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Last updated April -2011
AFTER THE anger at what went down at Windsor last Thursday had started to ebb, it occurred to us that there were a few points and a couple of questions that might never get an airing unless it was right here.
In a couple of weeks, the media and most of the general public will have forgotten the whole vicious affair. Most likely some sort of negative report will have been issued claiming that the police may have over-reacted in the face of extreme provocation. The Liberal press will tut tut about controls over the police, the right wing will continue to howl for vigilantes to control anarchists and pop hooligans, while maybe a few of the more obvious police hooligans will receive a slap on the wrist That's where the whole affair is liable to end, unless we go on talking about it.
The Press have represented the affair as a conflict of two sides, the police and the hippies. Unfortunately the situation is not as even as they would like us to think. Sure there was a degree of violence on both sides. The point that has not been mentioned is that the police waded into the crowd at Windsor with the full sanction and protection of the law. After it was over, there is little that is likely to happen to them. The hippies who were arrested, however, are liable to go on suffering from the incident, either through fines, imprisonment or other forms of judicial punishment It hardly makes it an equal argument.
Then there is the matter of provocation. We've heard a great deal about how the taunts of the fans pushed the police over the edge, even down to the sob story in the Daily Mirror about the young P.C. who burst Into tears after being repeatedly called a pig. Nothing has yet been said about the provocation on the part of the police. Since the beginning of the event the Thames Valley Police had mounted a huge saturation "stop -and-search" operation. Some three hundred people were arrested, mostly for minor drugs charges and many more must have been subjected to the humiliation of bodily searches. This isn't the first time that the Thames Valley Police have hit the headlines as a result of this kind of operation.
doesn't seem to be any other explanation than that the police simply assumed
that the hippies were some kind of docile sub-species who could be driven
out of the park, and out of sight, by force, and they became violently
outraged when these people resisted. No senior police officer would have
ordered his men into a football crowd or political rally under similar
circumstances. At least they have learned from Windsor that rock fans
can't be treated like animals.