Star date: 17th March 2014


"I got sent to prison for being accused of doing that shit. Three grown men battering a woman on the floor…I'm in shock." Bez

Vanda, the mother of four who made headlines last month after her brutal arrest by officers from Greater Manchester Police Tactical Aid Unit, was again arrested and beaten at Barton Moss this morning in the full gaze of the media – and Happy Mondays star, Bez, who was on the front line of the anti-fracking protest.

"It's a disgrace" he told the Salford Star "A peaceful protest and… to arrest someone, smashing their head on the floor is not right is it? Especially a woman…"

Full details here…

Vanda's Arrest by Greater Manchester Police at Barton Moss Vanda's Arrest by Greater Manchester Police at Barton Moss Vanda's Arrest by Greater Manchester Police at Barton Moss
Vanda's Arrest by Greater Manchester Police at Barton Moss Vanda's Arrest by Greater Manchester Police at Barton Moss Vanda's Arrest by Greater Manchester Police at Barton Moss
Vanda's Arrest by Greater Manchester Police at Barton Moss Vanda's Arrest by Greater Manchester Police at Barton Moss More Arrests At Barton Moss 17th March 2014
Barton Moss 17th March 2014 More Arrests At Barton Moss 17th March 2014 Bez Joins Barton Moss Anti Fracking Protest
Bez Joins Barton Moss Anti Fracking Protest
click image to enlarge

Happy Mondays star, Bez, came to Barton Moss this morning to raise the issues around anti-fracking. Instead he witnessed numerous arrests and yet more brutality from the Greater Manchester Police Tactical Aid Unit.

From the start of the slow walk in front of lorries delivering to the IGas exploratory drilling site, police were sending snatch squads into the lines of peaceful protectors, with over a dozen arrests along the route.

The final arrest sickened, not just Bez, but everyone present, as Vanda - the mother of four who was brutally dragged across a muddy field in handcuffs last month, injured and left on the floor for 45 minutes waiting for an ambulance (see previous Salford Star articles click here and click here) – was not only arrested but beaten. In front of eye witnesses, including the Salford Star reporting team…

Salford Star editor, Stephen Kingston, says…

"As a journalist you try and remain neutral but when you see totally violent and out of control policing you have to speak up. I saw one of the arresting officers repeatedly punch Vanda in the stomach.

"I went around to the other side of the fence to which the police had her pinned and saw blood dripping from her face and absolute fear in her eyes. She was screaming while an officer had his hands around her neck. When Vanda was previously arrested the road was sealed off and our reports had to rely on video footage and photographs. This I saw with my own eyes.

"The amazing thing is that officers did this in the full glare of the media which was there to photograph Bez. It's almost like they are trying to send a message out that `If you come to a peaceful protest at Barton Moss you too can expect this treatment'.

"And the other amazing thing is that not one single Salford councillor or the Salford City Mayor Ian Stewart has so much as raised a murmur about such events which are happening almost on a daily basis on their doorstep. And these are mainly Labour Party people who would probably have plenty to say about the policing of the miners strike thirty years ago. They should all hang their heads in shame."

Salford Star photographer, Steven Speed, adds…

"I was stood next to Vanda when it started. She turned to face the officer stood behind her and said 'I have been doing this for years and I know exactly how far away from you I need to stand'. She then turned around and within seconds the officers pounced on her. The level of violence shown towards her was horrifying, at one point they were pushing her head into the ground and laughing at her."

Meanwhile, Bez, who also witnessed Vanda's arrest, told the Salford Star…

"It's a disgrace really – a peaceful protest, and to arrest someone in a violating way, smashing their head on the floor is not right is it? Especially a woman. I got sent to prison for being accused of doing that shit. Three grown men battering a woman on the floor? I'm in shock by their actions. I expect more of people who are supposed to be protecting us.

"The Salford Mayor? He's been silenced not to say anything about it. But people need to turn off the tv. We've got to stop the dumbing down and get people awake to what's happening and to become more aware and add their voice to the protest.

