Legal Advice

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Legal briefings & resources

1. No Comment – the defendants guide to arrest
. Download and read it now –   No_Comment_2011 (pdf).
Always say No Comment before, during and after any police interview. Avoid duty solicitors – get your own. Demand your phonecall if arrested – call BDS (Ring Sam Elliot on number above), a friend, or a decent solicitor. Never snitch on other people, don’t brag and don’t gossip.
2. The Activist Legal Project has produced some excellent resources. The Green & Black Cross has a page of briefings & resources. Legal Defence & Monitoring Group also provide useful info. Have a good look at them before and after any actions or street protests you may be involved in. All also provide links to other resources.
3. Police photos of alleged protesters – if you or someone you know thinks they recognise one of the photos published by the cops, don’t panic! Read this article by Fitwatch before you do anything. It was written after the London student protests in late 2010, but the same principles apply here in Bristol.
4. Preparing for Prison – being sent to prison is shit, even worse you are now a captive of one of your worst enemies, the state. But don’t let the bastards grind you down. Be prepared. Read these guides, but remember they are only guides, not the ‘law’, and the rules for courts and prisons do change all the time, often on the whim of those in authority. Read on:
PreparingforPrison (pdf) – a short guide for anyone who may be sent to prison, written by 2 anti-fascists sent down for 21 months in summer 2011.
The Partners’ Guide to Prison  (pdf)  – written by the partners of some of the anti-fascists sent down in the summer of 2011. This is a guide for the partners of male prisoners, and whilst some parts will apply to the partners of female prisoners, note that womens prisons can be quite different.
HMP – A Survival Guide (web link with pdf & other info to download) – a useful 28 page guide written by a former prisoner. Please note that decisions & behaviours of different prisons do vary, as every prison governor treats their prison like a personal fiefdom. Never trust a prison governor, nor a screw!

Useful solicitors

Based on previous experience and/or because they are known to be representing Stokes Croft defendants, the following solicitors are worth checking out if you need one. (Please note that no solicitor firms are formally involved with or employed by BDS, and vice versa.)

1. Sansbury Douglas solicitors, 116 Grosvenor Rd, St Pauls BS2 8YA OR 6 Unity Street, Bristol, BS1 5HH
2. Niall Arnall solicitors, 11 Cotham Road South, Bristol BS6 5TZ
Tel: 01179098898
Tel: 01179552663 (24 hr) or 0117 926 5341 (city centre office).
3. Aidan Woods & Co solicitors, 238 Stapleton Road, Bristol, BS5 0NT
Tel: 01179522006 (24hr)
4. Bindmans solicitors (in London) – will help Stokes Croft defendants. Also have experience of suing cops for wrongful arrest.
Tel: 0207 833 4433 or main contact is Mike Schwarz at m.schwarz@bindmans.com
5. Paul Stevens & Co Solicitors, 48 Gloucester Road, Bishopston, Bristol, BS7 8BH
Tel: 01179429308 and main contact is Nicola Smailes
6. Price & Co solicitors (Stephanie Price) – renowned for suing the cops we hear, but may not take on legal aid cases. Try for ‘no win no fee.’
16 Hotwell Rd, Bristol BS8 4UD
Tel: 01179494144

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