Friday, 31 January 2014

Anniversary Picket of 'Glasgow Against Atos 2' Trial To Go Ahead. Stand with us

The adjournment of Tuesday’s ‘megaphone’ trial against one of the ‘Glasgow Against Atos 2’ means the case will have gone on for over a year before its concluded. It has been rescheduled for 4 March. Against the cold winds blowing round Glasgow sheriff court supporters once again mobilised to demand the political charge of ‘using a megaphone’ was dropped. Spokesperson for the Glasgow Defence Campaign Miriam Kelly commented;

‘An undeclared war on the poor is underway. We see this in job centre sanctions and with Atos rulings declaring sick and disabled people fit for work. We also see it in courts with working class people evicted from their homes because they can’t afford rent payments. This ‘megaphone’ case is also a sign of the times were living in. History tells us that attacks on the poor are accompanied by an attack on the right of free speech and other basic democratic rights which allow the poor and oppressed to organise to defend themselves. We will take the lessons of the past and continue our work to support those people being criminalised for fighting the cuts. The best defence we can have is our unity against what is happening.’

Join us for an anniversary picket of Glasgow Sheriff Court. Bring pots, pans, whistles, banners and voices to let the police and courts know they won’t silence us.

Court Picket: Fight The Cuts! Defend Free Speech! Refuse to be silent! 
Tuesday 4 March, 10.15am
Glasgow Sheriff Court
1 Carlton Place
Trial begins 11am in court 19 (open to the public)

And a protest song penned by one of the ‘Glasgow Against Atos 2’ 
‘We’ve No Even Started! Fight The Cuts! Defend Free Speech!’

Monday, 27 January 2014

Message of solidarity from James Kelman

The Glasgow Defence Campaign has received the following statement of solidarity from the renowned writer and working class activist James Kelman, on the eve of tomorrow's trial of free speech in Glasgow. We salute Kelman's consistent and principled stand on this question and urge others to follow his lead.

"People have a right to question. The police and legal system should do all in their power to support that right. Even when the subject under scrutiny is the authoritarian behaviour of the permanent state and its political apparatus. Instead of defending the people  the police and legal system protect the tyrant and attack, condemn and criminalise those who offer resistance. It is beneath contempt. People in Scotland are watching the actions of the police and legal system here today. My best wishes to the Glasgow Defence Campaign. (James Kelman)

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Megaphone Trial Continues. Picket Glasgow Sheriff Court 28 January!

Day two of the trial against the Glasgow Against ATOS 2 continues this Tuesday 28 January. The two were arrested for using a megaphone on a protest against cuts to sickness and disability benefit on 22 February 2013. Framed up charges against the two were dropped on 1 October after a Sheriff court ruled that their arrest and detention had been unlawful (compensation is now being sought). However the charge of using a megaphone was upheld.

One of the supporters arrested has penned this song to tell the story of their arrest and trial. The song opposes the criminalisation of protest against the cuts showing the hypocrisy of the real criminals robbing the poor and defending the bankers. We hope you enjoy it.

‘We`ve no even started! Fight The Cuts! Defend Free Speech!’

For information on the case so far see

Join the Glasgow Defence Campaign to picket the Sheriff Court!
Tuesday 28 January, 10.15am front of the court
Trial in court 19 (Open to the public)

1 Carlton Place
G5 9DA


To join the Glasgow Defence Campaign donate a £5 pledge or standing order to the credit of
Glasgow Defence Campaign
Sort Code: 08-92-99
Account No: 65685253

Post your contact details to us at the address below or email

PO Box YI-45,
2nd Floor, 48 West George Street,
Glasgow G2 1BP

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Megaphone trial begins in Glasgow

Militant protest held outside Glasgow Sheriff Court, Monday 6 January 2014

The trial against Dominic O’Hara a supporter of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! and the Glasgow Defence Campaign began yesterday at Glasgow Sheriff Court as protesters staged a militant protest outside the court. On 22 February 2013 Dominic was unlawfully arrested and detained for speaking on a megaphone alongside another Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! supporter Daniel McGarrell on a protest against cuts to disability benefits being carried out by the multinational ATOS, on behalf of the Department of Work and Pensions. As we noted at the time, the state were setting out to smash the growing resistance against the cuts and in particular divide and derail the campaign against ATOS.

