Socialist Worker

Arrested anti-fascists get together to fight back against police intimidation

by Annette Mackin
Issue No. 2371

A meeting for anti-fascists arrested on the day of a Unite Against Fascism (UAF) protest on 7 September in east London was set for Wednesday of this week.

The meeting was only open to the 286 defendants held in two kettles by police for hours and then arrested. 

The arrests are a disgraceful attempt by police to block anti-fascists from attending future demonstrations. 

Bail conditions included bans from protests within the M25 against racist groups the English Defence League (EDL), British National Party (BNP) and English Volunteer Force.

Five legal observers were also arrested among the kettled. 

On the day the legal observers were from the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers, Legal Defence and Monitoring Group and the Green and Black Cross.

Stephen Knight organised the legal observers for the Haldane Society. He said, “I was at the kettle in Commercial Road and saw the last arrest at about 8pm. 

“At the anti-BNP demo in June a large Haldane legal observing team received repeated threats of arrest. 

“Police tactics currently involve intimidating legal observers, to discredit us and stop us from doing our job. 

Because, if we’re all sitting in police cells then we won’t be monitoring the unlawful behaviour of police on protests.”

Information from legal observers was indispensable when anti-fascists were arrested at a UAF protest against the EDL in Bolton in 2010. 

Actvists formed justice4bolton which led to charges being dropped against 54 of the 55 arrested anti-fascists. 

Three anti-fascists were also paid five figure compensation each by Greater Manchester Police for their treatment by cops’ including human rights violations.

Arrestees meeting—Wednesday 18 September, 7pm, Old Limehouse Town Hall, 646 Commercial Rd, E14 7HA
Defend the Right to Protest National Conference, 27 October, University of London Union, Malet St, London WC1E 7HY defendtherighttoprotest.org

 


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