Smartphone videos record ‘brutal assault’ on woman having panic attack
by MARK ATKINSON
The police’s actions opened my eyes fully to the lie that we live in a democracy, and the truth that the state is deliberately trying to take away our rights and freedoms
I am increasingly aware, in these chaotic and challenging times, that there is a clear choice to be made: to either step up, and be the change I want to see in the world, or let the fascist steamroller roll right over me.
I am already a part of this growing movement to take back our rights and freedoms, through my daily life choices, my community involvement and by taking personal responsibility for what is my ‘stuff’.
I am currently committed to bringing a civil action against the Metropolitan Police, for the denial of my human rights, specifically the right to peaceful protest. It is my intent that this will provide the basis for a class action.
On the November 28 2020, I was present at what became known as ‘The Hillingdon Siege’, when a coachload of approximately 40 people were detained and held against their will by the Metropolitan Police at Hillingdon tube station.
Two coaches had left Bournemouth to participate in a peaceful protest against the lockdowns in London. On stopping at Fleet service station on the M3, a policeman approached the coaches and wanted to know where we were going and why. We were
told the coaches had to have vehicle checks and we could not continue on our journey. This was both unsettling and alarming, and we were detained at Fleet for at least an hour.
Once we were allowed to leave, we were told that we could be arrested for breaching the Coronavirus Act, if we chose to continue to London. One coach returned to Bournemouth and I was in the coach that continued to London. We left Fleet, with a local police escort, which was replaced by an escort from the Metropolitan Police on the M25.
The police directed us off the road to Hillingdon tube station, where up to 100 police officers awaited us. At this point it felt like we were living in a police state and that democracy was only an illusion.
A senior police officer came onto the coach and
told us that we were in breach of the Coronavirus Act, that we had to give our personal details and then we would be allowed to return to Bournemouth. Anyone who refused would be liable to arrest.
Emotions were naturally running very high as people were in shock, and frightened by what was unfolding. Many of our number filmed the events on their smartphones, and uploaded the live footage to the internet - there was widespread horror when people saw what we experienced on that coach.
We were not permitted to leave the coach, even for the toilet, and unable to access the toilet on the coach, since the aisle was filled with police officers - with no social distancing! We were held at Hillingdon for around three hours.
They were uninterested in engaging in any dialogue and showed no compassion or respect for our welfare. I am aware of nine people being arrested, including an elderly couple in their 70s and a young woman who was having a panic attack. I was asked only once for my details, which I refused to give, and I was not asked again. We were held on the coach against our will, although we had not broken any law nor committed any crime. The experience was extremely stressful and designed to frighten and intimidate us.
One particular incident stands out as a clear illustration of how the police in particular, and the state in general, have little or no regard for our rights, freedoms or well-being. The young woman having the panic attack, in her distress attempted to get off the coach, but because the aisle was full of police she could not avoid pushing past them.
One officer then arrested her for assault, and her treatment was brutal. She was bent double over a seat and her hands wrenched up behind her to be cuffed. The whole incident was filmed and shows her, in effect, being violently assaulted by the police. On her release, her body bore multiple bruises, which were recorded photographically by her family. The charges against her were eventually dropped when her lawyer told the police they would have their day in court with their photographic evidence. This young woman was traumatised by her ordeal and all who witnessed it were deeply disturbed and distressed.
The police’s actions opened my eyes fully to the lie that we live in a democracy, and the truth that the state is deliberately trying to take away our rights and freedoms. However, it has only served to strengthen my resolve and say: ‘no’. It was intended that an action would be taken against the police immediately after the Hillingdon Siege, but for various reasons it didn’t happen.
I decided independently to take up this fight to hold the police accountable for their actions, and contacted the organisation Liberty, who were able to advise me that there is a clear case to answer. Since the end of last summer, I have been busy gathering witness statements, researching legal representation and media coverage. It has been, and continues to be, a very steep learning curve.
The most important point is that the story is told and reaches as many people as possible. I will not stay silent; I have a voice and I will use it hopefully to inspire and encourage others. I know that the only way we will change what is happening in the world today is to put out a strong vibration, based on love and compassion, and to continue to say ‘no’. I don’t doubt that powerful forces, maybe beyond our comprehension, are hearing us. We will prevail; truth and justice are on our side.
The Light newspaper approached the Metropolitan Police for a response on March 22, 2022, but no response was given at the time of going to press.
https://odysee.com/@Holding_ the_Line:a/Alleged_police_ misconduct_witness_Mark_ Atkinson_testimony:3