Archive for the ‘Blogs’ Category

Some good news from the courts today!

October 10, 2011 Comments off

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Today saw a case management hearing for the upcoming trials, and what was meant to be some form of decision on the ‘Spartacus’ cases.  It was also a bit of a warm up for the barristers, Richard and Annabel, who will be representing many of the first trial defendants in court in November.

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No, Philip, we didn’t cause the riots.

September 11, 2011 Comments off

by @robsafar

Just no Philip.

The Telegraph have produced this marvellous little reportage on Sir Philip Green’s assessment on the cause of the riots . According to him, well, it’s our fault.

We’ve heard that he might be a little upset with UKUncut over some past tiffles, but that’s all water under the bridge. He’s so over that. He’s even gone so far as to say that there is a “necessity for peaceful protest” . It great that he’s on board with us that far, but his us(rich folk)-versus-them(bloody ingrates) logic isn’t what we’re about.

But it’s not just our fault. Oh, no. Ian Tomlinson is to blame too. The Telegraph goes on to report that;

His comments reflect the views of a number of retailers who believe that a change in police tactics after the death of a bystander in the disturbances surrounding the G20 summit in London in 2009 encouraged the looting.

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Spartaci, Spartacum, Spartacuses?

September 7, 2011 Comments off

I have put myself back on trial to support the F&M defendants because I believe the CPS has no more reason to prosecute them than they do to prosecute me. It is in no-ones interest to penalise peaceful protest. It is in everyones’ interest to support people who stand up against injustice.

Anonymous Spartacus

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August 21, 2011 Comments off

The show of support outside court on Friday went better than last time – nobody was threatened with arrest (as far as we know)!

A huge thank you to everyone that came, your support is surely appreciated.

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A view from the gallery

August 21, 2011 Comments off

Yesterday I went to Westminster magistrates court to watch the case management hearing for 13 protesters. One of them is someone close to me. They were among the 145 people originally arrested outside Fortnum & Mason in March, and they’ve become such a whittled down group because a first set of defendants have already had their hearing with a trial set for November, while the bulk of those who were arrested have had their cases dropped. The campaign to drop all the cases continues, but meanwhile here we are, in the battered reception area of the second floor of the uninspired court building: the water dispenser empty, a cashpoint saying “FINES PAYMENT” ready to swallow guilty cards, tiles missing from the ceiling.

Everyone was gathered by the door of Court 5, about to go into the courtroom, when another trial gazumped this one at the last moment and gave us another half hour to spend outside: the defendants with their solicitors in a closed room, the partners and parents (there were only a handful) banked on metal seats in the waiting area.

Soon, the clerks gathered everyone up again and the defendants went in. They had to sit scattered across different areas of the courtroom like playing pieces in a complicated boardgame. Five were behind a slatted glass screen, four on a bench at the back, one alone in a raised wooden box towards the front, another couple adrift on benches. One had entered his plea earlier that day so wasn’t there.

The judge, DJ Snow (I still can’t get over that name), entered: a lean man, with dark grey hair, glasses, and expressive eyebrows and mouth that were put to good use throughout the afternoon, as he grimaced, scowled and smiled in reaction to whatever was presented to him by the three solicitors on the central bench: Mike Schwarz of the firm Bindmans, and Raj Chada of Hodge Jones & Allen, each representing different defendants, and Robert Short of the CPS.

First the prosecution were asked to explain to the judge why they have dropped 119 cases, but are still prosecuting these. The CPS man spoke of “possession and use of materials enhancing the aggravation of the offence”. What materials were these, in plain English? “Banners, cordon tape, leaflets and signs,” he explained, seeming particularly concerned about leaflets “in bundles or piles”. He said that such items suggested their owners “came to the event with some idea or intention towards promoting their cause.”

The judge’s eyebrows and mouth drew an exasperated face, and he pointed out that it isn’t criminal to have leaflets in favour of a cause. “It’s not in itself criminal,” admitted the CPS. “It’s a measure of the filter the Crown have used to sift the defendants. They had the means to play a more significant role on the day.” .

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August 19, 2011 Comments off

Everyone left of the Fortnum145 whose charges have not been dropped has, as of today, had the chance to enter their plea in court. And everyone has plead the same:


A couple of interesting things happened today, while we prepare a full update for you, you might like to read this article by Shiv Malik from the Guardian , which sums things up pretty well.

Thanks for your continued support – we have a right to protest!

August 2, 2011 Comments off

In July MumsUncut held a tea party in Southampton to raise funds to help with the FM145 campaign. It was super fun and we raised £148. We hope our fundraising campaign continues well, and it’s a good job that we have a lot less work to do now (that they’ve dropped 115 cases)!

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Is this what British journalism has come to?

July 19, 2011 Comments off

Have you seen this? The Daily Express has posted this disgusting article , slandering protesters.

We wanted to be able to get you all to submit an official complaint to the Press Complaints Commission , but apparently the Express will no longer be covered by Press Complaints Commission as they’ve stopped paying into Press Standards Board of Finance , which funds the regulator.

Ah well. Social media seems to be the regulator of today, anyway.

How about we let the Express know what we think of them via Twitter instead ?

EDIT : You could also phone up their newsdesk, if you feel like you have anything to say to them: on 0207 098 2982

Good News! CPS Drop 109 Fortnum & Mason protest cases

July 18, 2011 Comments off

Today the CPS have announced that they will be dropping 109 cases of the 145 arrested at Fortnum & Masons during anti-cuts demonstrations on March 26th. There remains 30 people who the CPS still plan on prosecuting, 13 of which have a trial set for November .

But questions remain as to why the decision was taken to arrest 145 people staging a sit-down protest against tax dodgers and why they continue to prosecute 30 individuals with the same charges as the 109 dropped today.

Lucy, one of the protesters who today had her charges dropped:

I’m relieved that the CPS finally sees sense that prosecuting those fighting unjust cuts with sit-ins is a complete waste of money and time. But if its not in the public interest to prosecute me, why is it in the public interest to prosecute another 30 simply because they had leaflets in their bags. It’s ridiculous . All the arrests were politically motivated, designed to try and scare ordinary people from building a movement against the unjust unnecessary cuts. The charges against the remaining 30 must be dropped immediately .

Robert, one of the 30 remaining defendants:

I’m delighted that most people have now been let off but I am annoyed, frustrated and angry that I will still have to face a very time consuming and stressful trial when not only is it totally ridiculous that we were all arrested for sitting in a shop in the first place, but after the CPS have now admitted it is not in the public interest to prosecute such people, they are still prosecuting 30 of us based on having leaflets and flags ! This is clearly an attempt to make an example of us and put people off from protesting, all within our so-called ‘justice system’. Criminal charges against protesters must be dropped immediately.

July 18, 2011 Comments off

Thumbs up!

You may have heard on the news that the Crown Prosecution Service is dropping that ‘significant number’ of cases . It looks like everybody that wasn’t selected for the first four sets of ‘test’ trials is now free to claim back their stuff and try and put this ordeal behind them.

But there are still 30-or-so defendants left who still need your support. Some of these remaining defendants may simply have had leaflets on them at the point of arrest.

This case isn’t over! There will be court dates for the remaining defendants and we need to make sure that these people aren’t forgotten about.