Victory for anti-fascists in court!

14 04 2014

wmin court

Today was due to be the first day of the trial of the remaining 5 defendents from the June 2013 demonstration against the BNP in Westminster, which successfully stopped the fascists marching on the Cenotaph to exploit the death of Lee Rigby.

There was a solidarity picket outside Westminster magistrates court this morning to support the defendents on trial. However, the case has now been dismissed and thrown out of court in a clear victory for anti-fascists against the police. Despite having months to prepare the case, the prosecution claimed to have no evidence as their key witness was on holiday!

On the 1st June, the police attempted to push the BNP march through a crowd of anti-fascists blocking the street and employed a strategy of mass arrests to allow the fascist parade. Despite the police violence – which resulted in one anti-fascist with a broken leg – the fascists did not pass and had to skulk off home with their tail between their legs.

However, 59 anti-fascists were arrested on that day – a high price to pay, and a foretaste of the 286 arrests used in Tower Hamlets in September to contain anti-fascists and stop them getting to the EDL. The mass arrests in Westminster were clearly planned in advance before anything had even happened as the police had booked buses to transport the arrestees in.

So out of 345 anti-fascists arrested on those two demonstrations in London last year a grand total of NONE have been convicted of anything and most were not even charged.

The police took everyone’s details in a giant fishing operation of intelligence gathering and imposed bail conditions preventing those arrested from engaging in any protest activities. Most likely they knew the majority of arrests were going to come to nothing and the intention was to get people out of the area, punish them through arrest and bail conditions, collect intelligence and impede future anti-fascist work with restrictive bail conditions.

Hopefully this strategy of mass arrests by the Met will unravel as anti-fascists are now sueing the police for the arrests at both Westminster and Tower Hamlets demonstrations.

No officer has been held to account for breaking Amy Jowett’s leg on 1st June.

 For further info see:

Open letter published in the Guardian yesterday

Defend the Right to Protest

twitter.com/righttoprotest

Justice for the Anti-Fascist 5

Justice for the Tower Hamlets 286

 

 


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