On Monday workers from the Coryton refinery in Essex held a protest at the Vopak fuel depot in Purfleet. Tanker drivers entering and leaving the site were leafleted and the event remained calm and good natured throughout the afternoon.
Then by arrangement with the police the workers went to the gate of the depot for a photo call and to listen to speeches. Midway through a moving presentation by a striking Spanish miner the inspector in charge interrupted and demanded that the protesters returned to their designated area. Incensed by his rudeness the protesters insisted on staying until the international guest had finished speaking.
The Police then brought out two TSG units who moved in behind the demonstrators and started shoving them down the road. They chose to attack in the one part of the protest where the wives of the Coryton workers were standing which inflamed the situation yet further. Scuffles broke out and three people were arrested though it was unclear why they had been targeted. They have since been released and the Coryton workers are planning more protestes against the 800 threatened job losses.