Home > Media Release
Reports on practices of foreign governments in response to violent protests
2019/08/23

i. The United States

(i) President Trump Considered Naming a Group of Protesters an “Organization of Terror.”

With both the left and the right declaring victory following a long-hyped rally that had Portland, Oregon, on edge it seems the liberal city will continue to be a flashpoint in an increasingly divided country.

There were 13 arrests and police seized bear spray, shields, poles and other weapons. But by using barriers and bridge closures and allowing a large contingent of right-wingers to leave when they asked to authorities were able to mostly keep the two sides apart. Six minor injuries were reported.

President Donald Trump tweeted early Saturday that "major consideration is being given to naming ANTIFA an 'ORGANIZATION of TERROR.'"

(https://apnews.com/423e0ee1018942a59e218a800b30b59f)

(ii) Mayor of Portland: We Do Not Tolerate Violence

Two of the 13 people arrested Saturday made a first court appearance Monday, while the rest have court dates next month to allow authorities to process reams of evidence, including videos and photos posted on social media, the Multnomah County district attorney's office said in a statement. More arrests may come as those postings are reviewed, authorities said.

As the city returned to normal, Mayor Ted Wheeler called Saturday's dueling demonstrations a win for residents. Oregon's top federal prosecutor called the handling of the event a "definitive counterpoint" for those who on both sides who have criticized police after past protests for favoring one side or the other.

"We do not tolerate hate and we do not tolerate violence," Wheeler said. "We had a plan, we executed on that plan and on the whole, it was successful."

(https://www.apnews.com/5bae7ab2ba5441c6a698bf45531d7a99)

(iii)700 Arrested After Wall Street Protest on Brooklyn Bridge

New York City police say about 700 protesters have been arrested after they swarmed the Brooklyn Bridge and shut down a lane of traffic for several hours.

The group Occupy Wall Street has been camped out in a plaza in Manhattan's Financial District for nearly two weeks staging various marches, and had orchestrated an impromptu trek to Brooklyn on Saturday evening. They walked in thick rows on the sidewalk up to the bridge, where some demonstrators spilled onto the roadway after being told to stay on the pedestrian pathway, police said. Most of those arrested face disorderly conduct charges, while others were accused of resisting arrest.

The group has meetings and forums planned for Sunday at Zuccotti Park, the private plaza off Broadway the protesters have occupied.

Some protesters sat on the roadway, while others chanted and yelled at the police from the pedestrian walkaway above. Police used orange netting to stop the group on the roadway from going further down the bridge, which is under construction.

Some of the protesters said they were lured onto the roadway by police, or they didn't hear the calls from authorities to head to the pedestrian walkway. Police said no one was tricked into being arrested, and those who were in the back of the group were allowed to leave.

"Multiple warnings by police were given to protesters to stay on the pedestrian walkway and that if they took roadway they would be arrested," said Paul Browne, the chief spokesman of the New York Police Department.

(https://www.foxnews.com/us/700-arrested-after-wall-street-protest- on-brooklyn-bridge)

(iv) UC Berkeley Riot Police Use Batons to Clear Students from Sproul Plaza

In iconic Sproul Plaza, many hundreds or perhaps thousands of UC Berkeley students and Occupy Oakland activists clashed with university police late into the night Wednesday, after officers carried out instructions from administrators to clear Occupy Cal protesters from their makeshift encampment. "We formed a human barricade around our tents, and they just beat their way through it with batons," said one student. "It really, really hurt - I got the wind knocked out of me," another protester, doctoral student Shane Boyle, told the San Francisco Chronicle, showing the reporter a red welt on his chest. "I was lucky I only got hit twice," he added.

"After warning protesters that camping at the university is illegal, officers moved in and shoved demonstrators out of the way as they pushed toward the camp," the Contra Costa Times reported. "Six UC Berkeley students and an associate professor were arrested; charges included resisting officers and failing to disperse." The police succeeded in clearing away tents, but protesters refused to leave the plaza, insisting that they'd camp there with or without equipment. Protesters with smartphones took turns webcasting video from the scene, and ultimately voted around 1 am to approve a University of California-wide general strike to be held Tuesday of next week.

