Thursday, 14 April 2011

Arrest alert! Two more political arrests in Glasgow as Strathclyde police declares war.

Today Thursday 14 April, in a further serious development, two supporters of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism, Jonathan Simons and Dominic O’Hara voluntarily attended Baird Street police station. They are currently detained in custody, under arrest for an alleged breach of the peace, which is said to have taken place at a Vodafone store on the 9 December anti cuts protest in Glasgow, we do not know when they will be released. They become the fourth and fifth people we know to be detained this week.

We are asking supporters to contact the station and demand that they be released. The number to ring is: 0141-532 4100  

The arrests follows days of intensified harassment and intimidation faced by them, their families and supporters as plain clothed officers who refused to identify themselves sought to intimidate and detain them. On Monday Dominic was convicted of police assault on the same 9 December protest, the other charge of breach of the peace was dismissed. The next day three young anti cuts activists were detained by police and charged with breach of the peace said to have taken place on the 9 December protest.

Speaking today, Paul McKenna, a spokesperson for the Glasgow Defence Campaign stated ‘John Pilger is quite right to state that a political war of intimidation has been declared against those who exercise their right to protest peacefully. We would add that Strathclyde police are out to smash the organisation of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! in particular. The overall purpose of these arrests and ludicrous charges is to impose draconian bail conditions, preventing them from being effectively active against the cuts. It’s also to intimidate other peaceful protesters from attending Saturday’s demonstration which we have called jointly with the Free Hetherington in opposition to political policing in Glasgow. We would like to take this opportunity to state that we refuse to be intimidated by Strathclyde Police; we are absolutely determined that Saturday’s static protest from 12 till 2pm on Gordon Street goes ahead peacefully and without disruption from the police. We say everyone out for Saturday.’

4pm update. Both comrades have now been released. Both have been charged with a breach of the peace relating to Vodafone and the 9 December. Both have bail conditions attached prohibiting entry to the city centre and also attending an assembly of two or more persons. We will be seeking to overturn this attack on human rights at the next court appearance. 

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