Tag Archives: Police

EDL supporters sentenced to 60 years for Walsall disorder

31 men from across the country, aged between 18 and 59, have been given sentences totalling 60 years and eight months for their part in the 2012 disorder which broke out in Walsall following an English Defence League demonstration.

Over 600 supporters of the EDL held a demonstration in the town centre on 29 September last year. A counter demonstration was also held nearby by the Unite Against Fascism group. Police officers had to keep the two groups apart.

EDL Walsall 2012

EDL supporter injured by his own side in Walsall 2012

A number of officers and EDL stewards were injured when the atmosphere turned hostile and supporters of the EDL threw missiles at the police.

The following men have been sentenced at Wolverhampton Crown Court for their part in the disorder:

Douglas Ralston (53) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 20 months

Darron Davies (49) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 22 months

Neil MacDiarmid (50) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 15 months

Alan Turnbull (32) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 26 months

Stephen Currien (30) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 28 months

Lee Rogers (26) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 24 months

Gary Lycett (55) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 26 months

Jack Lambert (25) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 14 months

Michael Thomas (49) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 28 months

Jack Clark (22) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 16 months

Christopher Boyall (31) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 24 months

Benjamin Banfield (35) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 20 months

Mark Baker (44) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 21 months

Dean Lidster (44) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 28 months

Craig Forward (38) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 25 months

Stephen Bennett (23) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 20 months

Christopher Jelley (28) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 22 months

Myles Smith (39) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 24 months

Nicholas Cooper (28) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 27 months

Peter Kirkham (30) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 14 months

Mark Conroy (35) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 30 months

Kirk Reeves (40) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 18 months

Richard Schulz (38) – found guilty after trial to violent disorder and sentenced to 42 months

Dean Smith (33) – found guilty after trial to violent disorder and sentenced to 27 months

John Cureton (48) – found guilty after trial to violent disorder and sentenced to 36 months

Kirk Jones (28) – found guilty after trial to violent disorder and sentenced to 33 months

Ronald Hatton (59) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 20 months, suspended for two years and 200 hours unpaid work.

Leslie Silk (37) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 18 months, suspended for two years with 200 hours unpaid work.

Samuel Phipps (18) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 16 months, suspended for two years, 200 hours unpaid work.

Duncan Smith (43) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 20 months, suspended for two years, 200 hours unpaid work.

Lee Coxshall (aged 34) – pleaded guilty to violent disorder and sentenced to 14 months, suspended for two years and ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work.

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“On 29 September, the English Defence League had arranged for their supporters from around the country to assemble in Walsall for a demonstration. It is the right of anyone to hold a peaceful assembly and Article 10 of the European Commission for Human Rights provides the right for freedom of expression; however, on that day, the supporters of the EDL went far beyond freedom of expression or a peaceful assembly.

Fuelled by hate and alcohol, a section of the group, instigated by key figures within the demonstration, began to direct their anger towards the counter demonstration. As police then sought to contain the group, supporters of the EDL began throwing missiles.

Police officers were then exposed to some of the worst violence that they have been subjected to in a public order situation. Concrete slabs, bricks and a table leg were among some of the various items which were used as weapons and thrown at the officers.

Those engaged in such reprehensible conduct paid little regard to what they were doing or who they were attacking, as during their orgy of violence, a number of their own EDL stewards, as well as police officers, were seriously injured.

A year on from those violent scenes those responsible for their actions that day have been arrested, brought to justice and now they have to face the consequences for their actions.”

– Robin Allen, Senior Crown Prosecutor from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service

Link

Full sized mugshot gallery here

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Is anti-fascism being criminalised? (IRR)

Reposted from the Institute of Race Relations

“An activist comments on the implications of recent arrests of anti-fascists at demonstrations opposing the English Defence League and the British National Party.

In the space of just over three months this year, police made upwards of 340 arrests of anti-fascists in London. Of the arrests made over two occasions, less than a dozen will proceed to trial. ‘No Further Action’ has been taken against the vast majority of those arrested, raising questions about the credibility of the grounds for arrest.

Anti-Fascist Network (AFN) in action

Anti-Fascist Network (AFN) in action

But Wednesday 6 November saw the first court date for five anti-fascists arrested on 1 June. All five pleaded not-guilty and will present a united defence case, in a five-day trial due to take place in April next year.

This trial could have important implications for anti-racist and anti-fascist campaigners, should opposition to far-right street movements be effectively criminalised. In a climate of resurgent anti-Muslim racism and attacks from the media and politicians on migrants and refugees, the police response to those campaigning against racism and fascism has, by any measure, been severe.

