Sunday, 7 August 2011

GDC opposes latest arrests and calls for unity

The Glasgow Defence Campaign condemns the most recent wave of arrests in the past week as yet another example of political policing in the city of Glasgow. The arrests are an abuse of power which is intended to intimidate and isolate those prepared to make a principled stance against the cuts. The timing and character of the arrests are themselves further evidence it was directed by the highest levels within Strathclyde police working alongside the crown office.

The GDC calls for maximum unity in the face of these latest attacks. As we demonstrated in practice in April when a number of people were arrested and detained - only by open opposition can an effective defence be mounted. Following the demonstration – all of the charges against the accused were dropped as a result of the public pressure generated. We need a similar victory once again.

If the latest round of anti democratic actions by Strathclyde police go unchecked and unchallenged – who will be next? History teaches us that the British state will show no mercy against those it deems necessary to criminalise; those who cooperate with the prosecution will be hammered. Witness the attacks on the Gaza demonstrators of January 2009, the attack on Charlie Gilmour and the punitive incarceration of Milbank protesters.

The GDC calls for those who wish to defend themselves politically to contact us. Now is the time for effective, non sectarian unity among everyone under attack. The police attacks on the right to free speech and assembly must not go unopposed. We say that those who remain silent, and accept criminalisation, invite more trouble – not less.

Joey Simons, a supporter of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! stated ‘only through public campaigning can we be successful – not just on an individual basis but also in upholding the rights of everyone. We refuse to be intimidated, isolated and criminalised. That is why we oppose this latest round of arrests and call for supporters to attend my trial on 23 August. We are calling for enough public pressure to be mounted in order to have all of the charges dropped.’

The trial against Joey Simons is set to take place on Tuesday 23 August from 10am at the District Court, St Andrews Street, Glasgow. The GDC is calling on supporters to attend and for messages of solidarity to be sent from individuals and organisations. 

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