"I would say to people from Salford and everywhere…`If you've got the time and can do this sort of thing you should be here…If you can't get down here there are other ways you can show your support'. It's not everyone's job to be on the front line, there's other things people can do to help along the way…"

And if you are on the front line of peaceful protest in Salford, today the Greater Manchester Police showed where their priorities lie…

Photos by Steven Speed 

For more photos see Salford Star picture stories - click here

UPDATE - 19th March 2014 - click here

See also previous Salford Star articles…

UK Government will answer to the United Nations on Barton Moss policing - click here

Salford Grandma speaks out against police abuse at Barton Moss - click here

Chris wrote
at 17:03:53 on 23 March 2014
I,ve Known Vanda for many years and I can tell you she is NOT a professional protester, she,s a very caring woman who loves her children, family and friends, whats happend to Vanda is nothing short of a scandal, Brutalised and assaulted on camera by GMP who have obviously been given carte blanch to do as they like, But what goes around comes around and in 20-30 yrs time when their children (and our children too) and grandchildren are drinking contaminated water, it will be too late then for remorse for todays actions, Local councillors beware, elections will soon be here and you will want our votes, your actions now will decide weather you get them. GMP --- Hang your heads in shame!
Bernard Brough wrote
at 18:00:44 on 22 March 2014
Bull, no it is not a given right to protest, it is a right fought for and earned. If you think that the action of the mob otherwise known as GMP is justified then I'm afraid you are either in need of help or in the pay of one of those organisations the said mob are in the pay of.
OMG wrote
at 07:33:42 on 21 March 2014
OMG OMG it infuriates me to see what GMP are getting away with.... They get away with murder literally !!!! So seems like they will get away with police brutality on Barton Moss. GMP are sending flyers out to public asking if anyone wants to complain about protesters outside Swinton police station. We all need to complain to GMP regarding them and their actions to members of the public protesting. The whole of GMP are corrupt bullies. It disgusts me that I'm paying my council tax for these bunch of T..ts
Bernard Brough wrote
at 19:01:33 on 20 March 2014
Jane Dawson, what planet are you living on? Do you work for Peel Holdings? You should be frothing at the mouth with rage against the bunch of thugs pretending to be police officers. Not making excuses for them. As for Salford council, I'm afraid we, the people of Salford, don't have the resources that Peel Holdings have therefore our views will be ignored.
bull plop wrote
at 19:00:31 on 20 March 2014
some people are just daft. it is not your given right to protest. if a police officer tell you to stop marching in front of trucks going to / leaving work, then you move. you can see from reading who's for and against.. because their comments are just daft.. everyone's against them. you can also tell whom, like myself, can see a wider picture. when the country (liverpool where i am too) started to riot, we all longed for the long arm of the law, keeping our streets clear of these idiots.. no-one was moaning about them being heavy handed then. your stories are always the same.. "well i was just on my way home from church, and this copper grabbed me..." maybe we don't have the perfect way to communicate with the powers that be (on this issue or any other) but the police are not the enemy, they are the working class just like the rest of us. but stop all of this one side bull plop attitudes and comments. it just shows how daft (and paranoid) you really are... FFS and american gets it, what does that say about you! (first comment). if you want to help the world, get a decent job, they helps people, or help DIRECTLY with the local community, help the HORRIBLE kids that we have in this country to become a normal member of local society, or start your own business and employ those less fortunate.. but don't stand there, rough as arses, with your dirty woollen jumper in the middle of a field, shouting how the government is f*cking you over, without knowing what they actually do for you.. every day.. just stop for a moment, go outside and look at the infrastructure around you and question how it all magically appeared around you, to help your jobless self, your 4 kids, and probably the rest of your family - all claiming benefits. oh, and JED above - this guy gets it britania rules the waves - my arse
Mike Havenar wrote
at 06:11:59 on 20 March 2014
