Jody McIntyre : Who’s apathetic now?

Jody McIntyre
jodymcintyre1 300x204 Jody McIntyre : Who’s apathetic now?

A screen grab from the YouTube video showing Jody McIntyre being dragged from his wheelchair at the fees protests (see video below)

My name is Jody McIntyre and I didn’t begin fighting for equality on the 9th December, the night that I was thrown from my wheelchair and dragged across the road by a riot police officer. I’ve spoken out against injustice, in all contexts, for as long as I can remember. As someone who was told by doctors I probably wouldn’t walk or talk, it has been my objective since the start of my journey to inspire people with disabilities to demand equality. It saddens me to highlight that on my travels I’ve found it easier to travel in a wheelchair in Gaza city than in the City of London.

From travelling in South America and Vietnam to living in Palestine for nine months, I have always been determined to stand up for what I believe in. Having faced opposition from my own family members when I decided to go travelling independently, the current opposition to me being present at a student protest isn’t up to much. I was simply exercising my democratic right to protest against the government after all and I always planned to demonstrate in Parliament Square, as this is where our government sits.

From previous experience at student demonstrations I knew that the 9th December would be a passionate affair, however, what I did not expect was to be physically manhandled and thrown out of my wheelchair by a member of the law enforcement agency. To the cries of “but you must have provoked the police Jody!” (a popular one with the BBC) I ask you, what did Ian Tomlinson do at the G20 protests, which I was also present at, to warrant his demise after the police had struck him? Tomlinson was not even participating in the demonstration but still became a victim of the law’s forceful hand.

Saying that, this is not my first experience of an altercation where the police are concerned. As I previously blogged, while at a student protest on 24th November one Constable grabbed me by my chest and begun shaking me violently, screaming, “Get back! Get back!” Considering the crowd of 500 people behind me, I am still not quite sure where he was suggesting I could “get back” too.

There are those who say I shouldn’t be on the frontline of a protest, but I believe every single one of us has a duty to fight against those oppressing us.

To those who believe I should just ‘take it’, I have taken it but I still don’t believe being dragged out of your wheelchair is an acceptable consequence of attending a demonstration against rising tuition fees.

(Continued below)

Adding insult to injury is The Daily Mail, which found it appropriate to suggest I’m faking my disability and am mentally inept when it comes to making decisions about my actions. Highlighting a somewhat backwards attitude towards disabled people and their place in society, that over 500 people have already complained about Richard Littlejohn’s depiction of me as Andy from Little Britain (I don’t wear vests for a start), shows whose side the public are on when it comes to what’s acceptable where mocking disability is concerned.

I would not attend a demonstration without having a basic understanding of the issue at hand. To those trying to veil a three hundred percent increase in tuition fees and the abolition of the EMA (educational maintenance allowance) as a progressive measure, it’s deceitful and dishonest. It is the EMA that keeps students like my 16-year-old brother in college. Let the crumbling coalition government desperately clutch for straws of support but they’ll find them few and far between.

As a result of events on the 9th December I will be pursuing legal action against the police. But I do not because I see myself as a victim. The real victims are the likes of Alfie Meadows who was hospitiised as a result of his injuries. We need justice not only in my case but also in Alfie’s case and anyone else who’s suffered in this struggle.

While this condemned government continues to promote values of inequality and attempts to widen the gap between rich and poor, I will speak up for those who do not have a voice.

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  • tworah1

    There was a young lad from Denmark,
    on a fruitless mission did embark,
    he quoted some prose,
    to conceil his woes,
    that ’twas up the wrong tree he did bark.

    Tworah1 2010

    It’s very pleasant we’re not all of the same mind. Maybe next time you’ll actually address the discussion rather than trying to take intellectual high ground ;-)

  • billyfromdenmark

    He he, I don’t see any discussion at all – we disagree. The poem “To Nobodaddy” was posted to resolve at least one of yesterdays misunderstandings. Thanks for the ditty.

  • QuentinSkalawag

    Of course, you are. How can anyone have any doubts to the validity of your reasons? But please humor me and tell me why is his degree, grades, income or anything for that matter, play any role whatsoever in the bare fact that the police simply mishandled a situation they should be trained for. Oh and about the 6 month trip to Palestine, which obviously makes him a dirty terrorist in anyone’s book of course, what does that fact change anything in your quietly forming opinion? Disabled terrorists complaining about student fees can be maimed and kicked at will without retribution? I am all for quietly forming an opinion, but the information you are searching for to form that opinion are totally irrelevant.

  • jimfred

    I suppose that,as the government seems to be set on making life difficult,if not lethal for people on disability benefits,the Police,who appear to become more political all the time,were merely carrying this to it’s logical conclusion.
    “As we saw it,m’lud”.

