Police SNIPERS spotted on roof at peaceful anti-austerity march

Last Updated: October 4, 2015By

Snipers have been pictured in Manchester city centre today as thousands march in protest to cuts, coinciding with the Conservative Party conference.

Armed police can be seen on the roof of the Great Northern complex in images that have been widely shared on social media.

Police have defended the decision to use the marksmen saying they are there ‘purely for observation’.

Source: Pictured: Police SNIPERS spotted on roof at peaceful anti-austerity march sparked by Tory conference – Mirror Online

There is no justification for this.

It was bad enough when Iain Duncan Smith started bringing armed bodyguards to meetings of the Commons Work and Pensions select committee.

Now police are targeting peaceful demonstrators.

The defence of the decision to put marksmen on the roofs of buildings (including that housing the Conservative Party Conference) is pitifully weak.

“Purely for observation”? Because the sights are “stronger than any pair of binoculars”?

Then why were these sights still attached to rifles?

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  1. Tony Dean October 4, 2015 at 7:56 pm - Reply

    That is NOT a sniper, it is a long ranger snooper. (Which is just as bad.)
    I can see “preventative” arrests on the increase for future protests.

    • Mike Sivier October 4, 2015 at 9:47 pm - Reply

      How can you tell the difference?

      • Tony Dean October 4, 2015 at 10:00 pm - Reply

        The big lump on the end of the “barrel,” means it is NOT a rifle. It is either a specialist camera for long distance close ups or a long distance listening device, or a combination of both.
        It is also on a tall flimsy tripod which is no use for a sniper rifle.
        There are very obviously no photographic analysts at the Mirror.

        • Mike Sivier October 4, 2015 at 10:14 pm - Reply

          We’ll have to see how this develops and whether the Mirror brings in specialists who’ll provide the same information.

    • john October 5, 2015 at 7:49 pm - Reply

      will you stop talking crap i am an ex service man and i can guaranty that is a rifle it is a 7.62 calibre rifle looking at the barrel now i might be slightly wrong but i am not far out and it will only be the size of the bullet that’s wrong nothing else if they want to listen they use a small sat dish about the size of a plate with a mike in the middle.

  2. AndyH October 4, 2015 at 7:57 pm - Reply

    Does anyone seriously believe we live in a democracy?

  3. Martin Odoni October 4, 2015 at 8:13 pm - Reply

    The cowardice of the Tories is beyond description. The official march pattern forced most protesters to skirt a long way around the conference centre, keeping us much further away from the entrance than we were allowed during the protest two years ago. Fortunately, the police seemed to be in a ‘Can’t-be-assed-what-the-Tories-want-us-to-do-now-they’re-cutting-our-funding-again’ mood, and let a lot of us walk past the entrance of the conference centre anyway. Of course, all the Tories remained hidden inside the building, probably cowering.

  4. Michael Broadhurst October 4, 2015 at 8:33 pm - Reply

    its time the police stopped protecting these murderers and started prosecuting them instead.
    i cant see why they would protect this odious govt,when they are stabbing them in the back all the time and cutting their jobs.

  5. Nick October 4, 2015 at 8:54 pm - Reply

    The Conservative can only run the country by using a police state the same as the middle eastern countries

    were their police on the rooftops for the labour conference(no) were their police on the rooftops when tony Blair was prime minister (no)

    you have a police state because your arguments for running the country don’t add up in either of what you say or what the reality is hence the people becoming disengaged not only from politics but life as whole and then have to form their own political party often to just make matters worse

    One of the main reasons for peoples poor mental health is because they have to live under a regime they don’t understand nor could never understand the same the world over hence all the wars and shootings that go on around the world all set off by the likes of the Conservatives and there odd and deceptive views on life which means whatever they say is a lie and with that the truth can never be known

    That is a terrible place to be in life no matter who you are in just living and believing what your told till your death by your government who is inherently dishonest

    as i say those with mental health problems and being sensitive have to deal with this but for many it’s not possible and die as a result

  6. mohandeer October 4, 2015 at 8:56 pm - Reply

    Our police state – courtesy of the conservatives and the US for making us one of their states. Totally indefensible, placed there to intimidate the public pursuing their right to peaceful assembly. It served only to instil fear of the police among the masses. It would appear that the police are becoming a menace to society by threatening them with rifles, just like the US. This is intolerable, what were they intending to do if a riot had broken out – start shooting? There’s not much point in having rifles aimed at a crowd unless they have permission to use those weapons or already had orders to use them. Non nuclear deterrent? This needs a proper explanation.

  7. lambtonwyrm October 4, 2015 at 9:12 pm - Reply

    They are not targetting the demostrators. CPC15 is a major security operation involving a large police presence. Armed police on rooftops is just part of that.

    • Mike Sivier October 4, 2015 at 9:54 pm - Reply

      Your arguments have already been (forgive me, everyone) shot away. Armed police on rooftops implies an intention to shoot marchers. Nothing more, nothing less.
      Manchester police said they were there for “observation” – but there are much better scopes available, which aren’t attached to rifles.
      I’ve just been in conversation with someone on Twitter who was determined that they were there to “protect the PM” – but you can’t protect anyone with a rifle and a bullet – you can only shoot people. This guy went on to say that there would have been people on the ground as well – so not only were there people on the roofs preparing to shoot UK citizens, but there were spies among them as well. It’s all a bit conspiracy theory-ish for me but there it is.
      As Nick said, there wasn’t anything like such an operation for the Labour conference (or, for that matter, the LD conference – or even UKIP, and think how unpopular Nigel Farage is). The suggestion that the Tory Party Conference requires such overkill is ridiculous.

