I am on a slow burn.
That is, i am calm. Very calm. (Which is always bad news for anyone who has pissed me off).
But the fuse has been lit. My temper is slowly rising and…well, if the Met can’t pull its finger out and do something decent – like talk to us soon – then i AM going to explode.
I’ve now been talking, pulling together a few more details about what went down in Soho yesterday. Those i’ve spoken to have asked i keep certain details confidential for now and, if anything in this or subsequent posts happens to let the cat out of the bag or say anything i wasn’t meant to repeat, let me know. It’ll be taken out, instantly.
As far as i can see, there are two things that need to be addressed from yesterday’s police corralling of the flash mob in Soho Square.
The first, which i imagine is likely to be something of a yawn to anyone not instantly excited by new legal develeopments, will be the way they used s60 of PACE to search people – and then arrested them, apparently, under a severe widening of Breach of the Peace provisions. That, it seems to me, is a story for the serious legal papers and i will be pitching something around that very shortly.
Suffice it to say that if the police did what i think they did, then they HAVE just widened the law considerably in this area and are due for a good slapping by a magistrate or two: either that or they will carry on widening the law until that happens.
The Met in the dock
The second thing, however, and the one that i think absolutely MUST be dealt with, is the implosion of confidence, on the part of the trans community, following allegations that the police did not just display seriously transphobic behaviour in dealing with a number of trans folk on the demo, but in one case at least, sexually assaulted a trans woman.
I’m not going to relay, just yet, what i’ve been told. That’s where the confidentiality stuff comes in. But i am fuming. Livid. Spitting!
If – and its still an if – the police did what i now understand them to have done, then the Met owe the entire trans community a full and public apology. Because it wasn’t one single incident of transphobia: it was an extended course of action that, in addition to the assault, was humiliating and abusive in nature.
The Met must prove its not transphobic
I’m still waiting for a response from the met Press Office. Funny, that! They have managed to get out umpteen statements over the last 24 hours bigging up their successes. But not a word of excuse in respect of how they treat trans men and women.
As soon as i can, i will be talking to the Met, with a view now to having a meeting. Not alone, of course. There will need to be others from the community alongside, including people who were there yesterday.
The issue, though, is increasingly NOT about the specific treatment meted out yesterday, increasingly IS about a dissolution of confidence by the trans community in the Met.
I do hope they start talking soon, because otherwise, the silence, as with the RCPsych, will soon become a statement in its own right.