This letter refers to the defamatory and wholly misrepresentative article published about Leyton Marsh by Shergroup. This company maintained a somewhat menacing presence on the marsh (see image above) which involved watching and recording anyone walking on the marshes. This continued even after Shergroup had forcibly removed and manhandled members of the Community Support Camp (in at least one case causing injury to the person involved). Members of the Green Party who visited Leyton Marsh were appalled to witness Shergroup record them and refuse to engage in any dialogue or identify themselves. Unlike police officers, bailiffs working for the company are not required to identify themselves and do not have badge numbers or any other visual identification. As you can see from the image above, on certain occasions they wore hoods and covered their faces.
Any footage taken of Shergroup had a clear purpose; it was an indisputable testament to what really took place that day and was broadcast publicly and can be seen on youtube. No justification has been given regarding the footage taken of the public and individuals who have requested such footage of themselves were asked to pay a fee and then were refused permission to see the footage on the basis that other people were featured in the film.
This open letter has been written to Shergroup:
Firstly the Save Leyton Marsh campaign was not an anti-Olympic campaign it was a resident-led movement to save Leyton Marsh from ‘development’; the area is protected habitat and is both widely utilised and treasured by the local community. The camp in question was not an Occupy camp but a Community Support Camp. It is true that some, not all, were affiliated with Occupy LSX, but some had distanced themselves from that particular movement as it did not represent their disposition. It therefore was not an Occupy camp.
Legal processes to ensure that health and safety guidelines were followed (in order to prevent people from being affected by hazardous materials unearthed by construction) were not met. At the time there was no reinstatement plan to return the Marsh to its former state and there were further concerns that the LVRPA intended to sell or redevelop the land after the Olympics. The cost of the Olympics was not part of the campaign message. The wisdom of spending millions of pounds of tax payers’ money on a temporary basketball facility was in question.
No-one participating on 10th April, the day of the eviction, endorsed or encouraged children to climb under the lorry except the person involved. Nor were animals used to create an obstruction. I respectfully request you to redact these statements as they are factually wrong. In the subsequent court hearing for the injunction, the judge did not uphold the ODA’s claims of intimidation and breaches of health and safety by protestors. This was despite the claimant attempting to make this part of the case. The judgement was found in the claimant’s favour on the basis of property rights alone. I therefore respectfully ask you to retract the statement that your workforce and the police were put at risk. No arrests were made on such grounds. The arrests on that day were solely for failure to comply with an order of the police which resulted in four arrests.
I understand as a business it is important for you to sell the service you provide but regard it important to accurately portray past events as this has wider implications on the integrity of local residents and campaigners, citizens whom contribute to the financial dividends you receive from contracts.
I look forward to hearing from you.
(A concerned human being who is watching the state in cohorts with the financial system rob the public dry of its common heritage)