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Keith Narey

Police riot in Armthorpe

(September 1984)

From Militant, No. 715, 7 September 1984, pp. 8–9.
Transcribed by Iain Dalton.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

AS WE reported last week the pit village of Armthorpe, Yorkshire, has been virtually under martial law with 1,000 police occupying the village.

Peter, a part-time park keeper explained what happened to him:

“The police accused me of throwing a bottle – I pointed to my arms, both arthritic, ‘how could I throw ’owt wi these? I had to pack up work eight years ago.’ They shoved my arms up my back – I shouted ‘go steady, I’ve just had a heart operation, you’re hurting’. They ignored me. They were abusing and swearing at me all the time. Then in the van they threatened to beat me up saying ‘work him over, make it look if he’s had a heart attack’. I was really frightened by now – they were from the Greater Manchester Police. I was taken to Doncaster and charged with criminal damage. I was kept in from 4 p.m. on Tuesday till 11.40 a.m. on Wednesday.”

A police wagon reversed into the yard of Mrs Kennedy, 59 years old, of Charles Crescent. Her son and three other pickets were having a cup of tea. When they saw the police piling out, the son went to lock the front door while Mrs Kennedy went to lock the back door, but found the police already in the lobby. She told them to ‘bugger off and get away’. Her son heard her scream and ran into the kitchen, where he saw the policeman had trapped his mother’s head in the door and were slamming the door repeatedly on her head.

Mrs Kennedy was later treated by a doctor for shock and bruising.

Bob Worthy was approached by a sergeant, No. 246, of the Greater Manchester force and asked: ‘What do you think you’re doing’? ‘I live here’, said Bob. The sergeant then shoved him backwards over a concrete wall. When he stood up he was surrounded by six constables with drawn truncheons.

As Bob said:

“My kids saw me attacked on my own property today, they won’t understand yet, but I’ll make sure they do when they’re older. I won’t let them forget.”

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