Alfie Meadows acquitted student protester
Zak King acquitted protester
Matt Foot campaigning lawyer who represented many student protesters
Max Watson UNISON trade unionist who fought victimisation at London Met
Sussex Uni Occupier (tbc) plus estimonies from other defendants, protesters and victims of police violence
Come and hear how Alfie and Zak fought their cases and where next in the fight for justice. All welcome to stay and mingle after in the bars and celebrate the victory.
After a two year struggle, Alfie Meadows and Zak King have finally been acquitted of public disorder charges relating to the student protests in Autumn 2010. Their story is just one example of the criminalisation and persecution suffered by those whose only offence was to take the streets to defend Too many young people ended up in jail or with a criminal record as a result. Alfie almost died after a blow to the head with a police baton.
However in the face police brutality, the might of the judicial system and a moral panic whipped up by the coalition government and media, many students stood up for their right to protest and won. Of the 19 who fought charges of violent disorder, 18 won their cases. These victories are important at a time of unprecedent cuts and austerity and conitnuing
Aflie’s victory is also the first step towards holding the police to account for his injuries and the collective punishment meted out to the student protesters. Despite the success of many in fighting their cases, not a single officer has been charged with violence relating to the protests. The IPCC, for example, found the police had used “excessive force” against Jody McIntyre when dragging him out of his wheelchair during protests, but ruled it was too late to prosecute.
The lack of accountablity of the police and persecution of its victims is part of a long history of injustice from the Hillsborough tragedy and Orgreave to the ongoing scandal of deaths following police contact including that of Ian Tomlinson who died after been assaulted by police whilst trapped in a kettle on the G20 protests.
Alfie and Zak’s struggle is important for everyone who wants to defend the right to protest and support other victims of police violence campaigning for justice t a time of unprecedented cuts and austerity and continuing campaigns in defence of education. We hope it will help strengthen other victims of police violence who are campaigning for justice. Alfie and Zak could not have sustained their fight without wide spread solidarity from fellow students, lecturers, trade unionists and justice campaigns. We appeal to everyone to come to the meeting, celebrate our victory and discuss how we take the fight for justice forward.