(https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/11/uc-berkeley-r iot-police-use-batons-to-clear-students-from-sproul-plaza/248228/)

(v) Gov. Hogan Declares State Of Emergency, Activates National Guard

Governor Larry Hogan has declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard to address the growing violence and unrest in Baltimore City.

“I have not made this decision lightly. The National Guard represents a last resort in order to restore order,” Hogan said during a news conference Monday night. “People have the right to protest and express their frustration, but Baltimore City families deserve peace and safety in their communities and these acts of violence and destruction of property cannot and will not be tolerated.”

Major General Linda Singh, the adjutant general of the Maryland Army National Guard, said during the news conference that the guard would be out in activation beginning Monday night. Up to 5,000 troops were available to patrol the streets and protect property.

( https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/apr/27/chaos-balti more-dozens-clash-riot-police-multiple-/)

(vi) Police Arrest ‘Known Gang Member’ In Connection With Dousing NYPD Officers

New York City Police arrested a suspect Wednesday in connection with the set of viral videos taken over the weekend showing NYPD officers being doused with water.

Officers apprehended a 28-year-old Courtney Thomas — described as a “known gang member” — allegedly involved in the one of the two videos, showing cops soaked with water while making arrests in Harlem and Brooklyn, according to a statement from NYPD Chief Terrence Monahan. He is charged with obstruction, criminal nuisance, tampering, disorderly conduct and harassment.

“Actions like we’ve seen in videos recently will NEVER be tolerated in this city. YOU WILL BE ARRESTED,” Monahan said on Twitter.

(https://dailycaller.com/2019/07/24/nypd-water-suspect-arrested/)

ii. UK

(i) David Cameron's full statement on the UK riots

Good morning. I've come straight from a meeting of the government's Cobra committee for dealing with emergencies, where we've been discussing the action that we will be taking to help the police to deal with the disorder on the streets of London and elsewhere in our country.

I've also met with the Metropolitan police commissioner and the home secretary to discuss this further, and people should be in no doubt that we will do everything necessary to restore order to Britain's streets and to make them safe for the law-abiding.

Let me first of all completely condemn the scenes that we have seen on our television screens and people have witnessed in their communities.

These are sickening scenes – scenes of people looting, vandalising, thieving, robbing, scenes of people attacking police officers and even attacking fire crews as they're trying to put out fires. This is criminality, pure and simple, and it has to be confronted and defeated.

I feel huge sympathy for the families who've suffered, innocent people who've been burned out of their houses and to businesses who have seen their premises smashed, their products looted and their livelihoods potentially ruined.

I also feel for all those who live in fear because of these appalling scenes that we've seen on the streets of our country. People should be in no doubt that we are on the side of the law-abiding – law-abiding people who are appalled by what has happened in their own communities.

As ever, police officers have shown incredible bravery on our streets in confronting these thugs, but it's quite clear that we need more, much more police on our streets and we need even more robust police action, and it's that that I've been discussing in Cobra this morning.

The Metropolitan police commissioner has said that, compared with the 6,000 police on the streets last night in London, there will be some 16,000 officers tonight. All leave within the Metropolitan police has been cancelled.

There will be aid coming from police forces up and down the country, and we will do everything necessary to strengthen and assist those police forces that are meeting this disorder.

There have already been 450 people arrested. We will make sure that court procedures and processes are speeded up and people should expect to see more, many more, arrests in the days to come.

I am determined, the government is determined that justice will be done and these people will see the consequences of their actions.

And I have this very clear message to those people who are responsible for this wrongdoing and criminality: you will feel the full force of the law, and if you are old enough to commit these crimes you are old enough to face the punishment.

And to these people I would say this: you are not only wrecking the lives of others, you're not only wrecking your own communities – you are potentially wrecking your own life, too.

My office this morning has spoken to the Speaker of the House of Commons and he has agreed that parliament will be recalled for a day on Thursday so I can make a statement to parliament and we can hold a debate and we are all able to stand together in condemnation of these crimes and also to stand together in determination to rebuild these communities.

Now if you'll excuse me, there is important work to be done. Thank you.