      • lambtonwyrm October 4, 2015 at 10:23 pm - Reply

        Let’s think back to a Tory Party conference in Brighton and the Grand Hotel. A terrorist attack on the Prime Minister. If you are wanting to make a statement then you choose your target. Not Labour. Not UKIP. The party currently forming the government. The Tories. That is why the security is as it is. And that includes people on the ground observing. Looking for the person who is there for something more than being part of the protest.
        And your suggestion that they were there to shoot marchers is, frankly, unbelievable.
        In fact it’s more. It’s a slur on the character of every police officer who goes out day in and day out and places their life on the line to protect you and me.
        Remember 18 September 2012, Police Constables Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone, two Greater Manchester Police officers, were killed by Dale Cregan in a gun and grenade attack while responding to a report of a burglary. Just 2 years ago.

        • Mike Sivier October 4, 2015 at 11:55 pm - Reply

          Brighton was a completely different situation. Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone were in another completely different situation.
          It is wrong to try to relate either with the event in Manchester.
          Your argument is utterly unpersuasive.
          You don’t protect anybody with a gun. You harm people with a gun. That is what it is for.
          The man in the photograph appears to be pointing a rifle at people who he had no reason to believe were anything other than peaceful marchers.
          There was no reason for him to be there.
          All the explanations that have been cranked out by Tory/police apologists have been incoherent nonsense.
          Your claim that I’m making a slur on the character of police officers is also ridiculous. What was that police officer actually doing on that roof? The fact that he was there is the insult.
          He had no reason to be there. If you want to accuse anybody, accuse the people who ordered him up there to threaten innocent people.

  8. leonc1963 October 4, 2015 at 9:16 pm - Reply

    Not very good Snipers as they got spotted!

  9. Chris October 4, 2015 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    Echoes of Peterloo again?

  10. wildswimmerpete October 4, 2015 at 9:52 pm - Reply

    Greater Manchester Police are obviously the private paramilitaries of the Tory Party together with corporate interests. We are already a long way down the road to a fascist state. Look at the situation at Barton Moss where protesters are routinely beaten up by GMP “officers” acting in the interests of iGas right under noses of legal observers. Why? Because GMP know that they can get away with it. Who pays for GMP – Manchester’s residents paying a precept or corporate interests? I think we know the answer to that question.

    • wildswimmerpete October 4, 2015 at 10:12 pm - Reply

      Forgot to mention – whether that “sniper” is actually a sniper or using long-range snooping gear is moot. Jeremy Corbyn is going to be there at some point and given the death threats made against him a GMP sniper would be able to take him out without any redress. A subsequent “investigation” would conclude “murder by unknown person”. I wonder whether that aerial photo had been taken by a drone owned by a newspaper or a private individual?

  11. ian725 October 4, 2015 at 11:05 pm - Reply

    Whoever it is ,he has quite a bit of equipment with him ,including a seat. He is certainly sighting as if it were a rifle with silencer perhaps. Need a closer look to be sure of exactly what his equipment is. He is rather prominent for a hidden sniper.

  12. Michael Broadhurst October 4, 2015 at 11:10 pm - Reply

    Corbyn wants to keep ramming home the point of benefit deaths and do the people of
    this country want a police state like the Tories are trying to impose on this country.
    he should ram the point home in Parliament,in meeting halls,or anywhere else he speaks,until the Tories are sick of hearing it,like we’ve been sick of hearing their lies
    over the past 5 years or so.

    • Nick October 5, 2015 at 10:19 am - Reply

      indeed Michael the problem is no one hearing the message and the deaths wont be going away

      • Michael Broadhurst October 8, 2015 at 10:30 am - Reply

        surely if the point keeps getting rammed home,like the last 5 years of Tory lies,it will make people listen eventually.

        • Nick October 8, 2015 at 12:13 pm - Reply

          i’m afraid not Michael it’s not that easy when the majority of the public never engage in the news or politics unless it involves them directly and then they wake up and hit the blogs etc

  13. Brian October 4, 2015 at 11:59 pm - Reply

    Recoil on a modern sniper rifle doesn’t require a heavy tripod, it’s there simply to steady the aim, the ‘lump’ on the end is a silencer.

    • Tony Dean October 5, 2015 at 4:33 am - Reply

      Other than a .22 a silencer cannot be fitted to a rifle because of the supersonic muzzle velocity.

      • hayfords October 5, 2015 at 1:19 pm - Reply

        Not so. You can get sound suppressors for up to .308 fairly easily. That will cover high powered, high muzzle velocity bullets.

      • ian725 October 5, 2015 at 3:06 pm - Reply

        Hayfords is correct … mostly,… in this.

  14. NMac October 5, 2015 at 6:49 am - Reply

    They’re frightened stiff of the people. They are cowardly bully-boys.

  15. marcusdemowbray October 5, 2015 at 8:17 am - Reply

    Another similarity with the Nazis : Bunker Mentality

  16. mrmarcpc October 6, 2015 at 2:26 pm - Reply

    They really do fear any opposition to them don’t they, but then again, at their core, all right wingers are weak, bullying cowards who wouldn’t last five minutes in the real world or anyone who stood up against them, would wet themselves, if they could get away with shooting protesters or any other working class person, they would do it!

  17. Raining October 7, 2015 at 6:19 pm - Reply

    Scum tactics to use by a scum government. More interested in protecting the rights of high flying corporate crooks, all the while looking to criminalize anyone who speaks out vociferously against them and then label them a domestic terrorist for whipping up unrest.

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