Were you arrested at any of the recent Student demonstrations?
Were you either charged with an offence or bailed by the police to return to a police station soon? We know it’s a worrying time and information can be difficult to come by. We also know from previously experience that it can be isolating and intimidating. The best way to deal with this is to meet others in the same position as yourself and stick together. The police want you to feel isolated and alone – but meeting and talking with other people facing the same pressures, and working together, can make everyone stronger.
You may be under pressure from your family or college to co-operate with the police. But it is YOUR decision, your future, it is up to you how you defend yourself.
So, the Legal Defense and Monitoring Group (www.ldmg.org.uk ) and the Green & Black Cross (www.greenandblackcross.org ) are calling a DEFENDANTS’ MEETING on Sunday 6th February at 12 noon. It will be in the KHALILI ROOM at the School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh St (near Malet Street) London WC1H 0XG.
It could help your case to attend and it will definitely help your confidence. This is a meeting for DEFENDANTS ONLY. If you are not a defendant or accompanying a defendant you WILL be asked to leave.
If you haven’t been arrested, but you are worried you MAY yet be arrested, or if your face has been publicised as somebody the police want to question, it’s probably best to stay away, as police have in the past had spotters outside these meetings. BUT don’t be put off from coming if you have already been arrested: attending meetings does not breach your bail conditions.
There will be people with legal knowledge, and we can talk about police use of bail conditions. But, the major part of the meeting will be for defendants to come together and decide if they want a defence campaign, and if so, what type of campaign they want: campaigns like this need to be led by the defendants themselves.
Please pass this onto anybody you know who may have been arrested and charged or on police bail, and please circulate as widely as possible, to anybody who may know of anybody arrested.
Above all – DON’T BE AFRAID! Many people support you and are willing to help, some of us have been in this position ourselves in the past. The police are not all-powerful, they can be challenged, and even getting charged does not mean you will be convicted. Defence campaigns in the past have helped people to win in court, and helped to win support for people facing charges.