The background

On 27 May 2013, less than a week after the killing of Lee Rigby, the English Defence League (EDL) organised a protest outside Downing Street in central London. Estimates of the number of EDL supporters in attendance ranged from 1-3,000. A smaller number of anti-fascist demonstrators, around 600, were present to voice their opposition.

Toward the end of the protest and counter-protest, anti-fascists were forced to retreat under a hail of glass bottles, cans, sticks and other debris thrown by EDL supporters over the heads of the police and into the crowd of their detractors. Police said thirteen arrests were made over the day, but it was only by chance that the crowd of anti-fascists, which included wheelchair users and the very young, did not sustain any serious injuries.

Three days later, Nick Griffin, the leader of the British National Party (BNP), used Twitter to make a ‘personal appeal’ to EDL leader Tommy Robinson to join him on the BNP’s own anti-Islam protest the following Saturday.

Griffin had originally planned to hold a march from Woolwich barracks to the Lewisham Islamic Centre, but the Metropolitan Police used the Public Order Act to force the demonstration to relocate out of South London and to Whitehall. The BNP agreed to assemble instead at Old Palace Yard, close to the Houses of Parliament, and then march to the Cenotaph.

Arrests at the BNP protest

Arrests at the BNP protest

Anti-fascist activists again mobilised in response, this time significantly outnumbering their opponents. Hundreds linked arms and moved to blockade the path of the BNP and prevent them marching to the Cenotaph. After several hours, police moved to disperse the anti-fascists and facilitate the BNP march. ‘Snatch squad’ tactics were used to pick off demonstrators – who were then arrested and placed on London buses marked ‘special service’, to be driven to various police stations around London.

'Special service' buses used to detain arrested anti-fascists at the BNP protest

‘Special service’ buses used to detain arrested anti-fascists at the BNP protest

In contrast to the more timid policing of the EDL the previous Monday, fifty-eight anti-fascists were arrested. One woman was hospitalised with a broken leg, caused allegedly during her arrest by police. Restrictive pre-charge bail conditions were imposed on those arrested, preventing them from attending future protests against the BNP or the EDL.

Despite the arrests, the BNP were unable to complete their march, and left humiliated. On 7 September, however, the EDL returned to London – this time to the borough of Tower Hamlets. Again anti-fascists took to the streets to voice their opposition to the Islamophobic and racist politics of the EDL, and again the police responded by making mass arrests.

This time 286 arrests were made, including anti-fascists, legal observers and passersby. London buses were again used to send arrestees as far away as Sutton, where punitive pre-charge bail conditions were handed out en-masse. Information recently revealed under the Freedom of Information Act shows that the Metropolitan Police contacted Transport for London twelve days ahead of the planned march to inquire about hiring London buses. A booking with Sullivan Buses was confirmed by 29 August.

Anti-Fascists kettled in Tower Hamlets

Anti-Fascists kettled and arrested in Tower Hamlets

Should the anti-fascist protestors be convicted next year on a series of public order offences, it will set a worrying precedent. On the one hand, it would imply that positions and tactics of fascists and anti-fascists can somehow be equated. On the other, it could send out a warning signal to would be opponents of the EDL and BNP that they face criminalisation just for demonstrating. That is, if the arrests themselves – and the collection of names, addresses, DNA and fingerprints that accompanied them – have not already made the message clear.”

Original article (Institute of Race Relations) here


EDL – Attack Dogs of the State and Enemies of the Working Class

Origins of the EDL

1011994_293190610826058_1211824587_nThe English defence league was formed in 2009 to counter a tiny ultra-islamist group ‘Al-Muhajiroun’ who protested the return of British soldiers from Afghanistan.

The flashpoint came when Al-Muhajiroun burnt a poppy at a demonstration which fed the flames of hatred and caused the far right to react. It was also the perfect excuse for the far right to point the finger at all muslims from that moment on although concealed for a time under the guise of only being against ‘muslim extremism’.

Research suggests that many involved in the EDL originate from the criminal fraternity and the criminal fraternity is in turn attracted to the EDL. The so-called Luton based ‘leader’ of the EDL ‘Stephen Yaxley-Lennon’, an individual who uses multiple aliases, has convictions for drug dealing, fraud, breaching bail conditions and violence.

