Wars are prevalent almost globally, if a country is not at war, then it is helping others by supplying them with weapons to create a mass destruction. Wars are at the heart of newspapers headlines, but in my opinion not many people take into account where a particular country received the weapons. ‘On the Verge’ opened my eyes to the realisation of EDO MBM, or as some would now know it as ITT, when brought in 2007. EDO MBM is a factory, one that uses their employees to make bomb racks, arming mechanisms for warplanes and release clips.
‘Operation Pillar of Defence’ inhumanly attacked many innocent Palestinian civilians in Gaza, using bomb racks that EDO had manufactured and sold to the Israeli military. Immediately it is apparent that article 5 and article 3 of the UDHR were violated, click on the link below to see the names of those 164 innocent victims, whose lives were sorrowfully taken.
This is just one example of why protesters have gathered to launch the campaign smashEDO, in order to exercise their “right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association” (UDHR, Undated). Nonetheless injunctions were given to the activists, mainly by Mark lynch, they declared that this went against their rights, but the police would respond by saying that they live in a democracy, therefore their rights were not being violated.
Policing tactics radically changed during the demonstrations on the 31st May 2005, it was apparent that policing was going to be aggressive; the police had began to single people out. The demonstrators suggested that the police had a strategy of targeting people that had been arrested before. Demonstrators were confined to two meters of the grass verge, if a person had stepped one foot over, they were liable to be arrested.
Using a camera to record, breeched the injunction, so to ridicule the injunction, protesters took hand-made cameras. Paul Robison, one of the many protesters was filming the action of a security guard, the security guard then seized the camera and Robinson was charged with breeching the injunction of the High Court. Despite the fact he didn’t have an injunction, the police violated article 10 of the UDHR by not allowing him to have a solicitor present, when he was being questioned. Police were caught on camera violently attacking others, they wanted to criminalize the campaign, but instead were criticized for their wrongdoing.
Eventually when the cases did go to court, it was found that there was a misuse of law. The judge found that the CPS had withheld information, because they refused to disclose the material, the case collapsed.
Caldwell (2005) describes video as an important tool for advocacy. He states, “it can illustrate stark visual and provide direct visual evidence of abuses” (pg 2). Pillay (2005) is also in agreement with Caldwell, she confirms “video can be a powerful source of evidence for lawyers and advocates seeking to right wrongs and create changes” (pg 209). This is seen in the Tomlinson case where video illustrates the law-breaking demeanour by a police officer.
In 2009 at the G20-summit protests, Ian Tomlinson a bystander was walking past, when he was brutally attacked by Simon Harwood, a constable police officer. The misconduct led to Tomlinson’s unlawful killing, the Guardian had published the video that identifies the police officer striking the innocent man on the leg with a baton, then pushing him to the ground. There is a link between the role of policing during both protests that indicates the police abusing their powers.
The comparative film ‘Showdown in Seattle: Five Days that Shook the WTO’ that further proves misconduct by the police in Seattle 1999, exemplifies the protests against the WTO. There is footage that depicts police officers unleashing rubber bullets and tear gas. This questions the notion of free speech that protesters are entitled too, and have the right to exercise. Click below to have a brief look at what this video is about:
Having considered the video evidence ensuing the misconduct by the police it would seem that the police and the public’s relationship appears to be deteriorating. During protests the public have a right to exercise article 19 of the UDHR so that their voice can make a change, but also to expose their passion for their beliefs. The Campaign Against Arms Trade is a campaign also doing its level best, to bring arms trade to an end internationally, they realise the harm it has on many innocent humans and are in agreement with smashEDO. Film has been used effectively to depict the role of policing during protests, the police are frowned upon by the public when they see such abuse. Nevertheless if it wasn’t for film, protesters would not be believed when they argue the case of a police officer attacking them, in this respect film can be used as evidence and a supplementary voice for protesters.
Caldwell G. (2005) ‘Using Video for Advocacy’ in Gregory S, Caldwell G, Avni R and Harding T., (eds) Video or change: A Guide for Advocacy and Activism. London. Pluto Press.
Pillay S. (2005) ‘Video as Evidence’ in Gregory S, Caldwell G, Avni R and Harding T., (eds) Video or change: A Guide for Advocacy and Activism. London. Pluto Press.
UN., (Undated) The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. [Online] Available at: http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/. [Accessed 20 December 12].