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Police clampdown on "Freedom Rides" protestors

June 2014

Police and Northern Rail staff on Sheffield station have moved to break up one of the Freedom Rides demonstrations (a long-running direct action campaign against the reductions in travel concessions for pensioners and disabled people.) Video shows several policemen physically restraining an elderly protester. Two pensioners were arrested and a man and a blind woman were taken to hospital following the incident. The group complain of “thuggish” behaviour by police and security staff, and vow to fight on, determined to win.

Sheffield Star reporter Alex Evans was prevented from filming the scuffles and warned off by Police, under anti-terrorism law, for which Northern Rail has since apologised. The newspaper called this "heavy-handed, threatening" and "absolutely unacceptable", and is demanding an explanation.

Campaigners plan to protest on Monday 30th June at the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive meeting at 1pm, Regent St, Barnsley and on Monday 7th July at 9.45am outside Sheffield Magistrate’s Court when the two arrested campaigners are due in court.

The Independent: video and article
The Guardian: reporter prevented from filming
Sheffield Star: Northern Rail apology
Sheffield Star: video and article

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