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Anti-cuts protesters block traffic by Maidenhead station

James Hockaday

Anti-cuts protesters block traffic by Maidenhead station

Placard-waving protesters opposing Government cuts were surrounded by police officers as they blocked traffic in front of Maidenhead railway station this afternoon.

The campaign group Disabled People Against Cuts had announced its intention to stage a demonstration in the town today to protest against Conservative welfare reforms.

A community liaison officer at the scene said that a small group began protesting 'earnestly' at about 2pm. 

He said the protest progressed and the group began blocking the A308 at about 3.40pm for about 20 minutes before officers moved demonstrators peacefully onto the pavement.

One protester started playing anti-Theresa May protest song 'Liar Liar' by Captain Ska from a speaker after being moved.

Another demonstrator held a scarecrow-like effigy of the Prime Minister.

Traffic is now moving along the road.

Paula Peters, from Bromley, in London, one of the organisers and a member of the Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) national steering group, said: “To the people of Maidenhead, think about what you care about when you put that cross in the box.

“We want our children and our children’s children to have a better future and we want to build a better world.

“We can’t bear another five years of Tory austerity.

“It’s a government for the rich and by the rich, it’s not for the just about managing or disabled or pensioners.

When asked about the disruption caused by the protest, she said the group would have moved to allow emergency services vehicles through.

She added: “The only way we get our rights back is if we strike and occupy.

“We will fight for our rights – the country won’t endure another five years of Theresa May.”

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  • Gen William Taggart

    Gen William Taggart

    11:11, 04 June 2017

    The Dennis Skinner award for best come backs goes to Liz Davitt [the woman with a speaker mentioned in the article]. Officer (standing in the middle of the road) "you are breaking the law by causing an obstruction". Liz Davitt (standing at the side of the road) " Well doesn't that make this a pot kettle situation?", "because you are standing in the middle of the road causing an obstruction too". The officer did not know what to say .

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  • Gen William Taggart

    Gen William Taggart

    11:11, 04 June 2017

    The Police did not remove protestors after 20 minutes, by negotiation DPAC informed me and I in turn liaised to the police that the duration would be 20 minutes. As we were quite aware of the intensity of the heat, and that holding up the traffic any longer would put the drivers and their passengers at risk. However during this time, one of the officers got very aggressive with Paula Peter's. I had to remind them several times that there was non need for such aggression. Towards the end of the 20 minutes, several officers (mostly ranking ones) became more verbally and physically aggressive towards DPAC members, a number of officers were observed to unclip their nightsticks and pepperspray cannisters in readiness. It was at this point of time I pulled rank, insisting that they stand down, as there was no need for such aggression from these officers. Even after the 20 minutes had passed and DPAC had 'chosen' to move back on to the pavement, the same officers were trying to arrest peeps for obstruction, I had to point out to them that the given area was under the British Transport Police, that they had no jurisdiction. We did however of our own choice politely move out of the way for peeps passing. Which is more than can be said for the 60 plus officers lining the path. I spoke to the Liaison officers afterwards, and the aggressive behaviour presented by those few officers was noted.

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  • Theresaburns

    09:09, 04 June 2017

    You forgot to mention how one of the police harassed and physically assaulted paula. Also how he followed her around shouting in her face. Lucky he was not flattened. Ignorant pig.

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