The judge gave her verdict on Wednesday at Westminster magistrates court, in the non-jury trial of Sgt Smellie, the Met police TSG riot cop accused of assaulting a woman at last years G20 protests. Smellie had backhanded, and then hit twice on the leg with his metal baton, Nicola Fisher, the woman concerned. The question revolved around whether or not his baton strikes were excessive, as his backhander was deemed appropriate even by the prosecutor.
District Judge Daphne Wickham found no evidence had been provided to show use of the baton was not measured or correct. She said: “It was for the prosecution to prove this defendant was not acting in lawful self-defence. The prosecution has failed in this respect and the defendant has raised the issue of lawful self-defence and as such is entitled to be acquitted.” The judge said Sgt Smellie had a “mere seven seconds” to act when Ms Fisher ran in front of him hurling abuse at a vigil held on 2 April to mark the death of newspaper seller Ian Tomlinson at a previous demonstration. (from BBC report). Continue reading
Sgt Smellie, a riot cop in the Met’s Territorial Support Group (TSG – fully trained riot thugs), has been up in Westminster Magistrates Court all week so far on a charge relating to the anti-G20/police brutality protests on 1 and 2 April last year in central London around the financial district. Smellie is charged with ‘common assault by beating’, which relates to his violent assault on a woman on 2 April when protesters gathered in response to the death of Ian Tomlinson the day before. Continue reading
(Update: Pictures and report of the memorial event are here.)
The Ian Tomlinson Family Campaign have called for a memorial gathering on the 1st anniversary of his death, at 11am on Thursday 1 April. People are asked to gather at the spot where he died in the City of London, just moments after he was violently assaulted from behind by a cop in riot gear. Please meet at Cornhill, by Threadneedle St, London EC3V (Bank tube), at 10.45am, so a minutes silence can be observed at 11am. One year on from his death, no cop has been held responsible. Continue reading
We are a prisoner support group, and that includes people on remand. Its fairly slow, unglamorous work, but it has to be done (so come on down!). In an ideal world, the one that will exist shortly after the social revolution, there will be no political & radical prisoners who need our support.
Until then we think its a good idea for people to do their best to not end up arrested by the police, and sent to prison. Which means people need to prepare a bit before going off on protests and actions! This following guide is an updated version from December 2009, published on the Manchester EF website: Continue reading
Elijah (James) Smith has now been locked up on remand for one year, ever since his arrest last 18 January 2009 after the EDO/MBM ITT factory in Brighton was trashed by 6 campaigners from Bristol. His and the other 5’s trial for that action commences on May 17 in Brighton (along with 3 other people from Brighton allegedly implicated in the action), however he faces being held on remand at least until his trial for the Raytheon 2 (formerly 3) starts in Bristol in early September. Continue reading
and still no cops charged over his death
Lots of waffle in the media over the last week about the G20 policing, and various reports and reviews into their misbehaviour have been announced. But a stunning lack of comment or news relating to Ian Tomlinson, the newspaper vendor who died at about 7.25pm on 1 April 2009, just a couple of minutes after being viciously assauled from behind by a member of the Territorial Support Group (TSG – hardcore riot cops).
Ian Tomlinson was dead about 5 minutes later
The Tomlinson Family Campaign have called a candlelit vigil for Tuesday 1 December, from 6pm, at Royal Exchange, by Threadneedle St, London EC3V. This will be exactly 8 months since Ian Tomlinson died. Continue reading
The sudden media obsession with police misbehaviour, since the G20 protests and death of Ian Tomlinson, may lead you to think that the cops are normally very nice people who only help old ladies across roads and catch naughty youths stealing apples. In fact the cops have a very long, and to them proud, history of brutality and repression.
Some have raised the similarities between Tomlinson’s death and that of Blair Peach back in April 1979. Beyond the brutal deaths themsleves however, there are other reasons for those new to police violence to look back to Peach and the related histories of the late 70’s and early 80’s. In the interests of relevant history, and popular education, we therefore reprint below an article ‘The Political Legacy of Blair Peach’, published as a ‘comment’ piece on the Institute of Race Relations website on 23 April 2009. Continue reading
Thanks to all who attended the recent Big Greek Benefit gig on 28 March. Money raised at that gig, and a previous one in February, now totals almost £1000 and will be sent to groups in Greece supporting defendants and prisoners.