Tuesday, 7 January 2014
Megaphone trial begins in Glasgow
The trial against Dominic O’Hara a supporter of Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! and the Glasgow Defence Campaign began yesterday at Glasgow Sheriff Court as protesters staged a militant protest outside the court. On 22 February 2013 Dominic was unlawfully arrested and detained for speaking on a megaphone alongside another Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! supporter Daniel McGarrell on a protest against cuts to disability benefits being carried out by the multinational ATOS, on behalf of the Department of Work and Pensions. As we noted at the time, the state were setting out to smash the growing resistance against the cuts and in particular divide and derail the campaign against ATOS.
At a previous court hearing on 1 October 2013 the case in respect of three charges against the ATOS 2 collapsed, in an important victory for the Glasgow Defence Campaign, as the crown was forced to concede that their original arrest and detention was unlawful as they had no powers of arrest under the legislation s.54 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 at they had originally claimed. The flagrant abuse of police powers is currently subject to legal action being pursued by the Glasgow Defence Campaign.
Yesterdays trial heard from two prosecution witnesses surrounding the events of the day. Speaking outside of the court, convenor of the Glasgow Defence Campaign, Paul McKenna stated that ‘this trial is a political trial which is intended to restrict and criminalise any effective protest against the cuts. The only criminality which took place that day on a wholly orderly and peaceful protest was the police snatch on our two comrades. We are confident that they will be vindicated’.
The trial was adjourned and will resume on Tuesday 28 January at 10am in court number 19 at Glasgow Sheriff Court, before a single judge sitting alone without a jury.
The Glasgow Defence Campaign will again be mobilising for a court protest and reminds supporters of this Sunday’s important meeting on the fight for democratic rights.
Policing the crisis
When the law makers are the law breakers there is no law
Sunday 12 January 2-4pm
Woodside Halls, Glenfarg Street, near St Georges x underground, Glasgow.