As an American seeing this from overseas, and, never having visited England I offer this perspective: Queen Mary burned to death in one night about 900 Baptists, which is probably why my ancestors crossed the Atlantic Ocean. England has come a long way from that. But personal attitudes of right and wrong and morality questions still rule human discourse. I don't fault the officer for feeling satisfaction, or credit him either. The poor woman who was brutalized while exercising her free rights as a British citizen should be compensated and a public apology should be forthcoming from the officer and the police department, if there is to continue a level of civilized discourse and debate. The main issue still is fracking and the damage it has done and is doing and will be doing in the future. We have the same problem here in the United States. Because we have so much territory and so many problems the potential for worldwide environmental and human damage is greater and must be prevented. To the brave woman in this feature I can say only (with a speckle of irony) that all public demonstrations regardless of protective laws involve an element of risk, and that at least she was not burned at the stake.
paul wrote
at 22:40:42 on 19 March 2014
This was a disgusting assault on a peaceful protector. It matters not if she has been a protestor for years ... she has the right to peacefully protest without being assaulted by a police service that is supposed to facilitate peaceful protest. These officers over the past few weeks have clearly been out of control and are trying to initiate a violent response from the protestors. What is more they have clearly been captured on film blatantly perverting the course of justice. Why are they not being thrown out of the service and being prosecuted?
kenneth mckelvey wrote
at 18:51:24 on 19 March 2014
The people who are on the side of the police in this Fracking protest should keep one thing in mind it is not against the law to protest peacefully. It is against the law for the police to brutalise the Protesters, Which they appear to be doing on a regular basis in all demonstrations including demos by Students and Workers etc It was not so long ago that the Police killed one poor chap by pushing him violently to the ground.In a so called Free Country we do not need these bully boy tactics/ The Police are supposed to be strictly neutral, So when are the powers that be inform them of that effect. Students / Workers/
Fred wrote
at 17:05:30 on 19 March 2014
I take it jane dawson is a police lover. The protesters are standing up for our right to peaceful protest. The police are proving themselves yet again to be bullying , violent , lying thugs . Remenber Orgreave , Hillsborough , Ian Tomlinson , Stephen Lawrence , Birmingham 6 , and all the others . The police are corrupt , and rotton to the core . Best wishes to the protesters , and shame on GMP .
john wrote
at 12:33:20 on 19 March 2014
Until there are major changes in the way we are governed (parliament), these things will not go away. If the government lap dogs (police) are told to jump they just say how high? they have no morals in protecting the people that pay there wages
Dan wrote
at 12:33:17 on 19 March 2014
Lloyd needs to get his snout out of the taxpayer-funded trough and sack these violent police thugs before an innocent protester is seriously injured .
Anon wrote
at 12:33:02 on 19 March 2014
Sexual thrill? Where is he trying to put her hand? Why are they allowed to get away with this? Why are the government allowed to deny us any rights?
Jane Dawson wrote
at 12:32:40 on 19 March 2014
If you actually watch the video that goes along with these pictures, you'll see Vanda- a professional protester - she knows exactly how to work the situation, by resisting the arrest and screaming her lungs out as she knows she's being filmed! In the video there are many many GMP carrying cameras and filming the incident. Gmp followed the correct procedure on someone that was a known offender and resisted arrest! Can you all not see this is protestor propaganda to create more action and attention around the site?!
Mike wrote
at 06:36:56 on 19 March 2014
one of a number of petitions now online at: https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/the-citizens-of-manchester-and-the-uk-for-an-inquiry-into-the-misconduct-of-pc-13217-and-others-at-barton-moss-to-be-fully-investigated#invite
Glyn Hope wrote
at 06:36:51 on 19 March 2014
The police have always been muscle for the corporate rich. Look at the mass trespass in 1932 when so many people NOT breaking the law were arrested and beaten by police while the rich landowners who used weapons were never arrested. Some things will never change!
Jennifer hammond wrote
at 06:36:45 on 19 March 2014
All of these men who attacked her obviously love hurting women and love their job because they can. All of them and the higher ups need to be punished and jailed. They are psychopaths.
Lisa wrote
at 06:36:25 on 19 March 2014
