|76 People Arrested as Protestors Attempt to Storm Westfield|
Police say they broke away from 600 staging "die-in" for Eric Garner
A pre-planned protest at Westfield Shopping Centre by around 600 people ended with 76 people being arrested last night, December 10.
Police say the 76 people were arrested on suspicion of public order offences and one man was further arrested on suspicion of assault.
Two peaceful protests were held from 6pm, one inside the Westfield shopping mall and one in a designated area outside.
The protestors, who carried banners saying "Black lives matter" chanted "I can’t breathe" which were Eric Garner's last words as police restrained him in a chokehold after arresting him. They then took part in the mass die-in by lying down on the floor of the atrium.
At around 8.20pm, those staging the occupation were reportedly asked to move outside, a request that Scotland Yard said was peacefully complied with.
However, a group of protestors broke away and attempted to force entry to the shopping centre, assaulting security staff and causing damage to property. Shops in the centre were forced to shut their doors with shoppers and staff locked inside.
Police seen with metal batons drawn
A spokeswoman for Westfield management said they were aware that there was a planned protest for Eric Garner to take place and added: " To ensure the safety of shoppers and retailers, and to allow the protest to pass peacefully, Westfield has provided a designated area for the protest outside Shepherd's Bush station."
Chief Superintendent Mark Bird, in charge of the policing operation said: "We will always work with those that wish to demonstrate lawfully - as the majority of protestors did yesterday. However, we will not tolerate the small minority that offer violence or commit other criminal acts, such as that witnessed outside Westfield yesterday evening."
December 11, 2014