Reports from Two Recent London Protests

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[FIT film protesters in Wandsworth (see Fitwatch for more info on police intelligence gathering and what you can do about it). Photo by Pete Maclaine]

Wandsworth Council are the first to approve eviction for those convicted following recent unrest, even though the person in question has yet to be convicted – There was a protest outside Tory Wandsworth Councillor’s house on the 18th August, and 1500 signed a petition against riot evictions. From the first article:

‘Maite de Calva, 43, of Francis Chichester Way, in Battersea, was handed an eviction notice last week after her son, Daniel Sartain-Clarke, 18, was charged with burglary and violent disorder during the Battersea riots.

In response to the move, a group called the Social Justice Collective decided to go to Councillor Ravi Govindia’s home in Wandsworth to demonstrate their opposition to the council’s decision – with 40 people turning up in the rain at 5pm.

Spokesman Peter McCann said: “The support from the general public was amazing. The amount of cars driving past and tooting their horns was unbelievable.

“But the attitude of the police was provocative and almost caused a riot. They had installed two temporary CCTV cameras and it’s very distressing if this is going to be the police’s attitude towards peaceful protest.”‘

Photos from the ever-vigilant Demotix photographers of the protest can be found here (Chrys Campos) and here (Pete Maclaine).

On the 19th August, people protested outside Westminster Magistrates’ Court in support of the remaining 17 UK Uncut defendants who were entering their pleas on the charge of ‘aggravated trespass’ relating to their peaceful occupation of Fortnum and Mason on March 26th (all plead not guilty). Photos, again from Demotix can be found here (Peter Marshall) and Guardian report here.

There is some dispute within the Crown prosecution Service as to whether the remaining UK Uncut prosecutions should go ahead. As reported in the Guardian article:

‘Defence solicitors, however, revealed a possible split within the CPS as they told the court that the London head of prosecutions, Alison Saunders, had still not confirmed whether even these 30 cases would be continued.

Explaining to the court why the group had been selected for prosecution, Short said: “This group were in possession of materials [which] enhance the aggravating factors”. Describing the materials as “banners, cordon tape, and leaflets”, Short added that the CPS believed a number of defendants had “leaflets in bundles or piles on their possession on arrest”.

Short told district judge Michael Snow that the Crown believed this signalled their “intention to promote their cause”.

Querying the decision, Snow said it was “quite legitimate to promote their cause” and asked why it was criminal to do so with leaflets.’

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