Freelance journalist Shiv Malik needed stitches after being struck on the head by a police baton at a student protest outside Parliament today.
Malik Is understood to be shaken but told followers to his Twitter account late this afternoon that he was not seriously hurt.
He is understood to have been in Parliament Square and was caught between the police line and the students.
He told the Guardian’s live blog: ‘The crowd surged in an attempt to break through the police line, and I was caught on the same side as the police but facing towards them with the fence behind me. The fence came right up to the police line.
‘The police started to push back then they started using their batons on protesters. I was caught then and pushed up towards the front. I ducked, my glasses were knocked off my face so I was trying to hold them. Then, basically, a baton strike came to the side of my face and then onto the top of my head. Directly onto the crown of my head. I felt a big whacking thud and I heard it reverberating inside my head.
“I wasn’t sure whether I was bleeding or not. I moved off to the side and asked a police officer if I was bleeding. But he just said ‘Keep moving, keep moving”. Then I put my hand to the top of my head and looked at my palm and I could see there was blood everywhere.
‘I then asked another police officer, who was wearing a police medic badge, if he could help me. And he told me to move away as well and told me to go to another exit. By this point blood was streaming down the back of my head and back of my neck and matting my hair.
‘I was wearing a roll neck jumper and it was seeping into the back of my jumper. I managed to come off to one side and make my way out where two protesting student helped me. They were cleaning the top of my head with water and some tissues. Someone in the crowd gave me a whole pack of Kleenex. Then two female protestors escorted me out. I had to walk all the way up to Leicester Square where I managed to catch a cab. ‘
New Statesman blogger Laurie Pennie tweeted shortly after 4pm: ‘Guardian journalist @shivmalik just got beaten bloody by police baton”,
Malik is co-author of the book Jilted Generation and has written widely for publications including the New Statesman, Guardian and Prospect. In 2008 he was at the centre of a major press freedom legal case when Greater Manchester Police demanded to see notebooks and other material citing the Terrorism Act.