We ARE All Alfie Medows

Many know of the story of Alfie Medows – a student who went to protest both the rise in tuition fees and the closure of his department at university at Parliament on the 9th of December over a year ago, in 2010, who was hit so hard with a baton over the head by the police that he suffered a brain injury that needed immediate surgery.

 

Many people also know that as soon as he put in an Independent Police Complaint with the Commission, the Metropolitan Police immediately retaliated by arresting, charging and stop-and-searching Alfie as a form of intimidation and a desperate attempt to validate their actions – desperately, like a childhood bully, trying to find a way to say “He did it first!”. Something that we are sure that, like many others, they cannot and will not do.

 

But he needs your support and help in this dark time. We need people to realise that We Are All Alfie Medows – we are all in danger of being beaten and arrested for peacefully protesting. We are all in danger of our very lives being threatened, rapidly followed by the loss of our liberty, for standing up for what we believe in.

 

All we ask is that you go Here, download the “We Are All Alfie Medows” or the “Justice For Alfie Medows – Drop The Charges Now” file, print it off, have your photo taken with it and email it to Defend The Right To Protest.

 

Oh, and if you want to, come along to the protest outside the Kingston Crown Court on Monday 26th March.

 

P.S. Sorry for the lack of posts – court and legal issues, as well as many other things, have conspired against us. We hope to be posting more frequently again!

Charlie Gilmore Released On Curfew

We, as I am sure many feel, are relieved that one more person is lucky enough to be released on a home detention curfew, also known as ‘tagging’, where he can be looked after by his parents and helped to recover not just from the prison experience but also the media coverage.

What many people seem to forget, however, is that while he did, indeed admit to two out of the three counts of Violent Disorder, he did not with the third – it was a judge’s ruling on a basis of probability that he had committed the act – a far cry from the high bar of “beyond reasonable doubt” and a jury that we usually hold for such offences.

Hence, the sentence that he was handed down from the height of a judges gavel was a third too long. A third, that thankfully he will not have to serve alone.

Welcome back to the world, Charlie.

Read more about his release in the Independent Online

A Letter to MPs

We have come across a deeply shocking piece of footage from 9th December student demonstration (See our “Home” page) that shows a very peaceful demonstration that the police cavalry charge into causing the crowd to turn ugly. It is clear to see from this footage that it was the police who provoked a violent reaction and not the demonstrators who were there intent on violence.

The police have always maintained that they came under sustained attack all day and that their response was proportionate. This footage was taken at around 3pm and shows otherwise and we would like your help to send it out to all the politicians in the UK.

Please could you
1. copy the email below, enter your contact information, add your own comments to the start of the letter and send it, with the link to the footage, to your MP – MP’s tend to ignore standard emails so please take a few minutes to add your own comments
2. If you are a student at university please send it to both the MP for your home constituency and the MP for your University accommodation constituency
3. Invite all of your friends to do the same

If you do not know who your MP is then go to this website http://findyourmp.parliament.uk
and type in your postcode. The contact details for your MP will then be displayed.

Dear MP

[Please insert own comments and contact information]

I have recently become aware of a disturbing piece of footage on YouTube that was filmed at around 3pm on 9th December at Broad Sanctuary in central London during the student demonstrations of that day.

The police have repeatedly reported that their policing of this demonstration was proportionate however those at the demonstration that day have consistently challenged the police’s account of events and stated that the violence was instigated by the police and not by the demonstrators. While they acknowledge, as is often the case, there were a small number of trouble makers amongst the demonstrators – they maintain that the vast majority of those attending that demonstration went to do so peacefully.

The footage (in the link below) shows a very peaceful demonstration in Broad Sanctuary, there is little pushing against the police lines (the pushing shown near the start of the clip occurs when the police drag Jody Mcintyre out of his wheelchair the first time) and the atmosphere appears to be quite relaxed. After some minutes a murmur can be heard to spread across the crowd and the camera turns to look up the road beyond the police cordon and there are in excess of 20 horses performing a military style cavalry charging into the crowd. Understandably the crowd react to this attack by mounted officers. Please take a few minutes to watch this footage.

http://parentsforrealjustice.org.uk/?p=40

I am shocked and disturbed to have seen our mounted British police officers charging into a peaceful demonstration with such ferocity. I believed that we lived in a democracy and not an oppressive police state as this footage would suggest we do. These are the kind of actions that we have come to expect from totalitarian states who our government are so quick to criticise and condemn for their poor human rights records in relation to public demonstrations and yet this is what has been witnessed on the streets of our capital city.

I would not only like to draw your attention to the actions of the police at that time but also to highlight that there were a large number of demonstrators arrested at that demonstration and a significant number of them have been charged with Violent Disorder, which means that the CPS believe that they went to that demonstration with the intention of committing violent acts. However as can be clearly seen in this footage the actions of these peaceful demonstrators changed dramatically when provoked by the police and I can’t help but question how many of those facing such charges would not be doing so had the police not acted so violently towards what was a relatively well behaved crowd.

I cannot see any justification for the action taken by the police at that time as shown in the footage and I would appreciate your comments on the matter.

Kind regards

Police Cavalry Charge Into Peaceful Protest

Watch as a peaceful protest suddenly explodes after a military style cavalry charge.

If you are as shocked as we are about this footage please download the letter to MPs, add your own comments (MP’s tend to ignore mass mailings if they are not personalised) and send it to your MP.

To find out who your MP is please go to http://findyourmp.parliament.uk

Please leave your comments.