Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Freedom of the press? More from the port of shame

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)


  1. This officer should be reprimanded for his actions, especially against the press photographer who was causing NO problems to anyone. In actual fact, I politely acknowledged this police officer this morning at the port and expected a similar response, but instead received no response and a bland expression. He is an arrogant man with no manners and clearly lacks people skills!!!


  2. Derek from Eastenders lookalike same look same arrogance!!!!

  3. I fully agree that last Friday's protest was allowed greater freedom purely because of the news coverage. It was dangerously out of control & one has to ask why protestors were allowed so close to the wheels of the trucks in the rain on just that occasion? I suspect that the police at the Port are mindlessly obeying orders from further up & have now been told to crack down & try to squash the protests . One has to ask where the orders are coming from - Ministerial level?

  4. Not sure what level the orders are coming down from...but whoever made the decision to allow a TV friendly protest last Friday obviously underestimated the feeling among the protesters.

    Interesting that they had only 14 officers there when the TV cameras and various press sources where present...but 60 or so on Monday and nearly as many yesterday. Obviously didn't want the public at large to know just how much money they're wasting, just to protect live animal exporters and help them go about their repulsive business.

    Can't believe they actually gave the lorries an escort into the port this time. It beggars belief. They'll happily let a victim of domestic violence be murdered and claim there were no officers available. But they are clearly liars and that's why no one trusts the police, or the people who control them.

  5. It does appear that the protest on Friday 19th October was staged for the benefit of the press and media who were there. The point about 14 officers versus 50 or 60 officers on Monday/Tuesday of this week is very valid.

    The police escort situation is appalling, considering that you wouldn't provide an escort to a standard commercial vehicle entering a port. There are claims that police even travelled up to the Medway or therebaouts to ensure that there were no protesters at the side of the road en-route.

    Whatever happened to the freedom of speech and action, within the law? Clearly, the police were all in favour of the exporters in providing escorts, whilst making protesters on the ground felt penned in with police vans, vast numbers of police officers and metal barriers!

  6. 1st thing is sham on the cops who dont give a BEEP !!!! 2nd we are looking in to this sec 14 stuff so we can be shor what ppl can / cart do etc , 3rd thing is we need more ppl to help us stop this trade , what will it take one of being killed there by them trucks ?????????