Open Planning Meeting
Thurs 23 June 7pm, ULU, Malet St
*Preparing for the First Fortnum & masons hearings on 4th July
*Responding to recent arrests at SOAS & and threats to strike in Britain
* Organising to defend student protesters as their trials begin
*Challenging police violence
On 4th July the first test case involving 10-20 Fortnum and Masons defendants will begin. The collective arrest of 145 people during a UK uncut inspired occupation of a posh supermarket to highlight tax evasion is one of the most outrageous examples of the recent state targeting of protesters. During the action it was descried by a senior police officer on site “sensible” and “non violent” whilst Lynne Owens, the Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, has since admitted that the arrests were made for intelligence purposes. (seehttp://fortnum145.org/2011/05/10/press-release/)
The Fortnum & Masons test case follows on from the first appearance of scores of protesters in court over the last two weeks, most of whom are facing serious charges of violent disorder and affray for their involvement in the student protests last year. (see http://defendtherighttoprotest.org/brief-reflections-on-the-court-charges-of-9th-10th-june/239/)
Students once again came under violent attack by police last week during a protest against David Willetts at SOAS (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VO0352gdz9Y&feature=player_embedded andhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=CnAuUqmARpg)
It also takes place in the context of threats by the government (rattled by the prospect of 800,000 public sectors workers striking on 30th June) to further inhibit the right to strike in Britain.
This week the initial hearing of police officer charged with the unlawful killing of Ian Tomlinson on the G20 protests took place. Ensuring we win justice for Ian Tomlinson is very important. But we must also fight for justice for Smiley Culture, Alfie Meadows, Jody McIntyre and all victims of police violence.
Our right to protest hangs in the balance. The Fortnum and Masons case is an important test of how far the law is prepared to go in attacking our right to protest and how effectively we can defend protesters against victimisation. This open planning meeting is an opportunity to discuss how we can most effectively support the Fortnum and Masons protests as well as responding to some of the new attacks on protesters such as the recent SOAS arrests and preparing for Crown court hearings of student protesters in early Autumn. We will also be discussing how we fight for justice for victims of police violence. Please spread the word!