176587_1Amongst supporters it is common to find rather a lot of paedophiles, rapists, hardcore racists, nazis, violent thugs, petty criminals and even the odd murderer, most having their convictions documented in local newspapers and by anti-fascist organisations, others still at large hiding en masse within the ranks of the EDL. Since this article was written the number of EDL related convictions continues to rise.

In the first years from 2009 the EDL concentrated mainly on demonstrating against muslim extremist groups, then slowly moved their sights towards immigrants before finally focusing on left wing groups and basically anyone else that opposes them, because of these revalations, the EDL has been termed a fascist organisation.

On the racism front alone the EDL have built up the confidence to shout “send the black cunts home” over megaphones in city centres.

EDL and Austerity

The English Defence League are playing a significant part in diverting attention away from the banking collapse caused by bankers greed .. the failing capitalist system .. and of course the much despised and hated right wing Conservative party who elected themselves into office back in 2010. The Tories being the party that have implemented brutal austerity measures against the working class and under privileged as way of making us pay for the greed of the rich who caused the banking collapse in the first place.

master's biddingThe EDL’s main objective has been to demonise immigrants/ muslims and lay the financial blame solely at their door thus diverting attention away from the crimes of the bankers, the rich and the stranglehold austerity measures that they have imposed as a consequence.

Back in Thatcher’s day it was the National Front who thrived on the right wing rhetoric of the Tory party, now in Cameron’s day it is the EDL thriving on the same rhetoric.

Cameron stating that ‘there is none sicker than the EDL’ was a two-bit sound byte that meant nothing. Cameron hates the left and the working class making the EDL very useful because the EDL rail against working class people who fight for their rights and try to intimidate workers into silence on street level.

same_shitIt’s business as usual on the streets for the EDL and business as usual for the Tory party as the left and anyone else who opposes fascism is submerged into constant battle with the EDL. It seems that more effort and energy is put into fighting off the EDL than people can muster to fight austerity.

Already the EDL have cost the taxpayer over £10,000,000 towards policing a mob of drunken, coked up criminals on the streets of England every month or so since 2009. So much for the EDL stating that they are a ‘working class organisation’. They are literally pissing public money down the drain whilst intimidating entire communities whenever it suits them.

The English Defence League and its many offshoots who intimidate the working class on the streets would rather us wave little union jacks whenever a tory mp is in town, a royal gets pregnant or a soldier gets a badge rather than criticize their masters,  the ruling class.

Basically the far right EDL want the working class to ‘shut their mouths’ whilst the Conservative party would rather kill the working class off slowly and “legally” through stranglehold austerity measures that leave little option to some of our class.

A cunning plan indeed, a plan that is working out pretty nicely for the ruling class except for those ‘lefties’ and other critics that constantly attack and confront the ruling class and the subservient nationalist groups that serve them.

EDL achievements

Alan Lodge, Photographer tash@indymedia.orgThe major achievement of the EDL has been to draw every decent person opposed to racism, fascism and hatred into the lenses and notebooks of the police evidence gatherers to be rubber stamped and documented, at the request of the ruling class, no doubt.

Whether these opponents were politically active beforehand or not is irrelevant, they are now on file in their thousands. In this respect there is no question that the the EDL work hand-in-hand with the police and the state.

Violent nationalist EDL thugs ‘casuals united‘ supplied us with what was required in or hour of need, aiding us in finishing this article…

10.09.13 #EDL Hashtag

10.09.13 #EDL Hashtag

The EDL’s Prison wing/ lynchmob mentality

The EDL being structured like a gang, employ bullying tactics that can be found on any prison wing in any prison. Any person that happens to disagree with the EDL is commonly labelled a ‘paedophile’ in public and online and as soon as the finger is pointed at certain individuals, or groups, the rest of the gang go in for the kill, trying to garner public support whilst they are at it.

imagesThis behaviour happens on a daily basis with the EDL, and of course this behaviour is rife in prisons. If this doesn’t work they will say that those that oppose them are ‘anti-British’ or ‘supporters of militant Islam’ as a final last gasp or continue to circulate unfounded rumours plucked out of thin air to keep the pressure on their opponents.

The EDL as ‘scabs’

On a number of occasions the EDL have tried to publicly disrupt anti-cuts events, usually unsuccessfully but still with determination. Members of the public attending these events have  been accused of being ‘paedophiles’ for no other reason than fighting the measures imposed on the working classes by the government and the rich.

1818_816As in prison, labeling an innocent person a ‘paedophile’ would put them in fear for their life, the EDL are using this same tactic out on the street.

We can now see where the EDL are coming from.

