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Tribute for man who died at G20 demonstrations

April 2nd, 2009 · post by Edd · 3 Comments

Last night, on April 1st, a man died in the City during the G20 protests. Today a tribute demonstration was held at Bank. City of Police have said his name was Ian Tomlinson and that he lived in the City.

Throughout the day, and during last night, there have been conflicting reports about what happened. It is not clear whether he was part of the demonstration or was just caught in the middle of the police cordon.

Jasper Jackson, who took a photo of him just before his collapse, said, “The picture I have of him is of him stumbling in front of the protesters and in front of the police dogs looking dazed.” In a report by the Guardian it says he collapsed twice; first by a window of 11 Royal Exchange before being helped up and going past the police dogs on St Michael’s Alley.

Seconds later he collapsed close to the junction of Birchin Lane, near a Starbucks and Office Angels. It was protesters who went to help him, with one of them placing him in the recovery position and calling the police. An eye-witness in the Guardian report says that she noticed blood on his face.

Mr Tomlinson’s collapse came soon after police had baton charged protesters up Cornhill as they tried to clear the City.

Various participants in the City of London demonstrations on April 1st have come forward as witnesses to the collapse of a Ian Tomlinson.  Four different university students witnessed the collapse of Mr. Tomlinson. “He stumbled towards us from the direction of police and protestors and collapsed,” said Peter Apps.  “I saw a demonstrator who was a first aider attend to the person who had collapsed.  The man was late 40s, had tattoos on his hands, and was wearing a Millwall shirt.”

While the first aider was helping the man, another demonstrator with a megaphone was calling the police over so that they could help.

Natalie Langford, a student at Queen Mary, said, “There was a police charge.  A lot of people ran in our direction. The woman giving first aid stood in the path of the crowd.” The running people, seeing a guy on the ground, went around them.

Another demonstrator had already called 999 and was getting medical advice from the ambulance dispatcher. “Four police with two police medics came. They told her [the first aider] to ‘move along’”, said Peter Apps. “Then they pushed her forcibly away from him. They refused to listen to her [the first aider] when she tried to explain his condition.”

The first aider, who did not wish to be named, said, “The police surrounded the collapsed man. I was standing with the person who’d called 999. The ambulance dispatcher wanted to talk to the police, the phone was being held out to them, but the police refused.”

Another witness, Elias Stoakes, added “we didn’t see them [the police] perform CPR.”

Other people who had tried to stay with the collapsed man were also pushed away.

All of the witnesses deny the allegation that many missiles were thrown.

According to Peter Apps, “One bottle was thrown, but it didn’t come close to the police.  Nothing was thrown afterwards as other demonstrators told the person to stop.  The person who threw the bottle probably didn’t realize that someone was behind the ring of police.” All the witnesses said that the demonstrators were concerned for the well-being of the collapsed man once they realized that there was an injured person.

Natalie Langford said, “When the ambulance arrived the protestors got straight out of the way.”

The latest reports say he died of a suspected heart attack.


A tribute speech is given for Ian Tomlinson calling for an inquiry independent of the police
A tribute speech being giving for Ian Tomlinson at 1pm outside the Bank of England

A tribute demonstration was quickly called with a call-out going up onto London Indymedia and other websites.

At 1pm hundreds of people came to the Bank of England. An announcement was given to the throng of press and protesters by two unnamed people.

One of them said, “A man here died yesterday inside a police cordon. We’re calling for information about this person’s death and for an independent public inquiry. This person died inside a police cordon. He was supposed to be under the care of the police and the police have a responsibility for the people they cordon in.” Continuing she said, “We want to know what happened and we want to show our solidarity. We can’t accept that people can die inside a police cordon and for us to receive no information about it.”

g20-iantomlinson-tributewallAn impromptu wall of commemoration was made on hoardings over a statue with people writing messages of condolences and anger at the police brutality that typified much of April 1st.

By 3pm the crowds had swelled to 1,500 people confined to the pavements and side-streets by several hundred police. Again the police used excess force keeping the roads clear, especially on Princes street at around 3.35pm [photo] where they violently pushed 300 people back along the pavement into oncoming traffic. Over the following hour the police continued to disperse and move people from the cordon around the Bank of England.

If people witnessed Mr Tomlinson’s collapse, or any other police violence during the course of the day they’re encouraged to give statements to Bindmans Solicitors on 020 7833 4433. If you did witness something it is advised that you write a full statement as soon as you possibly can, sign and date it, and give a copy of it to a trusted other party.

→ 3 CommentsThis entry belongs to the following categories: News · notes of resistance

3 responses so far

  • Tom Fiction posted:
    Apr 4, 2009 at 9:04 am. Comment #1

    Here is interview with eyewitnesses from the day.

  • john posted:
    Apr 5, 2009 at 2:10 pm. Comment #2

    Apart from the Guardian i haven’t seen a single news report on this. That’s as criminal as the police thuggery that caused the death.

  • kate posted:
    Apr 8, 2009 at 8:55 am. Comment #3

    I think if it’s not breaking anyone’s confidentiality (film makers/interviewees and they are happy to be identified) this could be sent to the Guardian and maybe a Law firm that supports your work.