Wednesday, 25 September 2013
The ‘Glasgow Against Atos 2’ will stand trial in Glasgow Sheriff Court on Tuesday 1 October on charges of using a megaphone illegally and then attempting to prevent and resist police arrest. Both Dominic O’Hara and Danny McGarrell were arrested on 22 February 2013 during a ‘Glasgow Against Atos’ campaign protest on Gordon Street in the city centre. Crowds gathered to watch and condemn the police violence, which was used to disrupt the peaceful and democratic spirit of the protest, as the two were handcuffed and led away. The shocking scenes in the heart of the city centre were a measure of the confidence of the Glasgow police to blatantly attack the right of free speech. Throughout the protest they had stalked, harassed and attempted to provoke demonstrators using the megaphone to oppose the welfare warfare being waged on the sick and disabled.
GDC spokesperson Miriam Kelly stated after the arrests: ‘today we saw another example of Strathclyde Police (now Police Scotland) taking the law into their own hands. While Atos and their employers the Department for Work and Pensions are free to destroy the lives of the people most in need of care and support, it is the people who bravely stand against this who are beaten down and criminalised. We say if the police are truly interested in fighting crime they have arrested the wrong people. It is Atos and the politicians who constructed the work capability assessment that should be standing trial.’
The Glasgow Defence Campaign has been active opposing political policing and supporting its victims for over three years. Throughout this time it has been supporters of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! (FRFI), one of the founding members of the campaign, who have faced a consistent pattern of police harassment, arrests and charges. That both Dominic and Danny were members of this organisation at the time of their arrest cannot be over looked. Evidence from our police harassment log, which includes undercover police officers unsuccessfully attempting to recruit Danny as a police informant, shows that the police will stop at no lengths to prevent and destroy opposition to the cuts. We must all stand together for the sake of everyone’s rights!
Join us on the picket to say ‘no harassment, no arrests, defend the right to protest!’.
Picket For Free Speech! Drop the charges now!
Tuesday 1 October, 9.15am
Glasgow Sheriff Court
1 Carlton Place
See original report from arrest
Report from previous court protest
We recommend Guardian journalists Rob Evans and Paul Lewis new book Undercover: The true Story of Britain’s Police. Copies of the book are available from the GDC priced £13 with free postage and can be obtained by donation via our paypal button. Otherwise call 07734348065 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
See report of the launch of the book in Glasgow