Socialist Worker

Five more jailed for protesting over Gaza attacks

Issue No. 2191

Around 40 people picketed Isleworth crown court on Friday of last week, demanding justice for people facing charges over the Gaza demonstrations in London last year.

The judge took notice. He mentioned the protest before the hearings began, noting that “emotions are running high”.

But five more people were sent to prison for their involvement in the protests.

Sentences were as high as two years for those caught in direct conflict with the police. Now 22 of the Gaza protesters are in jail.

One man, a Latvian national, was sentenced to 18 months for violent disorder. He admitted throwing some sticks at police lines.

He is one of the oldest of the accused, aged 30. His partner is expecting their first child in September.

He was not arrested until October last year, nine months after the demonstration on 10 January.

One of the accused was only 15 years old at the time of the demonstrations but was sentenced to ten months for violent disorder and four months for affray.

Miriam Hamid, a young Muslim woman, was given a 12 months suspended sentence for her involvement in an incident at Starbucks.

This is a marked difference from the 15 months in prison dished out to Layla Lahouidek and Bana Hablegiorge for the same incident by a different judge.

Layla and Bana now have strong grounds to appeal against their sentences.

Campaigning lawyer Imran Khan has agreed to take on all of the appeals of defendants who would like to join together.

A meeting was to take place as Socialist Worker went to press to build solidarity for the Gaza protesters and build up the political pressure.

The trials of those pleading not guilty are to begin soon.

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Article information

Tue 2 Mar 2010, 18:07 GMT
Issue No. 2191
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