Matt Wootton, a Green Party activist, was searched and then arrested at the entrance to the Climate Camp near Kingsnorth in
Only towards the end of the 5 hour period was the substance in question actually tested by the police.
As Mr. Wootton had explained from the beginning to the police, unavailingly, the alleged ‘controlled substance’ in question was in fact Vitamin C…
Said Mr. Wootton, “It is crystal clear that ordinary people such as myself are being targeted for harassment by the police. Senior officers in the police have evidently decided that, if they make the lives of concerned citizens such as myself a misery each time that we try to protest against the damage done to our collective life-support system by the greenhouse gases being burnt into the atmosphere at places like Kingsnorth, then we will give up and go home. I am not so easily put off. But I am concerned about the state of our democracy and our civil liberties, when the police are wasting their time throwing people like me into the cells on a false pretext – when what they ought to be doing is getting out there to catch criminals. I suppose it is easier to harass a climate protester than it is to catch actual criminals…”
Mr. Wootton was denied his legal right (under section 5.6 of Code of Practice C set out in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984) to a telephone call during his 5 hours in police confinement. The police said that they were ‘too busy’ to allow him time to make such a call.
Matt Wootton was released by the police, and reunited with his girlfriend near the Camp, only at half past midnight…
Derek Wall, Green Party Principal Speaker, commented from Kingsnorth:
"This is another example of how over-the-top policing has been at this
year's Climate Camp. It's more proof that the police priority here is
not to protect the public but to suppress legitimate protest."