As if essentially providing an escort to allow the safe passage to live export lorries operated by convicted criminals wasn't bad enough, the police have taken their war on protesters against this sickening trade a step further and prevented press photographer Val Cameron from doing her job.
Around midday, 23 October, another shipment of live animals passed through Ramsgate's port of shame. Once again there was a staggeringly large number of police officers in attendance (I would estimate 50 were involved, including some deployed along the port entry road and even on the steps nearby leading up to the clifftop). I counted six large police vans, four cars and two SUVs but there may well have been even more. The protesters were kept well back this time - there is some evidence to suggest that they were only allowed to the gates of the port on Friday so that Meridian could get footage for its news coverage.
Protesters, the number of which I would put at around the 30-40 mark, were vocal but peaceful. I saw the photographer going about her business as I was also taking a few pictures of the proceedings...and then moments later she was being led to one side by the officer shown in the pictures below and stopped from taking further photographs. I was standing a few feet away - there was absolutely no reason at all why she would have been prevented from covering the event, not least because she'd already gained prior permission and regularly attends these protests in the role of official photographer.
The officer involved seemed somewhat taken aback to find himself being snapped by me as he overstepped the mark. For some reason, many officers seem to think they can make up their own law, especially when it comes to oppressing people with cameras (who they seem to think fall into one of two categories - paedophiles or terrorists).
Meanwhile, it was reported that one of the poor animals in this shipment was found to be badly injured and had to be destroyed.
Ramsgate port live exports protest 23 October (33 pics)