Socialist Worker

Charges dropped against anti-fascist after Bolton protest

Issue No. 2225

Alan Clough after his arrest at the Bolton protest

Alan Clough after his arrest at the Bolton protest

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has dropped its case against 63-year old anti-fascist protester Alan Clough from Radcliff, Bury.

Alan was due to appear at Bolton Magistrates Court on Wednesday of last week, charged with using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour during a protest against the racist EDL in Bolton on 20 March.

Around 2,000 people attended the protest, organised by Unite Against Fascism.

Alan denies the charges.

The CPS dropped them after viewing Granada TV film footage obtained by Alan’s defence.

In the video, Alan appears to be punched by a police officer.

Later footage shows him being hit with a police baton while on the ground, before he is dragged away.

A photograph of Alan, taken as he was being arrested, shows some of the injuries he sustained.

On hearing that the case had been dropped, Alan said, “I am relieved with the outcome, but I have mixed feelings.

“I would have liked to prove my innocence in court. It’s been seven long months and I’m glad it’s over.”

He went on to say, “I was never really worried about going to court because I knew I had done nothing wrong and I was always hopeful that in the end justice would be done.”

The case was the third in a series of trials against

anti-fascists who took part in the protest in Bolton.

The first defendant was found guilty, but is appealing, and the second was found not guilty.

The film footage also shows police officers apparently striking other protesters standing near Alan, including those trying to help people on the ground.

The campaign group justice4bolton was set up to support protesters facing trial.

It said that the Granada footage supports “an overwhelming number of reports already received by justice4bolton describing violent and oppressive behaviour on the part of the police on 20 March 2010”.

The campaign believes that the emerging evidence raises serious questions about the acts of individual officers and the broader approach taken by the police towards anti-fascist protesters.

It will be holding a solidarity protest at the next trial on Thursday of next week.

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