Socialist Worker

Five students jailed in latest round of demonstration sentencing

by Siân Ruddick
Issue No. 2277

Five protesters were imprisoned for violent disorder on Friday last week.

They were charged after the student protests at the end of last year and the 26 March TUC demonstration, both of which took place in London.

The harshest sentences were handed down to Omar Ibrihim and Oguz Ornek in two separate hearings.

Omar was found guilty of throwing a spent toy smoke bomb during the TUC protest.

Oguz was 18 when he joined the student protest on 24 November last year.

Both were sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Sal came to court to support Oguz. He told Socialist Worker, “The police provoked the students. This sentence is too much. By the time he gets out he will have missed two years of education. It is totally wrong to treat youngsters like this.”

Three others were sent to prison for violent disorder. Sussex university student Zenofon Mitchell Kotsakis, 20, was given 15 months in a youth offenders’ institution for throwing two placard sticks.

Demi Wilson Smith, 19, got ten months for shouting at police and waving a stick towards them.

Benjamin Sunderland got 12 months for jabbing at an already broken window with a chair and a stick.

Their families and friends were packed into the public gallery.

Supporters are organising to help their loved ones in prison, to raise solidarity and to get their colleges to pledge to accept them back once they are released.

Another six protesters were handed non-custodial sentences. These included Bryan Simpson, 23, who was charged with affray after the Millbank protests.

He received a four month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and 120 hours unpaid work.

Agit Goztas, 19, received an eight month sentence suspended for 18 months, 90 hours community service and £350 costs to the prosecution. His crime was a single kick to a wire fence.

Letters can be a huge support to people in prison. We will publish addresses for prisoners who wish to be contacted as they become available. Go to defendtherighttoprotest.org for campaign updates. A full court report is available here


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Article information

News
Tue 8 Nov 2011, 18:05 GMT
Issue No. 2277
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