Tuesday, 31 July 2012
Cameron's footsoldiers no shame!
The Glasgow Defence Campaign condemns the latest provocation by Strathclyde police. Between 15.00-18.00hrs yesterday a peaceful protest against the presence of PM David Cameron in Glasgow City Centre was faced with lines of uniformed officers intimidating people with the threat of arrest for merely being in the area. Plain clothes officers mingled within the demonstration. Two arrests were made – the GDC is waiting for confirmation of a third arrest. One Socialist Workers Party activist, who has been the target of arrest before, was detained after the protest dispersed with officers following him around the corner. This shows once again the need for vigilance before, during and after taking part in democratic protest in this country. Always stay in a group of people – entering or leaving a protest yourself is not safe.
Workers and onlookers passing through town, heard protestors voice loud and clear, and were generally in agreement, that the real criminals were Cameron, his cronies and his defenders. Five minutes’ walk from the Glasgow Central Hotel, where Cameron appeared, thousands of disability benefit claimants have been denied basic welfare by the government contracted multinational Atos. Two minutes walk from there a nightly soup kitchen feeds hundreds of homeless and poor Scottish and migrant peoples. These are the victims of the capitalist crisis and society and Cameron, as a mouthpiece and organiser for the ruling class, is a perpetrator of this imposed misery.
The use of the Public Order Act 1986 - http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1986/64 - to dictate that the demonstration had to move away from the entrance of the hotel and be dispersed by 17.30hrs confirms once again that effective protest in Britain must be backed up by effective defence against criminalisation. We must defend the right to protest by defending people harassed, intimidated and arrested for practicing the democratic right to oppose injustice. Footage of the officer reading out the act can be seen here http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=4319214340928
The Glasgow Defence Campaign is aware that the two people arrested are being held in Stewart Street police office (0141-532-3000) and urges people to phone the office to demand that their welfare and rights are not abused. They will both appear in Glasgow Sherriff Court tomorrow. The GDC will post any updates on their cases when it is appropriate.
Glasgow says Cameron not welcome!
Strathclyde Police hands off protest!