Meeting in London for all arrested at London student protests

Were you arrested at any of the student demonstrations in London last November, December, or even last Saturday?

If you were, then this meeting in London on 6 February is for you. It has been organised by two London-based groups involved in providing unconditional legal support and info for our movements – the Legal Defence & Monitoring Group (LDMG) and the Green & Black Cross (GBC). Here is their callout:
New venue update:
Malet Suite at University of London Union (ULU), 6 Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HY from 12 to 3pm.

“Were you either charged with an offence or bailed by the police to return to a police station soon? We know it’s a worrying time and information can be difficult to come by. We also know from previous experience that it can be isolating and intimidating. The best way to deal with this is to meet others in the same position as yourself and stick together. The police want you to feel isolated and alone – but meeting and talking with other people facing the same pressures, and working together, can make everyone stronger.

You may be under pressure from your family or college to co-operate with the police. But it is YOUR decision, your future, it is up to you how you defend yourself.

So, we are calling a DEFENDANTS’ MEETING on Sunday 6th February at 12 noon. It will be at (NEW VENUE ) Malet Suite at University of London Union (ULU), 6 Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HY. From 12 to 3pm.  It could help your case to attend and it will definitely help your confidence. This is a meeting for DEFENDANTS ONLY. If you are not a defendant or accompanying a defendant you WILL be asked to leave.

If you haven’t been arrested, but you are worried you MAY yet be arrested, or if your face has been publicised as somebody the police want to question, it’s probably best to stay away, as police have in the past had spotters outside these meetings (if this is you check the websites for ways to make contact). BUT don’t be put off from coming if you have already been arrested: attending meetings does not breach your bail conditions.

There will be people with legal knowledge, and we can talk about police use of bail conditions. But, the major part of the meeting will be for defendants to come together and decide if they want a defence campaign, and if so, what type of campaign they want: campaigns like this need to be led by the defendants themselves.

Please pass this onto anybody you know who may have been arrested and charged or on police bail, and please circulate as widely as possible, to anybody who may know of anybody arrested.

Above all – DON’T BE AFRAID! Many people support you and are willing to help, some of us have been in this position ourselves in the past. The police are not all-powerful, they can be challenged, and even getting charged does not mean you will be convicted. Defence campaigns in the past have helped people to win in court, and helped to win support for people facing charges.” [Ends]

Legal/arrest update info on arrests: The Met Police set up ‘Operation Malone’, headed by a DCS Matthew Horne, to oversee the investigation into the student protests in November/December 2010 in London. Figures circulating indicate that so far close to 350 people have been arrested including about 50 after the protests; at least 140 have been released without charge; arround 180 are on police bail; some 10 have been charged; 1 person has been imprisoned; at least 1 has been arrested in relation to the Camilla & Charles incident; and around 70 people have appeared in the Met Police ‘rogues gallery’ for the media. Ultimately the vast majority will face no charges or only very minor ones. A few will face serious charges and be made into scapegoats. All deserve whatever solidarity & support they require from people in the social movements.

So far absolutely no police officers are known to have been charged with any offences at all, despite their acts of violence & aggression being shown all over our tv and computer screens. Amazing British justice, isn’t it? Just ask the family of Ian Tomlinson, police victim at G20 protests. And they wonder why we are angry!

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