As well as attempting to disrupt anti-cuts protests they have also been active in trying to disrupt anti-racist concerts and all kinds of meetings held by the left, on quite a few occasions resorting to violence when the insults and false accusations fail to have the desired effect.

The EDL and custody

wakefield_prison_croppedEDL members are not phased in the slightest by custody or prison. We’ll call prison their ‘home’ as we believe this is where they started and this is actually where they are most at home.

The policeman on the street to them is ‘guv’ or ‘boss’, as the screws in prison are ‘guv’ or ‘boss’ to them.

Over the four years since the EDL came to light there has been a steady and consistent trickle of scores of offenders belonging to their movement coming in and out of prison, the revolving door.

The EDL and ‘Britishness’

As a hate group that points the finger to divert attention from the crimes of the rich it is of no surprise that the EDL do not want to save the British badger or the NHS or any other public services that serve the British people, that would put their masters in the firing line. That is why we do not see any effort to help British people out in any way, shape or form mentioned in their hate filled agenda.

 The EDL are class traitors and used as attack dogs by the state.

More info on what the EDL wouldn’t want you to see at edlnews and exposingon


EDL boneheads descend on Birmingham

A fair few hundred EDL scrotes turned out in Birmingham today on the back of a pack of lies ie parts of Birmingham are no go areas for whites etc. The usual shit. Pockets of opposition to the  EDL gathering were dotted around the city but were held well away by a huge police presence.

Here’s a tasty video which includes the highlights of the day and a few heartwarming pictures to boot. All injuries incurred were either own-goals or from scuffles with the police.

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updates:

Trio charged after EDL city rally

Woman fined for racist outburst while drunk on her way to EDL rally

The EDL Spent Saturday Bleeding All Over Birmingham

EDL Supporter Shows Off Tattoo Of Mosque Being Blown Up At Birmingham Rally

EXCLUSIVE: We Expose South Shields EDL Thug With Mosque ‘BOOM!’ Tattoo

EXCLUSIVE: South Shields Mosque Bomb ‘BOOM!’ Tattoo EDL Man Arrested


Boneheads shipped into Sunderland for anti-mosque demo

The nazis of the National Front/Infidels were confronted today by members of the local community who turned out in strength in St Mark’s Road to show the fascists that their hatred and violence will not be tolerated in the North East.

A small number of boneheads in the north east have a bee in their bonnet regarding the building of a new mosque in the Sunderland area and are using this as a front to try and create racial tension within the local community as well as using the threat of violence if their demands aren’t met. This tactic is known as ‘terrorising’ a community until the community submits to, or backs up the demands of the minority. This is why the fascists threaten to come back again and again in the hope of wearing a community down.

Racists were drafted in from as far afield as Bradford and Edinburgh to bolster numbers according to mainstream news reports. They can be seen hanging around on the grass verge in the video.

Updates: 13 arrests as the fash got violent and threw things at people which is standard when they don’t get their own way. Report from the Anti-Fascist Network here and a Mainstream report here

30th OctoberMillfield mosque opponents call for peace

Community Resistance

Boneheads

(Update 01.03.13) 13 Charged Over Violent Clashes At Millfield Mosque Demonstration

English Defence League and Scottish Defence League supporters

English Defence League and Scottish Defence League supporters

Police have charged 13 people after a demonstration at the site of a new mosque in Sunderland turned violent, as far-right groups including the EDL clashed with local Muslims and anti-fascists.

Around 200 people attended the pre-planned demonstration on St Mark’s Road in Millfield on Saturday, October 6, 2012, where a former council transport depot is being converted into a mosque for up to 150 Pakistani Muslims.

The English Defence League, Scottish Defence League and Sunderland Anti-Fascist Coalition were among the protesters.

Police have now charged 13 people with public order offences, one person has been given a caution and one person has been issued with a fixed penalty notice.

All those who have been charged are banned from attending any demonstrations in Sunderland or entering St Mark’s Road or Chester Road.

Chief Superintendent Kay Blyth from Sunderland Area Command, said: “We were disappointed a protest that was planned as peaceful resulted in a minority of people involved in disorder.

“This had a huge impact on local residents and since then we have been working closely with the local community and partner agencies to respond to community concerns and make people feel safer.

“Protests have taken place since then and have passed peacefully, however this does not mean we are complacent and we continue to monitor the situation and ensure we have an appropriate police presence in the area for any future protests.”

The full list of charges is as follows: Darren Stokoe, 21, of Norman Avenue, in Sunderland, has been charged with causing fear or provocation of violence and will appear at Sunderland Magistrates Court on March 18.

