Strathclyde police attacks FRFI supporters and anti-cuts protestors in Glasgow

no_to_political_policingWe condemn the attempts by Strathclyde police to intimidate and undermine Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!(FRFI) in Glasgow. So far this week, three of our supporters, including a 14-year-old have been arrested. A further two anti-cuts activists, both aged 17, have also been arrested this week in relation to the anti-cuts protests in Glasgow which took place on 9 December 2010. All have been charged with breach of the peace for entering a Vodafone store. They have been released with police bail conditions which prohibit their attendance at ‘at any assembly of two or more persons’ and which exclude them from parts of Glasgow city centre. This is a breach of their human rights; it shows the extent to which the police will go to attack effective opposition to the cuts.

The arrests follow the conviction on Monday 11 April of FRFI supporter Dominic O’Hara on trumped-up charges of police assault. This week’s events are yet further examples of the constant police harassment that Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! supporters and other activists are experiencing for their involvement in successful anti-cuts actions in the city centre. This includes attempts to charge supporters with selling our newspaper on the streets. We have set up Glasgow Defence Campaign in response to oppose political policing and defend democratic rights. (see glasgowdefencecampaign.blogspot.com)

The timing and character of the arrests this week represent a calculated political attack on Glasgow Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! and therefore on all those opposing the attacks on living standards now underway. They should be condemned by progressive people everywhere. What is at stake is everyone’s right to protest and demonstrate. As John Pilger has said in a statement of support:

‘The police in Britain have begun a political war of intimidation against those who exercise their right to protest peacefully. No where is this more evident than in the outrageous actions of the Strathclyde police against the Glasgow Defence Campaign, including a direct attack on the right of free speech and peaceful assembly. Who will be next? If the police are allowed to succeed, other legitimate campaigns will be targeted. It's imperative the Glasgow Defence Campaign has the support of all of us.’

The political role of the police and the courts is being laid bare for everyone to see. The need to mobilise in defence of our basic rights is now urgent. To this end the Glasgow Defence Campaign along with those occupying Glasgow University, Free Hetherington, are calling a demonstration against political policingfor this Saturday 16 April, assembling 12 noon outside RBS on Gordon Street in Glasgow. We will be calling for an end to the harassment and an end to political policing and intimidation. We urge everyone to redouble their efforts in the period ahead and defend the right to protest.

Statement issued by Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! Glasgow.

14 April 2010.

For more information see glasgowdefencecampaign.blogspot.com

For background on the attacks on organisation in Glasgow see the Scotland section of the FRFI website here: index.php/scotland

 

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