Brightlingsea - Day 11

26th January 1995 (eyewitness account)

The sheep trucks came through at about midday, and the cars that tried to get in front of them were stopped by the police (i.e. Otley's security guards, paid for by the public) on the grounds of asking for 'producers' (where you have to show your licence, MOT certificate, and insurance papers, or agree to hand them in to a police station within a week).

People tried to delay the trucks in the town by walking in front of them. This degenerated into little more than a slow march down to the wharf. People just marching were arrested randomly (or so it seemed at the time), without being warned, though everyone in the march was doing the same thing (i.e. just walking). There were no confrontational scenes, despite having been beaten up by these policeman over the past couple of weeks.

Unfortunately, among their fleet of riot vans, the police had brought a prison van, and so felt they had to fill it. One policeman in the prison van said words to the effect of "we've still some spaces, get a few more" (and they did).

There were 10 arrests altogether. 6 of these were from Cambridge, and no more than three of the other four were B'sea residents ( Previously the arrests have been mainly B'sea residents.) Seems a bit sinister. At the very least they are targetting male non-B'sea resdidents, in an attempt to portray the demonstration as being hijacked by 'lunatic outsiders'.

This is the second time I have been arrested at B'sea. I was also threatened in the police station by being told that next time I go there, they'll arrest me and I won't get out!