Angry campaigners gathered outside the home of Wandworth Council’s leader last night in protest against a decision to serve the country’s first riot-related eviction notice.
And according to protestors, police officers in riot vans and temporary CCTV cameras had been stationed at the property in anticipation of their arrival.
Maite de Calva, 43, of Francis Chichester Way, in Battersea, was handed an eviction notice last week after her son, Daniel Sartain-Clarke, 18, was charged with burglary and violent disorder during the Battersea riots.
In response to the move, a group called the Social Justice Collective decided to go to Councillor Ravi Govindia’s home in Wandsworth to demonstrate their opposition to the council’s decision – with 40 people turning up in the rain at 5pm.
Spokesman Peter McCann said: “The support from the general public was amazing. The amount of cars driving past and tooting their horns was unbelievable.
“But the attitude of the police was provocative and almost caused a riot. They had installed two temporary CCTV cameras and it’s very distressing if this is going to be the police’s attitude towards peaceful protest.”
Police confirmed that extra officers were put on patrol during the protest and that an “appropriate” policing plan was put in action.
But Trinity Road resident, John Pawl, who walked by the protest, said the police presence was disproportionate.
He said: “There were riot vans down there and local police.
“At one point the vans rushed down, and police got out and started to pull masks off and they started pushing them.
“I could not believe how they stood by at Clapham Junction but for the council leader they have about nine riot vans. The local people were furious.
“The protesters were not aggressive.”
Mr McCann confirmed members of the collective were making a decision over the next few days as to their next move.