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Request for a public inquiry into police actions at recent demonstrations

16 December 2010 | last updated: 11 December 2015

Statement by the president and the general secretary

Further to events in London surrounding the anti-fees demonstration on Thursday 9 December we have written to the Home Secretary, the chair of the Home Affairs select committee and the Commissioner for the Metropolitan Police requesting a public inquiry.

We have been contacted by many, many members of UCU who were caught in Whitehall and Parliament Square. Their stories, their witness, have left us very concerned with what happened to them, the tactics involved and the possible consequences for the right to future peaceful protest.

Along with others, we do not condone violence in any shape or form. However, very many peaceful protesters were trapped in the freezing cold, unable to leave, for many hours, due to police tactics.

Others were subject to very frightening tactics including police charges, use of shields, and being kettled up until 11.30 at night.

We are very clear that at least one protester has been hospitalised with potential brain damage, another, pulled from a wheel chair.

Consequently we believe there is an urgent need for a public inquiry which can fully investigate the events of 9 December and the two previous days of action in London, 10 November and 24 November.

We will inform members as to any progress with this request.

Alan Whitaker
UCU President

Sally Hunt
UCU General secretary