Battle of Brightlingsea
The Start: Monday 16th January 1995
The export of live animals through Brightlingsea started on Monday 16th January 1995 when lorries with sheep for export, were stopped by a demonstration of local residents.
On Wednesday 18th January 1995 midday, Police officers arrived in full riot gear with a convoy; clearly overreacting according to demonstrators.
The first of many convoys' were escorted through the town.
On Friday evening the 20th January 1995 at 1930hrs the police arrived with a convoy, again in full riot gear, to escort the lorries through the town. Demonstrators from the town had gathered, according to reports, 2,000 local residents.
Tension mounted and there were fears for the safety of residents.
By 2310 hrs. the police finally pushed the convoy forward and the lorries reached the port gates by 0030 hrs.
In doing this the police broke highway bye-laws which prohibit vehicles from entering a residential area after 2300hrs according to residents, Consequently at a later date the officer in charge, Assistant Chief Constable Geoffrey Markam was taken to court concerning the breaking of this bye-law. He was found not guilty.
The Battle Of Brightlingsea had begun...
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