Archives for the month of: October, 2011

Thursday 10 November is the first day of the trial for the Fortnum145. Come and show your support outside the court for a demonstration with workshops, talks and music.

City Of Westminster Magistrates Court
181 Marylebone Road, NW1 5HB
London, United Kingdom
Thurs 10 November
12 – 2pm

Tell us you’ll be there via the Facebook event

As 11 defendants face their first day on trial for a sit-in protest at Fortnum and Mason last March, we’ll be there to show our support. As well as the usual banners and chants there will also be workshops on topics from Tax Justice and the Cuts to the History of Civil Disobedience and Knowing your Rights; Talks from well known political figures and live music.

We will be exploring the injustices that motivated the protest in the first place and discussing the disproportionate and political nature of the response received from the police and the government, from mass arrest to trial.

This demonstration will show those on trial that we support them, and is a space to raise the important issues that bring them to the court room. And if you work in London, it’s conveniently timed so you can pop-along during your lunch break!

Trial begins 10th November.
Come and show your support outside the court.

You can also help by handing out flyers and posters!

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Today saw a case management hearing for the upcoming trials, and what was meant to be some form of decision on the ‘Spartacus’ cases.  It was also a bit of a warm up for the barristers, Richard and Annabel, who will be representing many of the first trial defendants in court in November.

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Fortnum and Mason 145 Campaign

Tel: 07771850963

Email: media@fortnum145.org

Embargo: 10/10/2011

FORTNUM AND MASON ‘SPARTACUS’ PROTESTORS DUE IN COURT

1300: City of Westminster Magistrates Court,NW1 5HB

At 2pm on Monday, Westminster Magistrates court will hear an unprecedented case involving 21 ukuncut activists who have asked to be taken to court, taking a popular cultural reference in declaring themselves as ‘Spartacus’ in the process [1].

This follows on from the sit-in protest at the luxury Fortnum and Mason store in March of this year, in which the police controversially arrested 145 protestors for ‘aggravated trespass’ and held them for 24 hours in a police cell [2].

However, in July this year, the protesters received a letter from the CPS stating that they would only be continuing to prosecute 30 individuals, and would be ‘discontinuing’ the cases against 109 protesters [3].

However, shortly afterwards, the 21 activists in question used their right to ‘revive’ a criminal prosecution by sending a letter back to the CPS asking to be re-trialled in solidarity with those 30 protesters still face prosecution [4].

The 21 risk a maximum sentence of 3 months in prison and a maximum fine of £1,500 if prosecuted and found guilty.

Thomas Pursey said “I’m sparticus! The attempted prosecution of 30 individuals for simply sitting in a shop protesting about unncessary cuts and disgusting tax avoidance by the rich is a farse! I’m standing up and saying the CPS should drop all charges!”

Robert Johnstone, one of those who was arrested at Fortnum and Masons said “It is clear that we were all arrested in an attempt to scare people from protesting, and the police have already admitted that arrests were made for ‘intelligence gathering’ on UK Uncut [5]. I had to spend 24 hours in a police cell for a legitimate protest about the government’s unfair and unnecessary cuts to public services. It is supposed to be our democratic right to protest!”

The outcome of the court hearing on Monday – in which the 21 will be entering plees ahead of the first full trials in November – is unclear given the unprecedented nature of the move.

The courts may prosecute, adding more names to an already bulging post-riot court schedule and budget. Or they may offer ‘no evidence’, thereby formerly finding the 21 ‘not guilty’.

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On October 10th there will be a case hearing for the trial and for the 21 brave people who are standing tall with the remaining defendants.

It’d be a great chance for you to come and show your solidarity with the Fortnum145 too, if you’re in London then, and there will be a small gathering by the Magistrates Court from 1pm to 3pm. Of course, there’ll be plenty of like-minded people there too.

So that’s:

10 October 2011
1pm – 3pm
City of Westminster Magistrates Court
181 Marylebone Road NW1 5HB

Here’s the Facebook event, so you can let us know if you’re coming.
We hope to see you there!