Anthony Farrer, 37, of Cleveland Road, Sunderland, has been charged with disorderly conduct and will appear at Sunderland Magistrates Court on March 18.

Police separate the demonstrators on St Mark's Road

Police separate the demonstrators on St Mark’s Road

Stephen Brown, 32, of Palmerston Road, Sunderland, has been charged with causing fear or provocation of violence and will appear at Sunderland Magistrates Court on March 18.

Mohammed Hoque, 19, Hendon Valley Road, has been charged with causing fear or provocation of violence and will appear at Sunderland Magistrates Court on March 19.

An 18-year-old male youth has been given a caution for causing fear or provocation of violence.

Gary Bigger, 41, of Clarke Street in Kilmarnock, Scotland, has been charged with causing racial or religious aggravated harassment, alarm or distress and will appear at Sunderland Magistrates Court on March 18.

William Smith, 44, of McLurian Crescent, Renfewshire, has been charged with causing fear or provocation of violence and will appear at Sunderland Magistrates Court on March 18.

Warren Faulkener, 41, of Webb Avenue, Seaham, has been charged with causing fear or provocation of violence and possessing a controlled drug and will appear at Sunderland Magistrates Court on March 21.

Shaun Bunting, 34, of Fenhall Green, Durham, has been charged with disorderly conduct and will appear at Sunderland Magistrates Court on March 18.

Dean Spence, 23, of Yew Close, Spennymoor, has been charged with disorderly conduct and will appear at Sunderland Magistrates Court on March 18.

Ronald Wood, 39, of Lonnen Drive, Gateshead has been charged with causing racial or religious aggravated harassment, alarm or distress and will appear at Sunderland Magistrates Court on March 18.

A 17-year-old male youth has been charged with causing racial or religious aggravated harassment, alarm or distress and will appear at Sunderland Magistrates Court on March 21.

Simon Biggs, 47, of Todd’s Nook, Newcastle has been charged with causing fear or provocation of violence and will appear at Sunderland Magistrates Court on March 18.

Lewis Spence, 26, of Orchard View, in Durham, has been charged with causing fear or provocation of violence and will appear at Sunderland Magistrates Court on March 28.

Article

(Update 18.03.13) Men In Court Over Violent Clashes At Millfield Mosque Demonstration In Sunderland

See link at foot of article for video

See link at foot of article for video

Six men have admitted causing disorder at a far-right demonstration at the site of a new mosque in Sunderland.

Around 200 people attended the pre-planned demonstration on St Mark’s Road in Millfield on Saturday, October 6 2012, where a former council transport depot is being converted into a mosque for up to 150 Pakistani Muslims.

The English Defence League, Scottish Defence League and Sunderland Anti-Fascist Coalition were among the protesters. A group of Muslims and locals also attended in a counter-demo.

Numerous arrests were made and 13 people in total charged with a range of public order offences.

At Sunderland Magistrates’ Court on March 18 2013 six of those charged pleaded guilty to the charges.

Ronald Wood, 39, of Lonnen Drive, Gateshead, admitted causing racial or religious aggravated harassment, alarm or distress, but said he was “not a racist”. He was fined £215.

Shaun Bunting, 34, of Fenhall Green, County Durham, admitted disorderly conduct and was fined £238.

Dean Spence, 23, of Yew Close, Spennymoor, pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and was fined £178.

Anthony Farrer, 37, of Cleveland Road, Sunderland, admitted disorderly conduct and was given a six-month discharge and ordered to pay £100 costs.

Darren Stokoe, 21, of Norman Avenue, in Sunderland, admitted causing fear or provocation of violence. He will be sentenced on April 9.

Stephen Brown, 32, of Palmerston Road, Sunderland, admitted causing fear or provocation of violence and that the offence was racially aggravated. He will be sentenced at a later date after the Probation Service accesses him.

Article

(Update 21.03.13) Camera Shy Far Right Leader In Court Over Millfield Mosque Demonstration

rom TV cameras

Faulkner trying to hide from TV cameras

Warren Faulkner, who leads a splinter group of the English Defence League, will be tried by a jury after he denied causing fear or provocation of violence at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court on Thursday March 21 2013.

He also pleaded not guilty to possessing cocaine, a Class A drug.

Around 200 people attended the pre-planned demonstration on St Mark’s Road in Millfield on Saturday, October 6 2012, where a former council transport depot is being converted into a mosque for up to 150 Pakistani Muslims.

