Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Abu Hamza's Son Jailed

Apple. Tree.

The student son of radical cleric Abu Hamza was today jailed for a year after confessing to throwing missiles at police officers during violent protests outside the Israeli embassy.

Yasser Kamel, 20, disguised his face with a scarf and used a stolen police riot shield for protection during the 'peak time of violence' at the demonstration against Gaza sanctions.

Kamel was caught on camera throwing four missiles at police during a 45-minute period he spent 'at the front-line' as hundreds of protesters confronted officers in January 2009.

A total of £50,000 of damage was done to shops and cafes on Kensington High Street during the rioting, Isleworth Crown Court heard.

Most of the money was needed to repair a Starbucks coffee shop which had its entire front window smashed to pieces and which Kamel was later seen to enter.

Hey guess what, SMW was there when this happened. It was one of the nastiest protests I have covered - this protest is actually one of the reasons I started blogging instead of just emailing pictures to interested parties.

Before you look at the pictures below, make sure you read the whole story at the link above.

I don't know if I have any pictures of this little terrorist spawn since his face was covered. By the time the Starbucks was getting smashed and people were throwing gates at cops I had moved well away - I value my life like that and I did not want to get in the way of the police (and my husband didn't want my face to get smashed in). If I could just share one anecdote: A few nights before (while covering another protest at the same place) I was sitting in the very Starbucks that was smashed with a young Jewish girl. She was alone waiting to meet with some friends and I advised her to sit with me because I was worried about her personal safety. We chatted for a few minutes, and because of various things taking place (in and out of the store) I just got a terrible feeling in my gut. I actually thought there was a suicide bomber in the bathroom (I'm dramatic like that!) and made the immediate decision to leave. There was no bomber, but within 48 hours 3 Starbucks locations in London had been completely destroyed and/or firebombed.

OK pics below from that day:

Finsbury Park businesses (Abu Hamza's old stomping ground) promoting the protests. People talk as though Finsbury Park has changed but it has not changed much. Just a few weeks ago at the mosque formerly known as "Finsbury Park Mosque" they had a meeting about supporting people involved with the fauxtilla. Yeah, a number of extremists have supposedly left Finsbury Park for Walthamstow Central but that much hate and terror just doesn't disappear into thin air.

Birds of a feather...

Prior to the onslaught at the Israeli Embassy, there was a "rally" in Hyde Park.

At one point a man on the stage shouted into a microphone: "Israelis are murderers who should not be allowed to walk the streets of Europe." It made me feel sick.

It appears this lady would agree with him.

Hey, guess who was there. (George Galloway)

Then everyone headed over to the Embassy. Pictures of Israeli flags were burnt. When they lit this on fire everyone got really excited, then it fizzled out. Then one of the guys involved said "Wow, that really was not as cool as I thought it would be."

They were not small in numbers.

Police presence outside embassy.

Here is some YouTube footage that others have posted from the night. I had to move away, it was simply not safe for me stick around.

There is a video on YouTube called Gaza Protest: The Battle of Kensington. I have not linked to it because it is a propaganda video - but the images in it are very real and clearly show that these animals were intent on attacking and injuring the police. It is disgusting and the restraint the police are forced to show is absolutely ridiculous.

The BBC has an excellent video of the night, but their written report is complete rubbish. Notice that people continue throwing things at police as they are trying to protect and treat a wounded and unconscious officer.

Given what I have written about the Toronto police over the past few days let me say two things: This was a very large group of people, and they were contained to a very small area so that they could not spread the damage they were causing. This is what I think Toronto lacked - containment.
Also, the police photographers were everywhere. You can't see it in the video but there were at least three police photographers on the balcony of the embassy recording everything so that it could be used as evidence later in trial (as it was in the case of Abu Hamza's son).

Finally, I can't believe the police had to show the restraint that they did. To me this is a tear-gas and rubber bullets situation. These people are animals.