Pro-Refugee Activists Scuffle with Police at London Eurostar Terminal
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Some 100 activists supporting refugees’ rights threw smoke bombs at police lines near the London station of Eurostar.
Protesters broke through a police cordon in an attempt to reach the platforms at St Pancras station on Saturday night. Police in riot gear used teargas and batons against the No Borders demonstrators, according to activists.
Videos posted on Twitter show a melee with police officers trying to hold back a group of demonstrators until more than a dozen managed to break through onto the concourse, The Guardian reported on Sunday.
Once inside the station, some of the demonstrators held up a banner saying “Close down Yarl’s Wood & all detention centres”.
Scotland Yard said they tried to enter the Eurostar platforms at the station, but were stopped by officers.
“Some protesters began to throw items at police, including smoke bombs. These protesters were ejected from the station and later dispersed from the area," a Scotland Yard spokesman said.
Demonstrators said two people had been arrested and that one person had been injured by police officers.
Activists also claimed the demonstrators were subjected to kettling – a police tactic where groups that police wish to suppress are held in a tight cordon until being allowed to leave one by one.
Pictures were published on social media sites showing police in high-visibility vests questioning people on the concourse of King’s Cross station, just over 100 metres from the scuffles at St Pancras.
Bystanders wrote of the chaos on social media. “Utter carnage at Kings Cross station for migrants demo. Flares, Cops going in batons drawn," Joel Benjamin said.
British Transport police said demonstrators arrived at the station at around 6pm and began a peaceful protest, adding, “Around this time a number of other individuals arrived at the station causing disorder and missiles, including smoke bombs, were thrown at police officers.”
It was the second pro-refugee demonstration to have taken place at St Pancras station this month after protesters threw fake blood on themselves and held up placards saying “borders kill”.