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Kick-off on Church Street

Kids storm shops, security guards react, social networks go berserk with indignation.. but is it right or righteous?

Written by . Published on January 11th 2012.

Kick-off on Church Street

IT would appear that a chap with a camera in a public place is a “f***in' paedo” in the eyes of this security guard who tried to prevent filming of a kerfuffle on Liverpool's Church Street at the weekend. 

Church Street
Unauthorised teenage demonstrators, who may or may not have been part of Occupy Liverpool, were the latest to make their feelings about tax-evasion known when they stormed Boots and targeted the Arcadia Group's Top Shop late on Saturday afternoon. 

Merseyside Police dismissed it as a minor disturbance, saying officers were called by security staff after a small group entered the shops. 

“There were no reports of anyone shopping in the city centre at the time of the incident being injured or any damage caused,” says a statement.

A rather different picture is painted by the anonymous filmmaker who took this footage, doing the rounds all over Facebook and Twitter today: “Security guards brutally attacked the protesters including women, children and the elderly,” he says on You Tube.

“Witnesses saw security guards punch a pregnant protester and burn a lit cigarette into one protesters face, along with countless other acts of criminal assault. On arrival, the police arrested four of the peaceful protesters and one security guard.”

None of this is actually ON the film, the A-word - "allegedly" - is nowhere, nor is there any doubt in the author's tone that the witness accounts are anything less than Gospel. 

Nevertheless, a cynic might say, it cuts both ways and the shoppers, as described earlier, aren't quite the same thing as protesters. 

The filmmaker goes on to claim he was assaulted in an alleyway by four of the guards and thrown to the ground, that his picture was taken (it was, 3 mins 11 secs in) and that he was threatened: “We'll f***ing get you”.

Capture 2
By the end of the four minute video here, it takes a more senior voice to step into the fray and, with clipped vowels, restore calm. 

No word from Arcadia, but the story will be updated if and when they respond to our request for a comment. 

Meanwhile, here's what Merseyside Police say. “Merseyside Police can confirm that officers dealt with a minor disturbance in Liverpool city centre on Saturday afternoon (January 7).

"A small group of protesters gathered outside several shops in the Church Street at around 4.30pm.

"During these protests, members of this group entered some of the stores, resulting in a number of calls to police from security staff at these stores.

Capture 3
"Officers were quickly on scene and intervened to prevent a further disturbance.

"Patrols have liaised with the shops affected and offered advice and reassurance. There was a continued high-visibility police presence in the city centre that night and during the rest of the weekend.”

So were the security staff merely doing their jobs in trying circumstances? Was this an ill-informed protest that frightened innocent shop staff and would have no effect on the likes of Philip Green? And does a bit of shaky camera action an assault make?

Or, to take another colleague's view: “Give someone a uniform, a walkie-talkie, the minimum wage and a over-inflated sense of authority and this is what you get."?

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13 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousJanuary 11th 2012.

Silly people. Not going to change anything. Not even scratcing the surfice of the problems

AnonymousJanuary 12th 2012.

thugs in uniform. The old manager of Lloyds bar told me that all the bouncers/security in Liverpool were crime family 'associates' For that reason she wouldn't give me the CCTV footage of one of them throwing me down 2 flights of stairs unprovoked. She said it better that i 'move on' as it would only attract unwanted attention.

Charlotte Church StreetJanuary 12th 2012.

Perhaps that's why they don't like being filmed Anon 2. It's about time these people were found out. The guy making the "paedo" remark in this video is a disgrace

AnonymousJanuary 12th 2012.

Are the managers of all these bars paying protection money still?

AnonymousJanuary 12th 2012.

One of the few ways people have left to exercise power is to disrupt the veneer of good order and business as usual. Those who want a change from the “privatise everything and pay off the bankers” approach of all three mainstream parties should welcome and embrace the protests, that help to wake us up from our “civilized” conformity.

AnonymousJanuary 12th 2012.

Thugs, I wonder which particular gang they (security) are associated with? This was a group of young people who have had their futures stolen just like many of us did in the eighties by Thatcher. Grown men attacking teenagers on a peaceful protest. I have seen this somewhere else just a few weeks ago.

AnonymousJanuary 12th 2012.

Its not a peacefull protest and its not a legal protest, the Guards are thugs but the protesters are no saints and should not be allowed to roam free storming shops, intimidating staff and frightening the public.

AnonymousJanuary 12th 2012.

Goths who think they have got a right to run into shops confronting staff and asking them if they pay tax. Just shows how ill informed they are.

Prof ChucklebuttyJanuary 12th 2012.

I don't know what to make of the occupy movement in the UK or where it's going and the risk in a protest like this is the danger of it becoming more about the existance and continuation of the protest rather than what started it.

But whatever the criticism or name calling, or how well they articulate the reasons they are protesting, I am glad to see these young people out making some kind of stand against inequality and drawing attention to those businesses who dodge tax. Far better than sitting at home glued to the xfactor or a computer game or paying £45quid to shout from the terraces at multi millionaires to kick a ball for them. Before you start knocking them, ask what you have done in respect of us all being quite literally robbed of jobs and homes and services by these thriving bankers and their lapdog governments? Because the only people I know of who are against the people carrying out these occupations are the thieves and the fascist thug morons of the EDL. Do you want to be allied with them?

It's not perfect it may not have direction or clarity, but neither has it claimed to. So good luck to them.

KittyJanuary 12th 2012.

My younger sister has lived at occupy Liverpool since November. I was with her on sat in Liverpool and can say with certainty that occupy had nothing to do with this. We saw all the police but nobody could tell us what was going on, far from the shoppers being terrified and terrorised, they were simply mildly confused as to where and why all the police suddenly appeared. Nobody was hurt, we saw no violence and saw no protesters. This whole thing has been blown widely out of proportion and whoever posted the video is an attention seeking twerk.

Anne ArkodandyistJanuary 13th 2012.

Hear hear Professor!

JayJanuary 16th 2012.

Wonder what the head quarters of these high street chains think of their security staff calling people paedos and assaulting them.

Reader XxxJanuary 22nd 2012.

The security staff don't come out of this at all well. City centre stores do not need "bouncers" to deal with political demonstrations.

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