At a previous court hearing on 1 October 2013 the case in respect of three charges against the ATOS 2 collapsed, in an important victory for the Glasgow Defence Campaign, as the crown was forced to concede that their original arrest and detention was unlawful as they had no powers of arrest under the legislation s.54 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 at they had originally claimed. The flagrant abuse of police powers is currently subject to legal action being pursued by the Glasgow Defence Campaign.

Yesterdays trial heard from two prosecution witnesses surrounding the events of the day. Speaking outside of the court, convenor of the Glasgow Defence Campaign, Paul McKenna stated that ‘this trial is a political trial which is intended to restrict and criminalise any effective protest against the cuts. The only criminality which took place that day on a wholly orderly and peaceful protest was the police snatch on our two comrades. We are confident that they will be vindicated’.

The trial was adjourned and will resume on Tuesday 28 January at 10am in court number 19 at Glasgow Sheriff Court, before a single judge sitting alone without a jury.

The Glasgow Defence Campaign will again be mobilising for a court protest and reminds supporters of this Sunday’s important meeting on the fight for democratic rights. 

Policing the crisis
When the law makers are the law breakers there is no law

Sunday 12 January 2-4pm

Woodside Halls, Glenfarg Street, near St Georges x underground, Glasgow. 

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Policing the crisis

When the law makers are the law breakers there is no law

Sunday 12 January 2-4pm

Woodside Halls, Glenfarg Street, near St Georges x underground

A special meeting organised by the Glasgow Defence Campaign to build momentum in the fight to defend democratic rights in Glasgow against police repression.  In a week which will start with the yet another political trial in Glasgow as the state attempts to criminalise the use of a megaphone we are having this meeting offering our considered response.

Paul McKenna, chairperson of the Glasgow Defence Campaign, will be discussing the role of the state within crisis politics and how historically the police owe their development to crisis where they have moved beyond the limits of the rule of law. Paul will be discussing how political charges must be fought with a political as well as a legal defence with specific reference to the current situation facing the anti cuts movement and the attacks on our legal rights in Scotland.

Nicki Jameson, is editor of the Prisoners Fightback page in Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! and author of the book, Strangeways 1990: a serious disturbance. Nicki will be discussing how political policing was used against the four year long Non Stop Picket outside South Africa House in London for the release of Nelson Mandela and all South African political prisoners. Crucially Nicki will be discussing how police repression was successfully countered drawing out the lessons for today’s political struggles.

Entry by donation

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Criminal Trial in Glasgow ‘for using a loudspeaker’ – The Case Continues

The Glasgow Defence Campaign enters the New Year with determination and optimism that the fight against the cuts, racism and political policing and courts can and will grow. 

Since our establishment three years ago we have supported progressive people victim to the assault on democratic rights by Strathclyde Police (now Police Scotland). We have resisted on-going attempts to intimidate, isolate and infiltrate progressive individuals and organisations such as Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! with street and court demonstrations while updating our police harassment log to record the details of these offences.

On Monday 6 January 2014 one of our supporters Dominic O’Hara faces a Sheriff Court trial for using a loudspeaker in Glasgow City Centre. The last appearance of the ‘Glasgow Against Atos 2’ in October found that police had unlawfully arrested and detained both Dominic and Daniel McGarrell on 22 February 2013 during a peaceful static protest against the benefit cutting multinational Atos (working on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions). Despite this ruling against police violence and the dropping of stitched up charges of ‘resisting arrest’ and ‘attempting to liberate a prisoner’ the judge chose to uphold a political charge of ‘illegally’ using a loudspeaker. The campaign is mobilising for a picket of the Sheriff court to defend free speech and the right to protest (details below). We hope to see you + friends and family there if you can be.

In the run up to the Commonwealth Games we expect to see a clamp down on democratic rights in Glasgow City Centre in an attempt to cover up the stench of cuts and corruption coming from the ruling elites in this city. The campaign will work to defend those who wish to expose the hypocrisy of these institutions and the ‘respectable face’ they try to present to the world.

The point we have made from the start that effective resistance to the ruling class can only be built and maintained with an effective political defence campaign to support victims of state repression still stands. We look forward to and hope others will join us in this fight for 2014!

Don’t panic, organise!

Free Speech Court Picket
Defend Free Speech in Glasgow City Centre! Unite Against the Cuts!
Monday 6 January, from 9.15am
Front of Glasgow Sheriff Court,
Carlton Place

For more details on the case see