Wee love you Bez. The PM of the people. You will inspire so many people with your actions + words.
John Dege wrote
at 18:06:21 on 18 March 2014
I think it is absolutely appalling that the Police Force find it necessary to basically gang up on a defenceless woman or anyone for that matter . It just shows how professional the Police Force is today not only in Britain but everwhere. I think these individuals concerned missed out somewhere when they joined the Police Force. Where is their Social Competence amongst other things . God bless the British Police Force ...
Steve Cheney wrote
at 16:12:25 on 18 March 2014
Pretty disgraceful behaviour, and the one person defending it is pretty typical of the level of callousness one has to stoop to to be comfortable with it.
Name and shame him wrote
at 16:12:16 on 18 March 2014
Name and shame 13217. Somebody must know who he is? I'll bet he will be going on fully paid sick leave with "Stress" soon and be laughing even more then.
ellie wrote
at 14:01:21 on 18 March 2014
The look of malevolent glee on the cops face says it all. His family must be so proud of him...the "upholder of the law" We have to start assisting people when this happens. Remember there are more of us than them.
Biggsy wrote
at 14:00:33 on 18 March 2014
These fat, useless, excuses for human beings who are now encouraged to join the police and are built up into thinking that they are above the law (anyone ever see a police car driving at the speed limit?) deserve our contempt. They are the pawns of banks and corporations and will go down with them. By the way, the Met apparently shredded "lorry loads" of documents from their police corruption investigate - big surprise.
Mike Thomas wrote
at 14:00:04 on 18 March 2014
Maybe now the time is right to form a Peoples Militia! Its exactly what GMP want so wait any longer for the inevitable? As for Jed...... if I came to your house and beat the crap out of you and no one was there to film or photograph it...... would I still have beat the crap out of you?
kenneth mckelvey wrote
at 13:58:56 on 18 March 2014
A good article about the protest on the moss in the i Newspaper/ Still begs the Question where is Salfords MPs And Councillors/ Read the Comment by the Pro Fracker Its about time he changed his Script only answer the Torys have ever had is to insult the Protesters / Still going on as well about the cheap Gas we Will be getting Heard that about North Sea Oil its just Tory Bullshit/ Torys never have/ Never Did/ and Never Will Do Anthing that benifits the ordinary people Of the UKThey just fill their own wallets at everybodys elses expence/ W
Rupert wrote
at 13:45:55 on 18 March 2014
Turn of your damn TV and stay away from mainstream media because that is how they are controlling and brainwashing you.There is plenty of alternative media out there.Ever since I stopped owning a TV set my life has turned upside down, for the better all along the way.To be a police officer these days you have to be a yob, thug and a hulligan on top of that.I will not even call them animals, what kind of a low life scoundrel could do this to another human being, a woman on top of that?!In case you are wandering why this is happening Google Bilderberg group and enjoy the reading.Then Google UN Agenda 21 and read about a revolution that is brewing in US and it is heading to our shores. You might as well Google New World Order to get a really good picture of what is going on and marching orders David Cameron received from the Billderberg group in Watford last year.
at 13:45:25 on 18 March 2014
Is this sad excuse for a man called jed a member of gmp ? Or working for the violent forces opposing peaceful protests? Open your eyes jed look at the facts and accept we are being abused on a daily basis or is it your job to try and incite
amy atherton wrote
at 13:44:45 on 18 March 2014
I think the police r doing an amazing job down there, they wouldn't do that if it was like you say a peaceful protest, because it's quiet simply not peaceful protest it's full of tree huggers or homeless people causing havoc and wasting tax payers money!!!
Bog wrote
at 13:44:33 on 18 March 2014
Jed = cock http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-26030204
James wrote
at 07:03:23 on 18 March 2014
It is unfortunate that the police are now used by international bankers through governments to be corporate enforcers. Little do these dim witted fools (majority of police) understand that they are contributing to the coming tyrannical epoch. The major problem is ethics and morality is being thrown out the window. I have a funny suspicion that if you do not display sociopathic traits when applying for a police career then the powers to be, will view you as a threat to their power base. Truth and integrity is being destroyed in these Modern institutions on purpose. May liberty and Justice prevail eventually against this tyrannical threat.
Linda wrote
