Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Nine NO2ID protestors arrested in Edinburgh

On Monday, 9 protestors, including me, all involved with the NO2ID campaign, were arrested in Edinburgh and charged with breach of the peace.

You can see some reports and discussion about this at the following links:

This STV report
This report in the Herald
This BBC Scotland report
A thread on NO2ID’s forums
Guy Herbert’s Samizdata article
Another thread on NO2ID’s forums

At this time, I’ll make the following points:

  • we were all peaceful at all times during the protest
  • only 1 protestor sneaked into the meeting. Geraint Bevan, the coordinator of NO2ID Scotland got into the meeting at the start under the cunning ruse of walking up to the registration desk and claiming to be one of the people named on the badges on display.
  • prior to entering the hotel, we were protesting peacefully outside, causing curiosity, amusement and the occasional message of support from the passing public.
  • when the hotel manager approached us and asked us to leave, Geraint (by this time physically thrown out of the meeting) asked if it were OK for us to leave after STV had conducted an interview with him. The manager agreed.
  • when the interview was over, we made to leave immediately, only to find the police had been called. At no point prior to this were we given any intimation the police were called or were going to be called. Prior to the hotel manager asking us to leave, we were not told by any member of staff that we should leave.
  • when we entered, we entered peacefully, quietly, carrying placards, with an STV camera crew in tow. The people at the head of our procession did not wear masks.
  • we were officially arrested at 12.30 (after a considerable length of time when the police took our details).
  • we regard this charge as a ridiculous jumped up charge.
  • we will be fighting this charge.
  • Geraint faces a separate charge related to events in the meeting. This will also be fought.


Anonymous said...

Arresting you and Geraint Bevan and the others for such a peaceful protest is utterly wrong.

Are Labour politicians like Meg Hillier and the Home Office really so scared of anyone who dares to question their inept policies ?

Anonymous said...

Well done for highlighting such a squalid sham of a public consultation. I hope the charges get dropped. It's shameful you were arrested. I've written to my MP and MSPs on your behalf. Good luck.

James said...

Many thanks for your support guys, and, Daniel, thanks for writing to your MP and MSP about this.

I now think I know something of how people who've been arrested or summoned to court for e.g. wearing a T-shirt saying "Bollocks to Blair" or waving placards describing Scientology as a cult must feel.

Bill said...

Stay strong! :)

charliecat said...

for those of you hooked on facebook, a group has been set up to informed those interested in the arrests and galvanise support. here is the link:

you are welcome to join and invite your friends list!