The English Defence League and Scottish Defence League were among the protesters. There was a counter-demo including people from the Sunderland Anti-Fascist Coalition and a group of local Muslims.

Numerous arrests were made and 13 people in total charged with a range of public order offences.

Faulkner will next appear at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court on May 16.

Seven people have pleaded guilty to charges relating to the disorder.

Article

(Update 10.07.13) Mosque protester caught with cocaine in Sunderland

AN anti-mosque protester avoided jail after he was found to be carrying cocaine following a street demonstration.

Warren Faulkner also offered to “sort out” his differences with a police officer when they clashed during the protest in Millfield, Sunderland.

Newcastle Crown Court was told Faulkner was among a group demonstrating about plans to build a mosque in St Marks Road.

The 42-year-old, of Webb Avenue, Westlea, Seaham, was then spotted by an officer in a back lane shouting “come on, come on, bring it on”.

The court heard Faulkner tried to trip up the officer, who was separating the right-wing demonstrators from the anti-fascist group. As he was being detained, Webb told the officer: “I will give you my phone number, and we can sort this out without your uniform on”.

Prosecutor Michael Bunch said: “Following this, a small packet of cocaine was found in his trouser pocket, with a street value of £34.”

Faulkner, who had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to possession of a controlled substance with intent to supply, and a public order offence, claimed he was only carrying the drug after someone asked him to keep it for them.

Vic Laffey, defending, said Faulkner had lost his job as a result of being brought before the court.

He said: “This was a straightforward agreement with the friend to keep the drugs, with no suggestion at all that he would make money or a profit from them. He intended to give the drugs back.”

Judge Simon Hickey QC sentenced Faulkner to six months in prison, suspended for 12 months. He also ordered him to do 100 hours’ unpaid work and abide by a supervision order.

Judge Hickey said: “You were there to deliberately antagonise the other group, and you offered to sort it out with him if he removed his uniform.”

The court was told Faulkner had 22 convictions, his last back in 2002.

Article


Refugees welcome; Racists can fuck off

“Yesterday (16/06/12) , a solidarity demo with refugees facing eviction, destitution and deportation was held in Glasgow.

The last twelve years have seen a massive shift in Glasgow’s demographic since the first asylum seekers were transported up here, shoved onto buses not knowing where they were going and dumped in condemned tower blocks.  3,500 refugees appeared in Glasgow overnight with little support, away from their friends, families and communities.

Such a massive influx of new-comers with little explanation or support given to the local community saw hostility and resentment against asylum seekers rise, culminating in a murder of a young Kurdish man, Firstat Dag in 2001.  A murder which shocked and horrified the indigenous and the incoming community alike.

Since that terrible event, the refugee community in Glasgow has become a valued and important part of our city, enriching our communities with new foods, new culture, new languages and new ideas.  In the mid 2000s, Glasgow saw dawn raids on families living in our communities, with the UK Borders Agency kicking in doors, using metal battering rams to seize men, women, children, toddlers and babies from their beds, shoving them into darkened vans and taking them to be locked up in Dungavel.

The horror of what was being done to our new citizens saw a rise in asylum seeker support.  Lively and active campaigns to end these barbaric dawn raids were taken up by politicians, journalists, political activists and teenagers.  The Glasgow Girls was established by a group of teenage activists in Drumchapel  who saw their school friends disappear with no warning and no explanation.  Fearing that they would be the next to be “disappeared”, they established a lively and vibrant campaign to protect children from being imprisoned, while adult asylum seekers established UNITY to provide practical, legal and emotional support to asylum seekers.

Tracking them when signing at the Home Office (to make sure that they come out again after several were detained and imprisoned after attending for their weekly sign-in), alerting friends, families, neighbours and supporters when someone has been detained, running a night-shelter and soup kitchen for destitute asylum seekers, providing clothing, bedding and toys to those in need they campaigned for the rights of refugees to stay in Glasgow, and the right of Glasgow to keep our refugees.

For a while, it seemed like our efforts were paying off. The frequency of dawn raids declined, Y-people, the charity with the contract to house asylum seekers agreed to continue to house refugees through periods where their funding was cut, as they negotiated the legal maze they were caught up in and in 2010 the Scottish Government announced that it would end the policy of imprisoning children in Dungaval.  The latter proved to be a phyrric victory, as babies were snatched from their homes, shoved into vans and driven for nine hours to Yarls Wood detention centre in England.

Earlier this year, Y-People a supposedly Christian charity, announced that they would no longer house asylum seekers who had been refused Section 4 funding.  Far be it from me, a heathen, to lecture Christians on their religion, but it is worth drawing attention to Matthew 35-40.

