest outside Top Shop has been uploaded to YouTube by WatchgasTV

  1. Dan Wilson Reply

    This video is astonishing. I hope it finds a wide audience as proof of the massive over-policing that Brighton City Centre saw yesterday. I do hope the women who were in it are ok too. Solidarity to all peaceful protesters.

    Dan Wilson

  2. Allie Cannell Reply

    The police claim that they were facilitating protest that day is ridiculous. You can see from that video that they were out to stop any protests.

    Anyone who was giving out leaflets or even anybody who stopped to talk to someone giving out leaflets was told to leave the area or put themselves into the police kettle where the police arrested anyone with a banner or megaphone and stopped people interacting with the public!

    They then held them in the kettle whilst it poured with rain until they were utterly demoralised as a punishment for coming out to protest.

    They used anti-social behaviour legislation on everyone in the kettle as it seems that peacful protest is harassment!

    And to put the arrests in perspective, the criminal damage and aggravated trespass people were the ones who glued themselves to the window. There was not really any damage done that day, apart from to people attacked by the police.

    The police also don’t seem to understand that you can have a protest without any organisers and so use the fact of no organisers as an excuse to harass people. All that was decided, by the people outside the shop, was a meeting place (and that was decided by the group), the reason no one could tell the police what was going on is that no one knew what was going on!

  3. Allie Cannell Reply

    Sorry in order to make sure that my above comment is factual i should say that they didn’t arrest people with banners they just confiscated the banner.

  4. Russ Reply

    I find it amazing how people are claiming over policing. After all the recent protests in Brighton how do you expect the police to react when they hear another protest is occurring? The protesters do nothing to let the police know where exactly they will be protesting, they do nothing to let the police know how many protesters there will be. So naturally the police have to account for as many eventualities as they can, which ultimately means lots of police.

    I was at this protest from start to finish, and I have to say I think the police did everything they could to contain the situation. It IS NOT peaceful to storm into a retail store and glue yourself to the window, it IS NOT peaceful to block access to a retail store, it IS NOT peaceful to shout and scream at police and passers by.

    The protesters were given orders by the police to move around the corner to an area where they could protest without causing disruption to others, but this was not good enough because they WANTED to cause disruption. There were a few amongst them that did as they were told, but the majority did not and they were subsequently arrested.

    The entire thing was shameful and a waste of time. The police did what was required, yes there were lots of them, too many in fact, but that’s only because the protesters are not communicating and acting like adults. They are acting like kids and it will get them nowhere.

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