Over the past year Defend The Right To Protest has played an important role in campaigning against the growing victimisation and sentencing of protesters.
The impact of such work shouldn’t be underestimated. In the last few trials of anti-cuts or student protesters we have seen six ‘not guilty’ verdicts from juries, within minutes of beginning their deliberation.
However, there have also been scores of protesters who have been given outrageous sentences of up to 36 months in prison and consequently spent Christmas and New Year behind bars. In a significant number of cases this is because defendants lacked access to good legal advice or knowledge about their rights and were not aware of the possibility of a campaign in their defence.
In the coming months Defend the Right to Protest wants to extend its campaigning work in order to prevent others finding themselves in such a situation. We also want to maximise the support we are able to give to imprisoned protesters by extending our “twin with a protester scheme” and organising more solidarity events such as the New Year’s Eve solidarity noise protest held at Holloway Prison.
Finally, we want to raise the profile of campaigns in support of those protesters such as Alfie Meadows, who are due to go to trial this year. Now is the time to win the wider public to the campaign. The world has already witnessed ‘The Protestor’ named as Time Magazine’s Person of the Year and we believe there is a real opportunity to challenge and roll back the attacks on our right to protest. This is important not only in ensuring those individuals get justice, but to assert our collective right to protest at a time when growing numbers see no alternative but to strike, march, occupy and demonstrate against unprecedented cuts and austerity.
With the campaign growing so quickly and widely, and a lot of time and resources being put into ensuring that defendants and imprisoned protestors are getting the support they need, we require more funds. We are therefore asking individuals and organisations supportive of our work to pledge a one off or regular donation.
Yours in solidarity,
Defend the Right to Protest
Click Financial Appeal PDF for our fundraising letter and more information of where money is going and how you can help the campaign!
Donations can be made via Paypal on this website or by making cheques payable to : Defend the Right to Protest and send to BM DTRTP, London, WC1N 3XX