‘Degrading and humiliating’ – why do police treat disabled people so badly?

Targeted: Is the Met police’s ill-treatment of disabled people part of an overarching policy of discrimination against them?

The Metropolitan Police has been accused of “degrading and humiliating” treatment of people with disabilities who took part in the Extinction Rebellion protests in London.

In isolation, this would be bad enough – but it is just the latest in a series of incidents targeting disabled protesters, by forces across the UK.

Now the Met’s independent advisory group says the bullying that took place may have caused “irreparable damage” to relations with disabled people.

Stop and think about that. This isn’t just a public relations problem – it’s a disaster for the police: “irreparable damage.”

According to The Guardian, advisory group chair Anne Novis said everybody in that organisation – all of them – were on the point of resigning because of the stories they were hearing from disabled people.

This is entirely understandable. The claim is that people with disabilities were deliberately and aggressively targeted by police.

Here’s an example of what police were doing: When a disabled protester outside Scotland Yard needed a carer to adjust her supplemental oxygen and provide other medicine, police arrested both on the grounds that they were an illegal assembly.

They had been there to protest after police had confiscated independent living equipment including wheelchairs, disability ramps, noise-cancelling headphones, specially adapted toilets and other items intended to make protest sites accessible to disabled people.

Another incident saw a blind protester released without his cane. And left to get home without any help at all.

Legal observers for Extinction Rebellion said they had expected violence by police – but had not reckoned on it being almost exclusively directed at disabled people in what appeared to be a “deliberate intimidation tactic”.

The Met has claimed that it does not single out any minority group or community – but this is unpersuasive in the light of the mountain of evidence against it.

And it seems part of a nationwide policy to target the disabled. Remember when anti-fracking protesters in Lancashire were targeted by police?

Those people then faced a secondary attack from the Department for Work and Pensions, who claimed that they did not deserve sickness and/or disability benefits because they were well enough to take part in a protest. Remember that?

We discovered then that the police had an agreement to share information on protesters with the DWP, precisely to help that government department unfairly strip disabled people of their benefits.

Loss of state benefits – for a disabled person – has led to starvation, the worsening of their condition through lack of medication, and – in some cases – suicide.

It may be considered an attempt to pass a death sentence on them, simply for daring to protest against something that is wrong.

Has the Met passed the details of the disabled XR protesters to the DWP, in the hope of forcing them into that fate?

I don’t know. But I feel sure we will find out.

Let us hope that we do so before it is too late.

Source: Met police accused of ‘degrading’ treatment of disabled XR activists | UK news | The Guardian

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  1. wildswimmerpete October 30, 2019 at 2:01 pm - Reply

    It’s the 1930s again. The forces of law and order being hi-jacked by a fascist regime employing propaganda to justify their actions. Back then it was Adolf Hitler and Goebbels, today it’s Boris Johnson.

  2. Gary October 30, 2019 at 3:19 pm - Reply

    Nothing is new, nothing has changed. Back in the old days the SPG would be assaulting the innocent then locking them up on ‘Sus’ Laws.

    The miner’s strike saw men in uniform without badges who even other cops on duty knew weren’t police. The oft shown footage (BBC) of miners attacking police and the police regrouping and charging on horse back is manipulated footage. The BBC was already censured and told to stop showing it. In fact the miners were attacked without warning when acting peacefully and lawfully, they retaliated when attacked, purely in self defence. The BBC still ignores this censure and shows the propagandised version.

    A few years ago ‘kettling’ became a thing. The latest incarnation of the SPG would corner and beat protestors. A newspaper vendor, not even a protestor, was killed by an officer of this group. It was later found the officer had been sacked by the Met for violence towards the public before being hired by the group.

    After that particular incident protests and marches were rarely, if ever, allowed to be broadcast on television and publicity for them was heavily curtailed. To the extent that mentions were removed from the internet, not allowed to be mentioned on the BBC website nor filmed by BBC cameras.

    They were particularly shy when disabled protestors were outside parliament and a small number made their way into the House of Parliament. They were roughly removed (VERY roughly) and the Daily Politics Show which was being filmed in the lobby (being shown LIVE) were ORDERED by staff to stop filming, expressly to NOT film the protestors. NB this was not an evacuation order, it was an order to stop filming so that protestors would not be seen. This did not smack of something thought up on the hoof either.

    I’ll bet a lot of other countries think they are free to protest too, but they can’t see the footage of protestors being attacked by government forces (as these groups AREN’T regular police) they don’t know that protestors are victimised to have disability benefits removed and they won’t even have a clue that the protests are underway or that despite the only mention the BBC makes of it being a six word report tucked away in a local news part of their website that ACTUALLY 50, 000 people marched through the centre of London whilst BBC cameras, filming OB on another story turned their cameras to the most awkward of positions to ensure nothing was seen and made no comment on the raucous noise of the crowd.

    Snoopers Charter, PRISM, FTA Act and emergency powers STILL in force long after the emergency has gone (why is no one talking about these things anymore) have all added to the above to ensure we no longer live in a free country…

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