We’ve just walked out from the second day of Trial C.
It’s been somewhat surprising so far, principally because the District Judge (DJ), in stark contrast with the previous two, seems to be a reasonable human being. The defence are not having, this time, to take the knocks of ridicule and obvious bias that we’d become accustomed to. DJ Purdy is actually listening, though in a thoroughly professional manner he’s giving nothing away if he does indeed intend to find these last defendants guilty.
Day one was comprised entirely of the prosecution’s case. Amidst an awful lot of rhetoric about events surrounding the Fortnum & Mason occupation, there was no evidence presented at all connecting any defendants with any intimidating acts whatsoever. In fact, the prosecutor’s argument very much revolves around the idea that the protest was intimidating because there were a lot of people there protesting.
The defence put to the magistrate that there was, in fact, no case against the defendants to answer. Purdy, to our astonishment, agreed to consider the decision overnight.
This morning, DJ Purdy said that he was not satisfied that there wasn’t a case to answer, and wanted to hear the defence arguments.
We heard from three defendants, who all testified under oath that, crucially, they did not intend to intimidate anyone. Nor, in fact, did anyone see anybody who was, or seemed to have been, intimidated.
And, as special guest stars advocating the peaceful nature of UK Uncut actions, were Polly Toynbee and John McDonnell MP! They did a great job of illustrating independently that UK Uncut organise peaceful protests that they wish and continue to associate with. John even went so far as to say that after a decade of parliamentary work for tax justice, he attributed his recent success of seeing a stance on tax dodging being drafted into a government bill for the first time to the publicity brought by UK Uncut actions!
And that, at this point, is how this blog will end. This trial is still ongoing, almost a year after the events in question, and there’s almost an air of cautious hope. The defence is largely the same as it has been since Trial A. Let’s hope that a seemingly fair magistrate will make the right decision.