Socialist Worker

Bolton protester is innocent

Issue No. 2223

Dane Kelly, a 24-year-old student from Leeds, was cleared on Monday of a charge of using threatening and abusive words and behaviour against a police officer.

He was on trial at Bolton magistrates’ court following the counter-protest against the racist English Defence League (EDL) in the town called by Unite Against Fascism on 20 March.

He told the court, “They [the police] were pushing us back and telling us to move… but there was nowhere to go. People were panicking.”

Asked by Joanna White, prosecuting, if he was unhappy with the way the demonstration had been policed, Dane told her: “I was scared.”

Tactical Aid Unit officer Gareth Rowe told magistrates that Dane used abusive language towards him.

He said, “I heard him and I saw him say it. I found it very offensive.”

But Dane denied using abusive language, saying he would not use the words he was accused of saying.

The magistrates found Dane not guilty.

Surrounded by supporters outside the court, Dane said, “If anything, I am now more dedicated to fighting fascism on the streets and will continue to do so.”

A spokesperson for the Justice4bolton campaign added: “This verdict is a vindication of the fact that it is not a crime to protest against racism and fascism.”


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News
Tue 12 Oct 2010, 18:13 BST
Issue No. 2223
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