Amongst the coverage of the Dale Farm eviction yesterday, I was struck by this quote from Jake Fulton, which appeared at 1503 on the Telegraph's live blog:
"They're torturing people up there. We are trying to resist peacefully."
I am assuming Jake Fulton was one of those activists 'locked on' to the tower that was constructed by the travellers supporters. Locking on, often using bike locks, has been a common method on environmental protests for years. A workshop covering it is shown in the recent Just Do It film about environmental direct action, and it is standard tactic when occupying buildings, or trying to prevent evictions.
Locking on is a stupid, dangerous tactic that places the security, health and safety of the individual in the hands of their supposed enemy - the police and bailiffs. Anyone with a basic knowledge of pressure points or who remembers how to do a 'chinese burn' from childhood, will be able to inflict severe pain on the individual who has 'locked on'. Is this the 'torture' to which Jake Fulton refers? If so, he and a few others need to wise up, and actually start believing their own hype about police riot squads and court appointed bailiffs.
I can't imagine too many Irish travelling men would voluntarily lock themselves in a position where they can be made to suffer by the police. Quite why environmental activists are putting themselves in that position, on their behalf, is beyond me. It is easy to portray such activists as naive, gullible middle class dreamers, because in cases like this, that is how they behave.
Do not expect morality, or fair treatment, or the Queensberry rules, from riot police. Because if you do, you may end up being 'tortured'.