Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Police kettling control technique to face historic legal challenge in Scotland

On Thursday 1 March 2012, legal representatives of the Glasgow Defence Campaign will lead the first legal challenge in Scotland against the draconian police practice of kettling peaceful protesters– arguing that use of this tactic by Strathclyde Police on 29th January 2011 was unlawful and represented an attack on human rights. The legal debate, raised as a devolution minute will be heard at the Glasgow District Court – where a full day has been set aside for the legal argument.

The legal challenge has been raised by the legal team representing Dominic O’Hara a supporter of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! and the Glasgow Defence Campaign, who was violently arrested that day on a fitted up charge of police assault. Dominic’s legal team have maintained his not guilty plea throughout the past year, and have repeatedly called upon Strathclyde Police to state on what legal basis they carry out the practice of indiscriminate detention of large crowds of peaceful protesters.

Speaking on 1 February, Paul McKenna, a spokesperson for the Glasgow Defence Campaign stated, ‘This is an important legal challenge not only for us – but for everyone concerned with the defence of working class living standards and the forthcoming struggle against the cuts. We refuse to sit idle and remain silent when our supporters are attacked and arrested. Officers of Strathclyde Police need to understand that if they lay their hands on us, interfere with our rights to protest and organise – and continue their campaign of targeted political harassment against us then they too will be summons to court and face public scrutiny’.   

The Glasgow Defence Campaign are calling a protest outside the court on the morning of the hearing and are urging all progressive forces to unite in opposition to this police intimidation tactic intended to stamp out any effective resistance to the cuts.

Defend FRFI supporter Dominic O’Hara and unite against police kettling!

Assemble: Thursday 1st March, 9.45am outside
Glasgow District Court
21 St. Andrews Street (just off Saltmarket)
G1 5NA