Stoke City Supporters 1-0 Greater Manchester Police

One didn’t have to be an anti-capitalist demonstrator to be pretty appalled by the police’s behaviour at the recent demonstrations in London. However, considering the curtailments to civil liberties that have been introduced by the government over the last few years it should come as no great surprise to anybody that the police themselves have been taking something of a pick and mix attitude towards which parts of the law they choose to take any notice of and how they interpret the new laws themselves, or that football supporters should also have found themselves on the wrong end of policing that could at best be described as over-zealous, and at worst as little short of the sort of policing that one would expect to find in a dictatorship. Last year, Stoke City were celebrating their first season in the top flight of English football for more than twenty years, and their match at Old Trafford was one of their biggest away trips of the season. Prior to the match, however, eighty Stoke city supporters were drinking in a pub in Irlam, Manchester when the police turned up and, citing Section 27 of the 2006 Violent Crime Reduction Act, forced them back onto their coaches where they were made to wait for four hours before being returned to Stoke. They were denied basic sanitation facilities while they waited and were...

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