at 07:03:20 on 18 March 2014
Jed, and his/her ilk need educated, in a big way. Head in the sand is a cowards way out.
Justice4bartonmoss wrote
at 07:03:03 on 18 March 2014
Darren Lillywhite wrote
at 03:19:25 on 18 March 2014
Why are they so aggressive, this isn't Soviet Russia or Nazi Germany, is it?
at 03:19:21 on 18 March 2014
“I have been doing this for years and I know exactly how far away from you I need to stand". Where has Vanda been doing it? Not at Barton for years.
Ian Bower wrote
at 21:52:24 on 17 March 2014
Jed. You say 'there is absolutely no scientific basis for these concerns.' Where have you been lately. Take a look around Google about fracking pollution in the USA.
Phil O wrote
at 21:52:17 on 17 March 2014
Greater Manchester Police Employing sadists who get their kicks by brutalising defenceless women.The smiles on their faces as they brutalise people says it all! If there are any more perverts out there that need a job working with their own kind ,Apply to Greater Manchester Police, you will fit in nicely..
Graham Cooper wrote
at 19:39:34 on 17 March 2014
Disgraceful scenes, disgraceful policing. I was there today like lots of other days the police lose control of there emotions and TAU training kicks in literally . To all you democratically elected councillors keep your head down and pretend it aint happening. I will when I see you all give you a piece of my mind for being spineless in your lack of involvement in such an environmental/rights issue and appeasing your paymasters. I will when giving the opportunity remind you all loudly of your collusion in all this. My stomach is still turning in anger and fear from this mornings performance by GMP, but it also makes my resolve to protest against experimental projects like this all the more determined. Councillors crawl back under your stones and keep the lights off.
a davies wrote
at 19:39:00 on 17 March 2014
Seems to me the emphasis has been changed from fracking to despicable policing tactics which can be seen on many videos/photographs.And please will all the idiots who rant about layabouts.dole scroungers etc get a grip,many of these people are retired,mothers and business owners plus workers using up time off to do something they believe in..
will latham wrote
at 19:38:54 on 17 March 2014
Policing by consent? A policeman is just another citizen who has been given extra powers and put into uniform so that we cn know to whom we can turn if we are in difficulty and need help. Are there any of these sort of officers left who can defend us from the Thugs ?
David Britten wrote
at 19:38:42 on 17 March 2014
I've suggested before that our police service has, indeed, become a force and an instrument of government oppression. They are now little more than uniformed thugs. But surely that are also subject to the law that they claim to uphold? The woman pictured here was violently assaulted and the police officers responsible should be prosecuted just as any other citizen of this country would be if they had attacked someone.
dennis smalley wrote
at 19:38:34 on 17 March 2014
hi people, i have been saying this for years about our corrupt police force, they are protected as if by an invisible force field of rules, no we cant retaliate or were carted off and sent to court, but these poor excuses of corporate and government bully boys are almost never made to answer for there abuse of the law . yes, i see people at last are waking up to the way we are all controlled. it started with the poor students, the way they were handled , i do not condone the riots, but the punishments dished out were excessive, 4 years jail for writing on face book, this was a warning to anyone who wishes to protest, i saw it coming, we are not free, keep it up barton moss protesters and anyone else who has a cause to demonstrate, maybe people will lose there fear of persecution and more will join the fold,
oz62 wrote
at 19:38:15 on 17 March 2014
JED you need to catch yourself on. There's loads of documented evidence of the cops there acting like idiots and thugs. Just because you have a degree and talk down to people with insults doesn't make you right. I have a degree and I know where the soap is - I support these protestors and share their concerns. If you do come back here can you let us know where you buy your cheaper energy please? The cost of mine is sky high and just keeps going up.
Jimbo wrote
at 19:37:54 on 17 March 2014
@Jules, you say. "In the US police have to carry video cameras that automatically record everything whilst they are on duty.". WRONG, WRONG, WRONG you have been watching too much "Cops on camera" on your Sky digibox, get into the real world , if this protest was happening in the good old USA then you WOULD see some police brutality. And I can tell you now it's a 90% chance it would not be on camera, not the protesters cameras either because they would not be allowed near the site. Thank god we live in a democratic state which means those who could not vote in the last election due to not having an address can still protest.
