The Glasgow Defence Campaign has been established to oppose political policing and defend democratic rights in the struggle against the cuts in Glasgow. If you face any form of police harassment or violence, please log as many details as you can and send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Open public campaigning is the most powerful means to
challenge police frame-ups and violence. We will subject the police to the law
and public scrutiny, just as they subject us to illegal harassment and abuse of
The advice offered below is not exhaustive. The necessary
struggle to defend rights will debate many ways and approaches to building
peoples campaigns to defend democratic rights and oppose injustice. The point
is to fight back!
An organised defence campaign has two main elements: legal
Legal: if the police arrive stay calm and get the cameras
out. Choose someone, preferably beforehand, to deal with them. Note badge numbers, names and ranks. The
police must tell you this information. Ask them to explain why they are there
and under what laws they are acting. The police must tell you this information.
Note and record as many details as you can and record all you can as clearly as
you can. Try to have just one voice talking, police threats are sometimes
obscured by angry voices! This witness
evidence will be crucial in court. Organise those with you for witness
statements and testimony. Appeal to the public for support and witness
statements there and then. Get clear contact details.
Those who have been arrested need immediate legal support.
Get in touch with a solicitor. Get details of charges, where the arrested are
being held. You may consider going up to the police station to register
complaints, seek information and to publicise the arrests.
An arrest list is a listing of friends, supporters, legal
and public figures and representatives such as councillors, MP’s, MSP’s, MEP’s,
community figures, trade union, socialist, progressive and liberal
organisations and figures. They should all be contacted immediately to ask them
to ring in and ask about the arrestee’s wellbeing, charges and release
arrangements at least. Those on the arrest list should be encouraged to at
least ask but preferably, complain, about the arrests and that the contact and
complaint is noted and logged. Insist on this. Experience has shown that the
police are more likely to behave properly when they know that their behaviour
is now under public scrutiny.
Start compiling an arrest list now. Retain this and add as you go. Keep copies.
Contact the arrested on release if possible. Discuss legal
support for any charges and discuss what they want to do about the arrests. A
defence campaign can only proceed with agreement and support. Brief the
arrestee on the situation since their arrest, witnesses, press coverage,
photographic and video evidence and public reaction. Do they want to put out an
Now is the time to organise the first campaign meeting as
quickly and as widely as possible. Give time though to allow people to
participate. Secure a large venue, not a committee room and aim for the fullest
involvement of all in discussion and most importantly the campaigning. Do not
allow figures or groups to re-assure you that they will take the campaign
forward through respectable channels while you go quiet. Be wary of such
forces! The point is to make as much noise as possible!
This first campaign meeting has to draw up the way forward.
It should aim for the broadest possible support from the people, public figures
and organisations. No suggestion should be excluded. Complaints from pensioners
groups, community councils and organisations, councillors, witnesses - all add
to the pressure on the cops and procurator fiscal. Record and log all
Facebook, website or blog, the most effective way to
publicise and build support through the internet has to be organised here.
Decide on a campaign name, its immediate demands and clear contact details. The
aim is to let people know what happened and that their support and activity is
very welcome and very necessary.
An initial statement announcing the campaign has to come out
of this meeting. It must include the campaign demands and appeal for support.
This statement then has to be given the widest possible publicity: in the
press, at meetings and events, across internet forums and social networking
sites. In newspaper letters page and in radio phone-ins. Then leaflets and a
support list - a petition - need to be produced.
Councillors, MP’s and MSP’s, should be contacted and support
solicited. Protests at surgeries and offices should be considered if they are
not prepared to support democratic rights.
The left and trade unions should be contacted for support
and involvement. Motions passed at union branches, trades union councils should
be sought, along with messages of solidarity and support and donations to fund
the cost of leaflets, posters, and rooms.
Issued by the Glasgow Defence Campaign 21 March 2013