  • tworah1

    Because the only person that has 100% of the information on what happened that day from START to FINISH (i.e. not just the 30 seconds of footage we’ve seen) will be Mr McIntyre. In the the same way you have a predisposition to assume whoever ISN’T a copper is in the right, I have a predisposition to assume the law enforcement officers were in the right.

    With this in mind, rather than simple character references which will be biased whether positive or negative, I would simply like to try and gain a better understanding of Mr McIntyre’s motivations and more importantly what impact he himself has made in trying to positively aid the economy which, if it was in a better state, would most likely not have needed the tuition fee changes. I can only assume he has an income as he is an articulate and intelligent man who campaigns for equal rights and therefore must surely have a 9-5, I’m sure he does, I was just asking if anybody knew what he did for a living. Failing that he must be a student, in which case I was curious to know what degree he was doing, again this is just for my own personal interest, I haven’t demanded the information, I’ve simply enquired. Once somebody has information like that I think they would be in a better position to assess his morals and ethics in terms of hypocrasy and honesty. Once one can have a better picture of that, THEN I would be more inclined to either believe or disbelieve his account of the events leading up to that moment and how active and aggressive he had been in the protest/rioting. And please let’s not get back to whether he could be a physical threat or not. a missile is a missile, a hand is a hand, whether throw or swung with strength and accuracy or not is not relevant. If I believed his strength of character then I would be more willing to believe there were other ways for the police to deal with him when he parked in middle of the road. If, however, his previous actions in life suggested he wasn’t quite the pillar of ethics and morality that some people believe then I would be less inclined to think the police dealt with him inappropriately. Actions speak louder than words, simple as that.

    Believe it or not, and despite what my previous posts may imply, I’m very openminded and if proved wrong am more than happy to change my opinion of him.

    As for the palestine question and you throwing in the ‘T’ word. You are a disgrace. At no point did I for one second imply that or that I was questioning it. I asked because I wanted to know who/what funded that trip, it’s not free to go abroad for 6 months and I wanted to know if it was funded by his own employment or rather by any British benefits or charities. It has absolutely NOTHING to do with what you implied and you should be ashamed for leaping to that conclusion. It says far more about you and your paranoid defensive insecurities than it does about me. I could have easily asked about his 3 month jaunt to South America if that sits ‘better’ with you except that was just travelling which is not relevant as he wasn’t there on a campaigning basis and everybody is entitled to a holiday, particularly those that may not get the opportunity as often such as disabled people in his position.

  • ihatebono

    Option 4: WHEEL him away in his chair. It’s pretty obvious, no?

  • Steve Morris

    What happened was a disgrace for you,a disgrace to the police and an utter disgrace to our Government. These things are just happening so much these days and you read nothing but more scandals,every single day.
    I always thought that our Governments where to serve the people,but now I really wounder. But it happening throughout what we call the “western world” America, France, just goes on. Without any intention to advertise, I was just reading an e-book called ‘ I was, I am,I will be” John Coventry,it is what people seem to call these days a “true life Memoir. I was absolutely horrified upon reading this as it proved
    that British Government, behind our backs where talking to the IRA. terrorists ,the German Government where talking to Baader Meinhof terrorists and all the time telling us that they would never talk to Terrorists. ! it is astounding in its evidence and proves that the intelligence services had a mole inside the German terrorists Baader Meinhof but the real surprise was when I read that it was not the German’s that controlled this Mole, It was the British. ! My point really is that none of them can be trusted at all.

  • natty

    Very well said Jody!I loved the part where you say at the end “it’s a word against an action” I can’t believe this journalist! What an idiot! I’m glad you confronted him the way you need! Thank you on behalf of all of us.

  • Aussie_Col

    How is it that people use these comments to voice their own prejudices rather than comment on the facts. The point is that a modern democracy is brutilising their own people. And all political correctness aside (there have been some ludicrous views about it making him equal to put him out of the chair) Jody was tipped from his chair, rendering him physically helpless, after previously feeling the baton on his neck. This was a gutless attack and in my personal opinion was based on the fact Jody is known for his so called radical views. Just another example of how the terrorists have won, because they are making the ‘free’ world attack and repress their own people. This was a very sad day in the development of humanity. Sorry UK you should be ashamed, like I am at my Governments lack of support for real people like Jody. Tomorrow it will be one of you because you are gay, black, a Julian Assange supporter or a United fan. The issue doesn’t matter the Police will continue to attack and perhaps kill you with impunity. They don’t accept their misdeed here or with Ian Tomlinson so there is no need or moral imperitive to stop.

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