Socialist Worker

Tottenham defence co-ordinating campaign meeting

Issue No. 2265

Activists in Tottenham, north London, will meet tomorrow (Tuesday) to help co-ordinate campaigning activities for people coming up in court after the riots.

Among those taking part will be Dougie Williams of the Find Your Voice campaign, Ken Hinds of Haringey's stop-and-search monitoring group and student activist Corine Dhondee.

The meeting will discuss what can be done to help people who have been arrested and to plan local protests.

Over the past week, hundreds of people discussed what to do in meetings organised by different community groups. Organisers want to jointly plan what to do next and so will hold an open steering committee meeting on Tuesday.

To find details or get involved go to 'Tottenham Community Defence Co-ordinating Meeting' on Facebook.

Other meetings have been held in riot hit areas across the country. There will also be meetings in Birmingham and Sheffield.

Examples of the draconian sentencing facing people accused of involvement in rioting include Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan and Jordan Blackshaw from Cheshire who were each jailed for four years for 'inciting disorder' on Facebook.

Thomas Downey, an alcoholic who took a box of doughnuts from Krispy Kreme in Manchester, has been imprisoned for 16 months.

Anderson Fernandes was remanded in custody to await sentencing for stealing two scoops of coffee ice-cream and a cone from Manchester's Patisserie Valerie.

Andrew Gilbert QC, a crown court judge in Manchester said, 'I consider that the sentencing guidelines for specific offences are of much less weight in the context of the current case, and can properly be departed from.'

The role of the media in whipping up the rabid atmosphere after the riots was discussed at a National Union of Journalists (NUJ) meeting in central London on Thursday. More than 80 journalists went to NUJ headquarters to discuss 'Reporting the riots—did we get it right?'

Paul Lewis, who covered the riots for the Guardian newspaper, was angry at journalists who editorialised about what had happened as criminality without ever going to find what had caused the riots.

Tony Evans, football editor of the Times, was outraged that former Sun editor Kelvin McKenzie appeared on television saying there was no need to understand why people had rioted. He said, 'Journalists should be in support of the truth.'

[Post updated after details of meeting changed]

Tottenham Community Defence Co-ordinating Meeting, Tuesday 23 August,7pm, North London Community House, 22 Moorefield Road, London N17 6PY

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