Colin wrote
at 16:57:24 on 17 March 2014
I've been there when the police have done a snatch. It's almost impossible to get a good shot with all the crazed bustle of the police and protectors - the police have 'set pieces' where they are trained to snatch, pull away and surround a victim making it almost I possible to get good shots - I've seen thumps being unleashed on innocent people but could not get a shot. The police daily, show they are out of control.
Vince coffeetable wrote
at 16:57:09 on 17 March 2014
Delight and glee from the arresting P.C Big man ! Protector of civilisation ! Upholder of values ! Policing by consent! If we consent to being policed in this manner then lets wave our new Swastikas High ! Let us be proud of our values and let's go kicking in doors for £6.50 an hour and drag those who do not conform to the "benevolent" subtlety of hegemony out screaming and put puts to their head. Never will I conform or consent to the mind set of thuggery. There are more of us than them, there always were, so detached in our little Skinner boxes. 1 3 1 2 Horrible divorce korsakoff's and pancreatitis are a tragedy for most but for some it is self inflicted and glorious karma. Still working on my programme to be able to forgive and see reason but as far as police are concerned I struggle.
Jules wrote
at 16:57:02 on 17 March 2014
In the US police have to carry video cameras that automatically record everything whilst they are on duty. Time for the same here I think, so that police and the policed can call each other to account for their actions.
Jane Thorn wrote
at 16:56:15 on 17 March 2014
To JED Please, please, PLEASE come down to Barton Moss and see with your own eyes the very real and very frightening brutality. You don't realise that the police simply do not NEED to 'restrain' people - it is not justified. The TAU officers pounce on people, and I don't blame you for presuming that they 'deserve' it because it does seem outrageous...but this is the scandal, this is the whole point! A person who is exercising their right to use a public footpath as part of their peaceful protest does NOT deserve to have her face pushed into the ground whilst 3 men stand and kneel on her with a crazed, frenzied expression in their eyes. Whatever your views on fracking, when it comes to the police, they are taking away people's rights to peaceful protest, something you might want one day when something you care about happens and you don't want it. As for the 'go home, have a wash' comments that doesn't do you any favours, just highlights an ignorance and belief of a stereotype based on yet more ignorance. I go down and protest, I live at home and go back to it every night, oh and I also 'have a wash' every day. Do your reserch Jed love, and you'll soon realise there will not be any of the 'dream' we are promised, no cheaper energy, no benefits, just a whole load of mess for our future generations to deal with and live in.
dean wrote
at 16:55:51 on 17 March 2014
JED i've an earth sciences degree having studied economic geology/mineral mining etc my wife is a professional ecologist/countryside manager we are both opposed to fracking (and yes we have done the research).
mickarick wrote
at 16:07:40 on 17 March 2014
Shocking from GMP, i was a striking miner and believe me when i tell you not many labour councillors spoke out for us when we were battered by the coppers nothing changes.
Seren-enfys wrote
at 16:07:34 on 17 March 2014
I would like Tony Lloyd to go out to Barton Moss (without telling a soul he'll be there),and get a bit of first hand experience of the truly barbaric treatment of peaceful protesters.Looking at the photos you can see the sheer delight that the GMP/TAU get out of beating up women,some of these men are married with children,who's to say that this is not usual practice behind their front doors???? Social Services should now step in to make sure their children are not suffering at their hands.(They are quick enough to step in if we take our children to a peaceful protest with us). I hope Vanda is ok. big (((HUGS)) to her.
Swampy'slilbro wrote
at 16:07:13 on 17 March 2014
If that was my mother, these 3 blokes would have all got their backsides kicked badge or no badge. I'd happily rot for 3 months at the magistrates and her majesty's pleasure knowing they got a taste of their own medicine. Absolute waste of space, these are not acting in way that police officers should, they are more like stalin's dogs of war... But where's the war, where's even the threat to police officer's safety which is actually the ONLY circumstance they are ALLOWED to use this level of brute force?
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