The Glasgow Defence Campaign has been established to oppose political policing and defend democratic rights in the struggle against the cuts in Glasgow. If you face any form of police harassment or violence, please log as many details as you can and send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Speaking against ATOS in defence of the sick and disabled is not a crime. Picket Glasgow Sheriff Court 4 March
Glasgow Defence Campaign
FIGHTING FOR DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS
political policing. Defending the right to protest.
We are writing to you
today to call for your support and solidarity with a student protester in Glasgow facing criminal
proceedings for using a megaphone. We do not believe it is in the public
interest to criminalise young people who participate in peaceful protest
against the cuts in social welfare. We are demanding that the Lord Advocate
intervenes and drops the outstanding charge in the interests of justice.
On 22 February 2013, during a
peaceful anti-cuts protest in Glasgow
city centre Dominic O’Hara was arrested for using a megaphone under
Section 54 of the Civic Government of Scotland Act (1982). Daniel McGarrel was
arrested for allegedly attempting to free a person in custody. At court, 10
months after the arrests, the Procurator Fiscal conceded that the original
arrests were unlawful and all charges of resisting arrest, police obstruction
and attempts to liberate a prisoner from custody were dropped before the trial.
However, in a quite incredible decision, the Crown Office decided to pursue prosecution
of Dominic for use of a megaphone under the 1982 Act. Maximum penalty for this
is a £50 fine, yet to date the case has, we estimate, cost £7,000.
This ‘megaphone’ case
is a sign of the times we are living in, and is only one in a long line of
police attacks on peaceful protestors over the last three years. The Glasgow
Defence Campaign (GDC) was established to oppose this political policing. Our
work aims to offer practical, emotional and political support to all those
being criminalised for defending our democratic rights in the struggle against
the cuts in Glasgow
and across the UK.
collapse of the original charges Dominic told the GDC: ‘The key question here
is freedom of speech for everyone who is trying to organise against the cuts
and welfare reform. It’s a fight we can’t lose.’ Daniel added: ‘That the Crown
didn’t abandon the megaphone case shows that this is clearly political. The
dropping of the charges against myself shows the importance of fighting
political charges with a political defence. I’d like to thank the GDC and supporters who
have stood with us throughout the last twelve months.’
We are writing to you
today to call for your support and solidarity with Dominic and all those across
the country who are facing such criminalisation and demand that the Lord
Advocate intervenes and drops the outstanding charge in the interests of
justice. . It is vital that all progressive thinkers
unite to stop this attack on the right protest. You can support GDC by:
·Joining us on Tuesday 4 March,
at the Court Picket, Glasgow Sheriff Court. 1 Carlton Place. Trial begins in court 19 (open to the public).
·Demand the charge be dropped! Send us a statement of
support and solidarity and publish it on your blog or website. Read the
statement of solidarity from the renowned writer and working class activist
James Kelman on our website. We commend Kelman's consistent and principled
stand on this question and urge others to follow his lead.
·Become a member of GDC. You can support the
vital work of GDC by becoming a member of the organisation or sending us a donation