Activists say they were given repeated assurances by a chief inspector from the Metropolitan police that they would be shown to safety after the protest, which she described as non-violent and sensible. However, when protesters left the luxury Piccadilly store on police instruction, they were kettled, handcuffed and taken into custody.
Their claims are backed up by footage, obtained by the Guardian, showing that, rather than being asked to leave, the protesters inside the luxury food retailer were told they were being kept inside for their own safety.
"Because we were at a peaceful protest, which had been the same as all UK Uncut actions to date, it really shocked me that they would arrest all 150 protesters. I feel tricked. Perhaps I shouldn’t expect the police to tell me the truth," he said.
That is a great message to send to people who want change, “Protest peacefully and we’ll still arrest you.” I hate it when authority abuses power. People who want social justice and change should be allowed to protest something peacefully without fear of being harassed by the police.