Carlos, a low paid cleaner in London and member of United Voices of the World, handed over £6,500 (his life savings plus some) for an apartment for him and his family, to an estate agent (deposit and 2 moths rent) only to be told that the place he had been promised was already rented out. Now the estate agent, Hunter Home Properties Ltd. (HHPL), is refusing to give his money back. The police won't interfere as they consider it to be a civil matter and the taking them to court will take time which Carlos doesn't have so we went to HHPL to lawfully and peacefull protest in order to name and shame HHML and ask him to pay back the money he stole.
As we were protesting a passer by told us that she too had been the victim of HHML to the tune of £2,500. Also, on HHML's website another person denounced HHML for having robbed them of £1,000s.
Towards the end of the protest we reported a hate crime. Our black friend, and member of UVW, was told that we are not in Africa, and that there were laws in this country. The police refused to take it seriously or take the case at all and even said that it didn't constitute a hate crime. After that, three memebrs of UVW were arrested and detained for 8 hours in Ilford police station without being interviewed and without being given the opportunity to see a solicitor. Apparently there were not enough staff to interview us and the solicitor was too busy to talk to us. Two solicitors who had been informed of the arrests called Ilford police station and were told that they couldn't speak to the three arrested protesters becasue they had already been given a solicitor. That was not true. They had never been given a solicitor.
One of the arrested protesters, the same one who had reported the hate crime, had to go to A&E after been released becasue his hand had been severley damaged by how tight the police had put the handcuffs on him. He asked them three times to loosen them but they just laughed at him.
The phones of all 3 UVW members who were arrested were seized as evidence. We do not believe there was any reasonable reason to seize the phones as evidence. We believe the police are just snooping around the phones to dig up some information on UVW.
The bitter irony is that the con-artist estate agent who steals people's life savings was not arrested but those that went to name and shame him were put in a cell.
We believe that the arrests were unlawful and we will be instituting civil proceedings against the police.
These pictures were taken by Peter Marshall.