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,  I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?  And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’  And the King will answer them,‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

How can they call themselves Christians, while so blatantly disregarding the guidance of their Bible in how strangers should be treated?

Y-people have justified this by the loss of their contract to house asylum seekers in March, which sees the transfer of the responsibility for housing Glasgow asylum seekers given to SERCO.   SERCO, a multinational corporation which boasts among its portfolio contracts for running detention centres and prisons (along with military provision and nuclear weapons handling) joins G4S and Reliance Security Task Management in housing some of the UK’s most vulnerable citizens.  All three of these companies boast “security” as a major part of their corporate services.  It does not take a genius to work out that the award of this contract is less about providing needy people with homes, than with ensuring that “undesirables” are kept in pre-detention housing ran by companies with experience and capacity to effect imprisonment.

And this is the context that yesterday’s demo was called in: dawn raids and detentions again increasing; some new Scots being snatched by the UK Borders Agency and taken to England while others, many with young children, emotional and physical health issues and recovering from the traumatic experiences that led them to flee their homelands in the first place are papped out onto the streets while anxiously awaiting the transfer of the housing contract to a company which specialises in imprisonment.

The demo itself was excellent.  Despite many asylum seekers being too frightened to turn up, in case UK Border Agency officials attended the demo and tried to seize them, around 400 asylum seekers and their supporters marched through Glasgow demanding an end to the raids, detentions and deportations.  We had also gained information that the North West Infidels, a bunch of knuckle dragging English racists, had threatened the demo.

While the speeches following the demo continued, Strathclyde police moved in, instructing people to move off the Square threatening to use the Public Order Act to move people if they refused to leave.  With vulnerable asylum seekers and a number of children in the area, there was little choice but to comply, and people moved on, concluding the rally early.  An elderly man, who didn’t move fast enough for the police’s liking was arrested for breach of the peace as he stood in the middle of Glasgow’s main public square.  And why were they so keen to clear the square?  So that it could be given over to racists and fascists.

Within minutes of moving off refugees and their supporters from the square, police marched in a group of 25-30 white men holding up banners, which in and of themselves constituted incitement to racial hatred, to shout their racist hate.  A few police dotted around the group, while the majority of police encircled the square, insisting that people must not enter.  A young Asian woman who attempted to enter the square was shouted at and manhandled by police who threatened her with arrest, before moving a group of Asian youth, not just off the square, not just off the pavement surrounding the square, but down into side roads well away from the centre of Glasgow, while the supporters of refugees were held in a tight kettle in a corner on the edge of the square.

After 15-20 minutes, the racists then left the square, accompanied by the police who then left them free to roam the streets of Glasgow in the full knowledge that only 30 minutes before there had been a gathering of asylum seekers in the very same area, while keeping anti-fascists and refugee supporters kettled at the other end.  When the kettle was finally ended, the police then stopped people moving off towards the main shopping area, continually telling them that they were free to leave, while instructing them repeatedly that they could not go that way, nor that way, nor that way either, threatening arrest under Section 17 of the Police Act (Scotland), if people did not comply with their directions.  It was at this point that a second activist got arrested when he asserted his right to walk along a main street in Glasgow.

Meanwhile, the racists had regrouped in Buchanan Street between the Palestine Human Rights Campaign Stall, which they had previously attacked in November last year, and the Communist Party stall which they had attacked in January.   Knowing that the Palestine stall had been a prior target, a small number of anti-fascists who had managed to avoid the kettle had made their way there to protect it, as others finally managing to escape from the repressive policing also made their way down.

A lone policeman on a bike had been stationed there, despite the prior violent attacks from the group that had just been let loose to roam the streets causing mayhem.  As tensions became heated between the racists and the anti-fascists, the police appeared en masse and re-kettled the racists in a side street, eventually parading them down Buchanan Street.  Allowing them to spew their bile all the way down one of Glasgow’s main shopping streets, all the while telling people that countering them was “making their job harder” and “was not helpful“.  Two more refugee supporters were arrested just after the racists were moved off, under a Breach of the Peace charge, for shouting at the scum.

Serious questions must be asked in the light of the events of yesterday.  Political policing in Glasgow is totally out of control.  We are seeing continual arrests under broad ranging legislation for nothing more serious than shouting, refusing to move from a public square when ordered to do so, and attempting to walk down a public street.  On a number of occasions people were told that they were being moved on, or prevented from walking where they wished “for their own safety“.  If the streets and public squares of Glasgow are unsafe for people to enter, then it is the job of the police to make those streets safe, not to prevent people entering them on threat of arrest.

