On Saturday 18th February, 100 activists gathered outside Wandsworth Prison in heavy rain, to show solidarity with the many political prisoners we know are imprisoned in Wandsworth, from both the student and TUC demonstrations as well as the recent August riots. Current prisoners include Omar Ibrahim, who has been writing from his prison cell, his articles are being documented online on a blog set up for him, here.
Susan Matthews (Alfie Meadow’s mother) and Hannah Dee (Chair of Defend the Right to Protest) were amongst those who expressed their anger at the continuous victimization of people involved in the student demonstrations. Hannah Dee made reference to the upcoming trial of Alfie Meadows, charged with violent disorder from 9th December 2010 demonstration in Parliament Square. It was on that demonstration that Alfie was hit so hard with a police baton he needed emergency, life-saving brain surgery. Hannah pointed out that the police are clearly trying to rehabilitate themselves after the student demonstrations, particularly 9th December, when they had been seen using violently dangerous tactics against student protesters. (See this article for the symptoms a Doctor recorded protesters suffering from on 9th December). By charging protesters like Alfie Meadows, she argued, the police are trying to justify the level of force they have used and will continue to use against protesters.
Ed Greens (MC) also shared some bars he’d written which reflected the anger and mood of the demonstration. Spoken word Artist, JJ, a former defendant who was recently acquitted, also performed some thought provoking poetry, the same piece he had performed to the prosecuting barrister after he was acquitted.
Despite the police having a heavy and intrusive presence, the demonstration proved a success with lots of noise created by chants, instruments and music. Our noise was acknowledged by the sound of cheers from prison inmates.
Twin yourself and/or your Student/Trade Union with an imprisoned protester by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook Page: defendtherighttoprotest / add Right to Protest