The following is a press release from Liverpool Love Activists, in response to allegations that they “tried to storm” a charity fundraiser for the James Bulger Memorial Trust. These allegations were published in the Liverpool Echo in two separate articles on the following day (1, 2):
******* Press release 31st May 2015 @LoveActivistsMerseyside *******
Media enquiries to 07528194137
@LoveActivistsMerseyside Statement on Mayor’s Third Anniversary Event
@LoveActivistsMerseyside were approached by black hackney cab drivers to assist them to peacefully protest against the ‘the Mayor’s third anniversary business dinner and charity auction’- (this is directly quoted from the Eventbrite page ‘Mayor Anderson will celebrate his third year in office at the Titanic Hotel & Rum Warehouse on 29th May 2015. Mayor Anderson will reflect upon another year of unprecedented budget cuts from central government and why, despite the tough decisions that have had to be taken, Liverpool must still seek to establish itself as a thriving, forward looking world city. The evening will begin with a drinks reception before guests take their place for a three course dinner, Mayor Anderson will then make his address and the formal part of the evening will close with live music. Proceeds from the night will be split between local charities and Mayor Anderson’s campaign fund.’
This event was held on Friday 29th May 2015 held at the Titanic Hotel, Liverpool. This contact from the black hackney drivers was made with the @LoveActivistsMerseyside through withheld telephone calls, we had not agreed to take part in this peaceful protest. Then late on Friday evening at 9.30pm, one of the black hackney cab drivers turned up at our new camp outside the Echo Arena building at about 9.30pm, telling us that black hackney taxis were ready to take us to the Titanic Hotel to help them with their protest.
A number of @LoveActivistsMerseyside got into the awaiting three black cabs, we were told this was a Labour Party event in the Titanic Hotel, we arrived at the Titanic Hotel at about 10.10pm. Our intention was to disrupt the event, as Mayor Joe Anderson have failed to respond to our request for a meeting or our list of demands issued on the 29th April 2015. We were met by the ‘Joe must go van’. We walked to the front and entrance to the Titanic Hotel and entered through the front door to very little resistance. We then tried to enter into the Banqueting room, just beside the lobby area, where we were obstructed by Titanic Hotel security staff and Labour Party members. Both Titanic Hotel security staff and Labour Party members were very aggressive towards us and assaulted around 10 of our members, pushing, shoving, punching and dragging us out of the Titanic Hotel, this aggression lasted just some 10 minutes. Those of our members, many of them women that were assaulted by security staff and Labour Party members have made reports to Merseyside Police.
@LoveActivistsMerseyside had no idea that the ‘the Mayor’s third anniversary business dinner and charity auction’ was a fundraising event for the James Bulger Memorial Trust, it was not publicly advertised as such on the eventbrite page or anywhere else as far as our research shows. We would never have engaged in this protest, if we knew that was the case.
@LoveActivistsMerseyside did not damage any building or property of the Titanic Hotel, nor did we hurl anything at any person in the Titanic Hotel. We did not damage any banners or posters. We did not see any banners or posters.
@LoveActivistsMerseyside apologises to the James Bulger Memorial Trust, the Bulger family and Denise Fergus in particular for the disruption at this event. If we had known it was a fundraising event for the James Memorial Trust, we would not have undertaken this protest, we would not have gone to the Titanic Hotel. We apologise wholeheartedly.
Below are some direct quotes from @LoveActivistsMerseyside
‘@LoveActivistsMerseyside know that Major Joe Anderson would try and quash our growing yet peaceful movement. We never dreamed they would use such dirty tactics as this.’
‘As a homeless person I cannot believe Mayor Joe Anderson would use the name of James Bulger, to crush us, shame on him, he does not like is, because the homeless have risen and are fighting back, we will not go away, whatever he throws at us.’
‘We the @LoveActivistsMerseyside visited the third anniversary party of Mayor Joe Anderson. We went completely peaceful and lawful to be met with sheer violence and complete brutality from Labour Party members and supporters. Mayor Joe Anderson did not advertise which charities would be at the event. On Friday night Mayor Joe Anderson stamped all over our humans rights of peaceful assembly.’
‘It comes to something when those who protect and help the needy and homeless are attacked and violated with such lies and viciousness. Our community is strong and instilled with love and with love we will continue.’
‘I always knew politics was a dirty game, but I am truly saddened and in a way shocked the fact the Mayor of this city is using such a emotional heart wrenching situation to tarnish people who have dared to stand against him. Those who know me know I would never show such levels of disrespect, the event we attended was a third year anniversary of Joe being in power, the fund raiser Joe talks of was also to raise money for his political campaign. There was no violence or criminal damage committed by the Love Activists, but there was a lot of harm injury and loss that the Love Activists received from Labour members and supporters.’