Political activists in Glasgow are seeing increasing harassment at the hands of Strathclyde police.  Arrests made on dubious grounds; police turning up at people’s doors to instruct them where they may and may not go; stop and searches being conducted as a means of intimidation and harassment of peaceful protesters.  The Glasgow Defence Campaign has been logging just some of these incidents.

We have a live situation in Glasgow with over 150 asylum seekers about to be made homeless, while others are being dragged down to England, imprisoned and shoved on planes.  It is outrageous that the UK state can snatch our new citizens and take them to another country.  We need Scottish independence so that no longer can new Scots be snatched in this manner.   We need a compassionate and understanding system of asylum so that new Scots do not have to live in fear of facing further trauma at the hands of the UK state compounding the torture from which they have fled.  We need policing which protects our citizens, rather than protecting those who seek to abuse and harass.

Refugees should always be welcome in Scotland – over the centuries Scotland has played a horrible part in the British Empire which has in no small measure contributed to the reasons why many people flee.  We need to end our involvement in the British State.  Only when we have control over our borders can we ensure that they are open to those who seek safety from persecution and injustice, yet closed to those who come to drag them from their homes to subject them to more.”

Source: Second Council House of Virgo (http://s.tt/1ePlc)


Netpol publish critical report into EDL policing

“Netpol has published a critical report into the policing of the EDL and Counter demonstrations of February 4th in Leicester. The report is a collation of the evidence and observations obtained by a team of community-based legal observers who spent the day monitoring the policing of both EDL and counter-demonstrations. The legal observers deployed were local volunteers trained by Netpol with support from The Race Equality Centre (TREC) and Highfields Centre.

The report criticises police handling of the demonstration, particularly the effort and resources the police and local authorities devoted to persuading the local community, particularly young people in the local community, not to attend counter demonstrations against the EDL. It also raises questions about the use of force, particularly the use of dog units against Muslim youth, and the restrictions on movement placed on the Muslim population, effectively making Leicester a ‘no-go’ area.

Val Swain of Netpol stated, “The decision by Leicestershire constabulary to persuade local communities, voluntary and faith groups and particularly young people to stay away from counter demonstrations was utterly wrong. It really cannot be the role of the police to decide who is able to demonstrate and who is not. As well as being an interference with fundamental rights to protest, it led to a policing strategy that prioritised police control of the local community, especially Muslim youth. This raised tensions, heightened anger, and in my view made conflict more, rather than less likely.”

A statement given to Netpol by a local youth who witnessed his friend being bitten by a police dog, is illustrative of this;

 “That is ridiculous, that is not acceptable. He was in a lot of pain, he was treated by the ambulance for an hour. When last year the EDL kicked off big time, did they use the dogs on them? No. Why not? Because they are only after Muslims, that’s why.”

The report was launched at the Highfields Centre in Leicester on Monday 11th June by community youth worker and Netpol campaigner Saqib Deshmukh, who presented the findings to local activists, journalists and a representative of Leicestershire constabulary. Saqib has also helped to train community based legal observers in East London, as part of the initiative to monitor the policing of the Olympics by Netpol partner Newham Monitoring Project.

Key Findings:

• Police, working with Leicester council, put significant resources into a campaign aimed at persuading local people, particularly the youth, to stay away from counter demonstrations.
• The use of the Children Act, which allows police to take under-eighteen year olds to a ‘place of safety’, was unacceptably used as a ‘scare tactic’ to further dissuade young people from attending demonstrations
• Police maintained control over the movements of local people, making Leicester effectively a ‘no go zone’ for young Muslim men.
• Police used substantial force to control groups of Muslim youth, including the use of kettles, baton strikes and police dogs, leading to one young man sustaining dog bite injuries.
• Stop and searches were carried out under s60 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act, a police power that does not require suspicion of an individual. Although the number of such stop and searches was not high, all reported searchers were of people of Asian appearance. Powers to remove face coverings and scarfs also appear to have been disproportionately used against Muslim/Asian young people.
• The facilitation of the EDL appeared to take greater priority than the facilitation of counter demonstrations.

There has been a great deal of interest in the media – from the local paper and BBC Radio Leicester, though not all of it was positive.

Netpol would like to thank the community legal observers in Leicester for their hard work in putting the report together. The quality of evidence that was given both in written form and the photographic and video evidence is testimony to this.”

source


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