Friday, 28 January 2011

Opposing the criminalisation of politics

Opposing the criminalisation of politics

The trial of the FRFI supporter facing criminalisation for selling the newspaper Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! will go ahead on 14 March 2010 at 2pm in court number 3 of Glasgow Justice of the Peace Court. The Glasgow Defence Campaign are calling on supporters to attend the court.

The supporter, who has sold FRFI in Glasgow and elsewhere for over thirteen years stated, ‘this is a politically motivated charge being pursued by state prosecutors who appear on the face of it, willing to disregard the law they are using, and bypass the implications of human rights legislation in Scotland’.

FRFIs legal advisers are maintaining that the charge for ‘carrying out business as a street trader without having a licence in terms of Section 39 of the Civic Government Scotland Act 1982’  is not a competent charge as section 39 (3) (a) itself states ‘A street trader’s licence shall not be required for the sale of newspapers only’. Either the procurator fiscal solicitors have not read this, or, as we suspect it is a charge determined to undermine the organised resistance to the cuts.

Commenting on the implications of having to face a criminal prosecution, the supporter said, ‘We need to ask why this is happening now, for us it is quite clear, the first intention is to intimidate our members, our families and friends, they also want to warn off the growing support we have in our communities, and to prevent the distribution of our newspaper.’ Faced with the prospect of criminalisation for legitimate peaceful political activity, the Glasgow Defence Campaign have no other option other than to escalate our activity in defence of our rights to organise on the streets.  We are in talks with our legal advisers about the next step in relation to our legal defence, we reserve the right to identify and pursue those who are behind the harassment in the civil courts.

The Glasgow Defence Campaign has organised a free speech rally in the centre of Glasgow on the following date, with more to come.

Street rally: Defend democratic rights!
Saturday 5 February, 12-2pm
Donald Dewar statue, top of Buchanan Street, Glasgow

Protest called by Glasgow Defence Campaign, supported by FRFI and others

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