( https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2011/aug/09/david-cameron-full-statement-uk-riots)

(ii) Riots: Theresa May's speech on 11 August 2011

First, the reasons behind this behaviour. We must never forget that the only cause of a crime is a criminal. Everybody, no matter what their background or circumstances, has the freedom to choose between right and wrong. Those who make the wrong decision, who engage in criminality, must be identified, arrested and punished - and we will make sure that happens.

I now want to move on to the questions about the police reaction to the violence. I know that Hon Members, like members of the public, are concerned about the speed and quality of the police response. That response has changed over the course of the last five days, and has been different in different parts of the country. We need to appraise it honestly, bluntly, and learn the lessons where things have gone wrong.

On Sunday night, with Tottenham calm, the police managed to nip in the bud trouble at Oxford Circus, but the violence spread to Enfield and Brixton. On Monday night, the number of officers deployed in London increased to 6,000 - two or three times more than a normal evening. But still, that wasn’t enough and with the violence reaching Hackney, Peckham, Croydon, Ealing, Lewisham and Clapham, officers were overwhelmed. In Clapham, the mob ran amok for more than two hours before the police regained control. That is simply not acceptable.

During the day, the ringleaders were identified, arrested and taken out of circulation.

We said that we would do everything necessary to bring the disorder to an end, and we meant it. We made clear to the police that there was nothing to stop them using baton rounds if they judged it necessary. We put the water cannon stationed in Northern Ireland on standby to be deployed within 24 hours. The police made it clear to me that they did not want to use them. And, as things stand, what is working is officers on the streets, robust policing and the help and support of local communities - which we would jeopardise if we rushed to use things like rubber bullets.

Policing by consent is the British way. But the police will only retain the confidence of the wider community if they are seen to take clear and robust action in the face of open criminality.

We will change the law to allow police officers to remove face coverings - if they have reasonable belief that they are related to criminal activity - under any circumstances.

Since Saturday, more than 1,200 people have been arrested and more than 400 have been charged. Courts in London, the West Midlands and Manchester have worked throughout the night and we are already starting to see the offenders prosecuted.

I am clear that the perpetrators of this violence must pay for their actions, and the courts should hand down custodial sentences for any violent crimes.

The tide is turning because communities up and down the country have said enough is enough.

It’s turning because the thugs are being arrested and locked up.

And it is turning because of the bravery and dedication of the men and women of our police forces.

So I will just end Mr. Speaker with this thought. We ask police officers to put themselves in harm’s way on a routine basis. We ask them to go into dangerous situations that most of us would hope we will never experience.

We have the best police officers in the world, and we owe them all a debt of gratitude.

(https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/riots-theresa-mays-speech-o n-11-august-2011)

iii. France

(i) Macron signs controversial French 'anti-rioters' bill into law

French President Emmanuel Macron has signed into law legislation giving security forces greater powers at demonstrations which opponents claim violate civil liberties.

The bill, approved by lawmakers in February, aims to crack down on violence that has marred the anti-government "yellow vest" protest movement which began in last November.

On Thursday Interior Minister Christophe Castaner took to Twitter to hail the law as a "text which protects the French in the face of insecurity and violence" ..."which protects our institutions and liberties".

But in a move indicative of the political trouble caused for Macron by the "yellow vest" movement, the Constitutional Council, France’s highest authority, refused this month to give its green light to one of the most contentious parts of the legislation.

Several MPs, including some from the ruling Republic on the move party, opposed an article that would have given the authorities the power to ban any individual "posing a particularly serious threat to public order" from taking part in demonstrations.

The article was accompanied by a file of named individuals sought by the police, which critics strongly denounced as violating citizens' freedom of assembly as enshrined in the constitution.

However the council did approve two other key parts of the legislation, including giving the authorities the power to search bags and cars in and around demonstrations if demanded by a prosecutor.

It also approved making it a criminal offence for protestors to conceal their face at a demonstration, punishable by a year in prison and 15,000 euros in fines.

( http://en.rfi.fr/france/20190411-macron-signs-controversial-french-anti-rioters-bill-law)

Suggest To A Friend:   
Print