EXCLUSIVE: Blacklisted worker needs re- constructive surgery after being victim of hit and run in Manchester.
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pic: A. Smith
By John Millington
An elderly worker who was run over last night during a demonstration about the contentious blacklisting issue will need re- constructive surgery due to his injuries.
George Tapp (pictured following the collision) – 64 and a blacklisted worker was dragged 150 yards after being hit by an angry motorist who sped away following the incident.
He has two broken legs and a fractured knee cap which requires re-constructive surgery.
Eye witnesses claim that Mr Tapp was peacefully protesting along with others when a car drove out from a queue and rolled up to the demonstration.
The driver – thought to be in his 20’s – hurled abusive language at Mr Tapp and two others before pushing his car against them.
Before they had chance to move, the driver put his car into full throttle, sweeping Mr Tapp and two others of their feet dragging them on to the car’s bonnet.
Mr Tapp and one other were dragged for around 150 yards before the car came to a stop leaving Mr Tapp bloodied and prone on the ground.
The driver sped off following the incident.
It is understood that the driver registration has been handed to the Greater Manchester Police.
Chief Supt Russ Jackson told the Manchester Evening News that CCTV showed the man and that he appeared to be standing on the front of a car bonnet when the car moved.
“A number of people stood in front of the Ford Ka and climbed upon the bonnet before it moved forward. The car then travelled a short distance at a slow speed before it stopped and one of the men fell off. The car reversed and drove off.
“We are working to ascertain whether any criminal offence has occurred and I would ask the driver of the car or anyone who witnessed the incident to contact police.
Officers are now in the process of talking to representatives of Unite Union and BAM Construction to establish what happened last night.”
“While we respect the democratic right of anyone holding a peaceful protest, if we believe individuals have behaved in an unlawful manner, we will take action.”
But fellow demonstrators were left unimpressed by the police statement saying that Mr Tapp had clearly been the victim of a hit run and in no way brought it on himself.
Electrician Kevin Holmes who saw the incident said:
“The car pulled out of the queue and the driver started shouting “move out the fucking way” to George and two others.
“They were being pushed back by the car and had no chance to get out of the way.”
“Suddenly he [the driver] hit full throttle and the force pushed George onto the bonnet and the driver didn’t stop for at least 150 yards.”
“In no way was it George’s fault. Yes we were blocking the road but no one has the right to run some down when they are protesting about jobs.”
Mr Holmes who has attended similar protests in the past says drivers are normally “happy” to chat about the issues that they are protesting about.
“There is a lot of anger amongst rank and file workers. We know this was nothing to do with BAM construction but the determination as strong as ever,” added Mr Holmes.
Fellow demonstrator and eye witness Jason Poulter also said the “force of the momentum pushed George up on to the car.”
“A lot of people are angry and wondering why a 64 year old is getting run over in order to safe guard a national agreement,” he added.
And a 3rd eye witness Sean Keaveney said the whole incident had made him “sick to his stomach.”
“It was like slow motion,” the blacklisted electrician said.
“It was a peaceful protest and was a total over-reaftion from the driver. He was intent on running people out of the way.”
“George is 64 – he was not ‘standing on the bonnet.’ He was run over.”
“But we have to carry on. I am blacklisted. We have to bring it to the attention of the public.”
“All I just want to find a job.”
The protest which was organised by the Blacklist Support Group (BSG) was held near Manchester City FC over alleged blacklisting by BAM construction – a charge BAM bosses strongly deny.