Campaigner forcefully evicted from Mayor's Newham Show
PUBLISHED: 17:56 13 July 2015 | UPDATED: 18:05 13 July 2015
A campaigner claims he was left bruised after being wrestled to the ground by a security guard at the Mayor's Newham Show on Sunday.
Ben Geraghty was at the festival with other members of the Focus E15 campaign group, in Central Park, East Ham, handing out leaflets on local housing issues when he was taken to the ground by a security guard at the council-run event.
Footage of the incident, posted on E15’s Facebook page and seen by the Recorder, appears to show Mr Geraghty being chased and then wrestled to the ground by a man in a hi-vis jacket.
The activist said the campaign group did not attend the event to “cause trouble”, but a spokesman for Newham Council claimed members had been causing “upset to families with their aggressive and confrontational behaviour” during the day.
Mr Geraghty says he was “tackled to the ground”, adding: “We were handing out selfie sticks with the mayor’s face and leaflets which had a list of demands, including the reopening of the Carpenters Estate in Stratford and to stop moving families outside of London.
“Most of the Focus E15 campaign group are women, we didn’t go there to fight anyone or cause trouble. The intention was to raise awareness and to get our concerns heard.”
The 23-year-old said he will be seeking medical help after apparently receiving bruising to his arm and neck. Focus E15 has said they are currently seeking legal advice.
A Newham Council spokeswoman said: “The Newham Show is a family event. This group arrived with the sole intention of disrupting this fun day, causing upset to families with their aggressive and confrontational behaviour.
“Parents in close proximity to the protestors, expressed concerns about their threatening behaviour. For this reason and to ensure the safety of the members of the public present, the group was evicted.”
Security at the event was provided by APS Security, who supported the council’s statement.
Last year, Newham mayor, Sir Robin Wales, was found guilty of breaching the council’s Member Code of Conduct after losing his temper with members of the E15 campaign group.