The Tooting Five

The Tooting Five – wrongful arrests


The Tooting Five were arrested at a peaceful ULEZ protest in April just for not moving quickly enough when asked (some elderly and disabled). They were bailed to return to Charing Cross police station on July 5th and the expectation was that the charges would be dropped but this was not the case and four are now to appear at court in August on Section 42A charges and one for obstruction.

Tooting ULEZ Protest

All the previous ULEZ protests passed by with limited police presence and no trouble. They were organised in advance, usually good natured and happened between 12 and 3pm so locals and the police knew exactly what was happening. As time went on, each protest had a fun title or theme and were always family friendly. Protests took place in many locations, around Outer London border of the extended zone, monthly in Trafalgar Square so people could come together from all corners of London, and a few at the inner zone border. Two previous and peaceful protests took place in Tooting, one at the station and one whole weekend event at the common about 800m from the event on 6th April. Tooting was chosen for two reasons, one was that is was Sadiq Khan’s hometown so we were hoping to bring awareness closer to the source as he had ignored us on all previous occasions, unwilling to meet anyone and far too happy to dismiss us with insults. The other reason is that Tooting is on the border of the inner and extended zone and close to the Streatham Wells LTN that caused so much disruption that it had to be suspended. At no point was anyone intending to protest outside Sadiq Khan’s house or to cause distress to his family.

The Police Response

The event started as planned, the early protesters set up a gazebo and banners, even helped by the few local police already in place. There was no indication that we were not allowed to be there and as peaceful protest is still permitted, there was no reason to suspect anything untoward would happen. During the first hour or so, the police started to amass. Protesters arriving late were surprised and horrified to report that they had seen riot vans lined up in the backstreets, all somewhat unusual and worrying. What were they expecting to happen?

At some point later, the protesters were told to disperse and started to pack up – the events that followed can be seen in the videos taken on the day with more personal viewpoints in the subsequent radio interviews:

Live footage of the arrests from Arts_Reality

The ULEZ Warriors Bromley Radio interviews

The Tooting Five Fundraiser

A fundraiser has been started specifically for the legal representation of those involved so they can access the best legal support as quickly as possible. These protestors involve maintain their innocence and this kind of non proportionate response by the police could easily happen to anyone on a similar peaceful protest. The ULEZ resistance continues…

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