Have you seen this? The Daily Express has posted this disgusting article, slandering protesters.
We wanted to be able to get you all to submit an official complaint to the Press Complaints Commission, but apparently the Express will no longer be covered by Press Complaints Commission as they’ve stopped paying into Press Standards Board of Finance, which funds the regulator.
Ah well. Social media seems to be the regulator of today, anyway.
How about we let the Express know what we think of them via Twitter instead?
EDIT: You could also phone up their newsdesk, if you feel like you have anything to say to them: on 0207 098 2982
Today the CPS have announced that they will be dropping 109 cases of the 145 arrested at Fortnum & Masons during anti-cuts demonstrations on March 26th. There remains 30 people who the CPS still plan on prosecuting, 13 of which have a trial set for November.
But questions remain as to why the decision was taken to arrest 145 people staging a sit-down protest against tax dodgers and why they continue to prosecute 30 individuals with the same charges as the 109 dropped today.
Lucy, one of the protesters who today had her charges dropped:
I’m relieved that the CPS finally sees sense that prosecuting those fighting unjust cuts with sit-ins is a complete waste of money and time. But if its not in the public interest to prosecute me, why is it in the public interest to prosecute another 30 simply because they had leaflets in their bags. It’s ridiculous. All the arrests were politically motivated, designed to try and scare ordinary people from building a movement against the unjust unnecessary cuts. The charges against the remaining 30 must be dropped immediately.
Robert, one of the 30 remaining defendants:
I’m delighted that most people have now been let off but I am annoyed, frustrated and angry that I will still have to face a very time consuming and stressful trial when not only is it totally ridiculous that we were all arrested for sitting in a shop in the first place, but after the CPS have now admitted it is not in the public interest to prosecute such people, they are still prosecuting 30 of us based on having leaflets and flags! This is clearly an attempt to make an example of us and put people off from protesting, all within our so-called ‘justice system’. Criminal charges against protesters must be dropped immediately.
You may have heard on the news that the Crown Prosecution Service is dropping that ‘significant number’ of cases mentioned earlier. It looks like everybody that wasn’t selected for the first four sets of ‘test’ trials is now free to claim back their stuff and try and put this ordeal behind them.
But there are still 30-or-so defendants left who still need your support. Some of these remaining defendants may simply have had leaflets on them at the point of arrest.
This case isn’t over! There will be court dates for the remaining defendants and we need to make sure that these people aren’t forgotten about.
The Independent has reported that the prosecutors might drop a “significant” number of cases.
This has yet to be officially confirmed, but it’s sounding promising – especially given the recent news that charges have been dropped against all youth defendants as it wasn’t in the public interest to continue with the proceedings.
This would somewhat strengthen the cases of any remaining defendants:
Mike Schwarz, a solicitor at Bindmans, which represents around 110 of the activists, said “all cases should be discontinued”. He said: “There is nothing significant to distinguish any one defendant from another. That is the nature of peaceful civil disobedience.”
We’re looking forward to hearing more about this and we’ll keep you posted!
Watching Twitter has been a great way to keep tabs on the Support the Right to Protest solidarity action today!
People on Twitter have been posting updates and comments, like this one from @HeardinLondon:
Ironically outside the @FM145 trial about the right to protest peacefully, folk are being told they will be arrested if they protest. #fm145
So they’ve taped up their mouths (apparently making it not a protest) and have linked arms outside the court, reminiscent of the protesters leaving Fortnum and Mason together and unified.
We’ll post more information about how the trial went as soon as we hear. For now, though – thanks!!
The Independent has written a huge, front page article about the plight of the Fortnum 145 and we really appreciate this story being told fairly.
You can read the article online at: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/pressure-mounts-to-drop-charges-against-nonviolent-protesters-2305587.html