Tagged with: disabilities riot students
In England, at the recent student protests against higher tuition fees, the Metropolitan Police dragged a man who has cerebral palsy from his wheelchair — twice.
20-year-old Jody McIntyre said the riot officers beat him with batons, yanked him out of his chair on two different occasions to drag him across the pavement during the anti-tuition fees protest on December 9th in London. The Telegraph included a video, but the strong language may be offensive to some.
McIntyre wrote about the incident in his blog. ” It was referred to as ‘Day X’, the ‘Day Parliament Would Vote On Tuition Fees’… When we reached the front, the batons began to fly. One came landing straight onto my left shoulder, sending a sharp, shooting pain down my arm. Others were taking blows to the head. Children, women, men, all being brutalized by the police…. Suddenly, four policemen grabbed my shoulders and pulled me out of my wheelchair. My friends and younger brother struggled to pull me back, but were beaten away with batons. The police carried me away. Around five minutes later, my younger brother was also forced through, the wheelchair still in his hands.”
He continued, but here is his description of the second time at Parliament Square: “Somehow, me and Finlay managed to weave our way through the police line. We found ourselves in a large no-mans-land, in between the riot police trying to stop the crowd, and the police horses getting ready to charge. I turned in my wheelchair to face the police. “Move out of the way!” one of the mounted police shouted at me. I shook my head….From the corner of my eye, I spotted one of the policemen from the earlier incident. He recognized me immediately. Officer KF936 came charging towards me. Tipping the wheelchair to the side, he pushed me onto the concrete, before grabbing my arms and dragging me across the road. The crowd of 200 ran and surrounded him. I got back up and stood in front of the horses.”
But when the BBC interviewed McIntyre, the presenter tried to twist the story. McIntyre is unable to propel his own wheelchair, but BBC accuses him of throwing chunks of concrete at the police. Toward the end of the video below, McIntyre responds to the rude grilling quite eloquently.
McIntyre: Do you really think that a person with cerebral palsy in a wheelchair can pose a threat to a police officer who is armed with weapons?
BBC: But you do say you are a revolutionary…
McIntyre: That’s a word, not a physical action that I took against a police officer.
McIntyre: But I’m asking you, do you think that I could have, in any way, posed a physical threat from the seat of my wheelchair to an army of police officers, armed with weapons?—This whole line of argument is absolutely ludicrous as you are blaming the victims of violence for that violence.
If you wish to complain about the conduct of the BBC presenter, the BBC complaints form is here http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/ .This was shown on the 8 o’clock news on BBC News channel on the 13th December.