Fake limbs outside Russian embassy in UK – ‘premeditated act of hooliganism’
Russia’s embassy in London sent a letter of protest to the UK’s Foreign Office, saying Britain failed to ensure the security of the diplomatic mission during a protest staged outside its compound. Demonstrators dumped around 800 mannequin limbs outside the building, saying they were symbolic of the carnage in Syria. Some protesters also chained themselves to the entrance, so that embassy’s staff and visitors were unable to enter.
RT: The Russian Embassy claims the way the UK police handled security during the protest was unacceptable. What do you make of that?
Adam Garrie: It is worse than unacceptable, because it endangered, and had the possibility to endanger, the lives not only of the personnel inside the embassy, but of the people on the street. What occurred was clearly a premeditated act of hooliganism. From the video, there were about ten hooligans at the most, who had quite a lot of amount of time to erect a large metallic ramp pad on which they then chained these artificial limbs. If it wasn’t so serious, one could imagine the newspapers saying “idiots with dummies.” But those ten hooligans could have easily been ten terrorists. And for the police not to jump on them, arrest them, and stop them from committing any activity that is totally unauthorized, is unacceptable. It was, in fact, a crime that they committed. It was not a protest, it was not peaceful, it was an active trespass, according to English law. Thank God it was only that – not something worse.
RT: Why do you think the police forces were just standing by doing nothing? If it happened in front of the US embassy for example, would the situation be different?
AG: It would’ve been a lot different. The US embassy in the middle of central London is a fortress. The Saudi Arabian Embassy, which is only a few minutes away from the American Embassy, is almost as much of a fortress with its own policemen who give everyone a very serious look should they even gaze at the embassy in a way they find suspicious. Whenever there are authorized peaceful protests outside the Saudi Embassy, they are kept on the other side of the street under intense police supervision. They can’t get near the front gates of that very much ensconced and fortress like embassy.
The situation that happened at the Russian Embassy seems absolutely disgraceful. There was no police presence that did anything at all to stop these people. There could have been a bomb in the objects that they were chaining to the wall. There could have been a suicide vest attached to the individuals who chained themselves to the fence. Nobody had a way to know. If active hooliganism is a disgrace, then the fact that they did little to prevent what could have been an act of terrorism is something far worse…
Thanks for all who wrote in our support. You are right - protesting is OK, but disrupting the work of dipl.mission is violation of intl. law pic.twitter.com/buQ71WEq7W— Alexander Yakovenko (@Amb_Yakovenko) November 4, 2016
‘Ridiculous atmosphere of Russophobia’
There is “a ridiculous atmosphere of Russophobia that is pervading the British establishment and pervading the American establishment,” says Craig Murray, Britain’s former ambassador to Uzbekistan.
“Obviously, the advocates of neoconservative foreign policy in both the US and the UK have decided to up the rhetoric beyond the levels of Cold War rhetoric. We’ve seen it in false claims about Russian involvement in the Donald Trump campaign; we see that in encouraging protesters outside the Russian embassy,” Murray told RT.
In his view, people have every right to protest outside the Russian embassy if they wish to.
“I don’t think we should challenge the democratic right of people to go protest outside an embassy if that is what they want to do,” Murray said. “But I think the fact that they are being spurred on to do it has to do with the way that people are misled by the establishment media. The truth is that Russia is in no sense any threat to either the UK or the US. There is no chance that Russia would ever attack the UK or the US. Historically, Russia never has attacked the UK or the US.”
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.