Charged
9781839762499
Charged
How the Police Try to Suppress Protest
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Hardback
Hardback
$29.95$23.9620% off
336 pages / May 24, 2022 / 9781839762499

Available for pre-order. This item will be available on May 24, 2022.

Ebook
Ebook
$9.99
May 24, 2022 / 9781839762529

Forthcoming

Who do the police protect? An investigation into 40 years of battling protest that reveals a hidden police agenda against dissent.

Charged is an essential investigation into the role of policing protest in Britain today. As the UK government tries to suppress all forms of dissent, in their pursuit of more control, how do the police manage crowds, provoke violence and even break the law?

Since the 1980s under successive governments the police have been allowed to suppress protests, using aggressive tactics—from batons to horse charges to kettling. The landscape of how police deal with protest changed following criticism of the police during the 1981 Brixton riots. New military-style tactics were sanctioned by the Thatcher government, in secret. Over the next forty years those protesting against racism, unfair job losses, draconian laws, or for environmental protection were subject to brutal tactics. In the aftermath, media attention denigrates protesters while the police are praised and continue to act with impunity.

Looking through these moments of conflict widens our understanding of policing public order to reveal the true character of the state. Since the 1980s successive governments, from Thatcher to Johnson, covertly plot to suppress protests, using standardised aggressive tactics, from batons to horse charges to kettling. Through undisclosed documents and eyewitness accounts the authors reveal organised police violence against miners at Orgreave, print workers at Warrington, anti poll tax campaigners, student protestors and Black Lives Matter. The voices of protesters have been undeterred.

Reviews

“Brilliantly readable, it carries you with it every step of the way. One forgets how frightening authority is and the detail on police behaviour is dreadfully shocking and distressing. It never assumes what you might believe or what you might already know and at the end leaves the reader in no doubt as to what has happened in this country.”

“Matt Foot and Morag Livingstone have carefully documented the organised violence and secret police tactics used to attack trade unionists and others who have exercised their right to protest in Britain since the early 1980s. They uncover the way that successive Home secretaries and chief police officers have covertly worked together, deploying and legalising draconian tactics to defend vested interests from active legitimate dissent. If you want to know the dark history that has led us to the current police bill and to understand how the powers it contains would be used, I recommend that you read this book.”

“Meticulously details violent state suppression in the protection of capital; backed by a propaganda machine. Exposed is the unofficial but permanent government with sharp attention to every detail. This is a story of how justice has been repeatedly stolen in this ruthless war against the right to protest. Read every word because you are holding history in your hands. Our history.”

“Foot and Livingstone have done a magnificent job of intertwining analysis of the legal system with history, showing us how the thing we call ‘the law’ morphs with what those in charge of the justice system want it to do. This is a great piece of bottom-up history because the authors write in sympathy and solidarity about what it’s been like in recent times to be a protestor on the receiving end of these changes.”

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9781839762499
Charged