Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Injured student 'cared for cause'

Susan Meadows (right), the mother of Alfie Meadows, and her daughter Agnis, 14
A vigil for Alfie Meadows outside Charing Cross Hospital in London

The mother of a protester who had to undergo a three-hour operation after being hit on the head with a police truncheon during the fees demo has said the 20-year-old "cares passionately about the cause" and was not there to cause trouble.

Alfie Meadows, a philosophy student at Middlesex University, was struck as he tried to leave the area outside Westminster Abbey, his mother Susan, 55, said.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has launched an investigation into the incident, but warned that inquiries are still at an early stage.

Mr Meadows fell unconscious on the way to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, and had to have surgery for bleeding on the brain.

He is now recovering and doing very well, his mother, a university lecturer who was also at the protest, said.

Mr Meadows was with a number of friends, including two lecturers - Nina Power, a colleague of his mother, and Peter Hallward, a philosophy lecturer at Kingston University.

But as they tried to leave the area where protesters were being held in a police "kettling" operation, the second-year undergraduate suffered a blow to the head. His condition later deteriorated and he lost consciousness.

His mother said: "He said he had been hit on the head and was bleeding. He knew he had to go to hospital but he didn't initially know how bad it was. The policeman offered to get him an ambulance but he was in shock and didn't know how serious it was."

She said she talked about the possibility of trouble with her son before the demonstrations.

"He's an extraordinarily idealistic and committed and political person. He cares passionately about the cause," she said, adding that he had been to training sessions at the University of London. "They had been given advice on how to stay safe. He would never try to be a martyr."

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