Wednesday 28 September proved not only to be a good day for sun worshippers but also a good day for the anti-cuts movement in Britain.
As the sun beat down on the roof of Newcastle Crown Court from a cloudless sky, Mr Justice Milford QC declared that local activists Mark Pearson and Patrick Ray had been unlawfully arrested by police during the UK UnCut protest in Newcastle on the 18th December 2010. Justice Milford accordingly exonerated them.
The legal victory comes on the back of 10-months of hard work by the HSBC 3 defence campaign which suffered a major setback in the Spring of 2011 when Newcastle Magistrate court initially charged and fined Mark and Patrick for their alleged offences under sections 12 and 14 of the public order act (1986).
The court rooms of Britain are one of a number-of-fronts on which the fight against the government imposed cuts and austerity measures is being waged.
Whilst the victory of the HSBC 3 is dwarfed by the achievements of the March for the Alternative (26.3.2011), the massive coordinated strike action by unions on June 30th or the Public and Commercial Services union\’s triumph in the High Court over the outgoing Labours government\’s attempt to cut the civil servant\’s compensation scheme, it nonetheless is a much needed and valuable victory for the anti-cuts movement.
It especially will give hope to the anti-Lib-Dem banner dropper Edd Bauer, the 20 UK UnCut protesters charged for their part in peaceful demonstration in Fortnum-and-Mason on 26th March, and the numerous other defence campaigns being waged to protect the appetite and capacity of our movement\’s ability to protest.
Wherever mass movements have arisen which challenge the ruling class’ ability to exploit people and the planet, state-led attempts to criminalise and subdue protests through police oppression and the rule of law typically occur.
The disproportionately harsh sentences handed down on rioters, the brutal ‘kettling’ of students last winter, and the murder of Ian Tomlinson by PC Simon Harwood during the 2009 anti-austerity protests at the G20 summit demonstrate as ever the vital need for the vast majority to defend themselves from the brutally unjust, exploitive persecution of the rich few.Tags: Domestic (UK)
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This post was written by Mark Tyres and Jonathan Proctor