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London ESF Arrests Update

ESF Legal Support | 29.05.2005 12:37 | European Social Forum | Globalisation | Repression | Social Struggles | London

In total there were 10 arrests (that we know of) during London ESF (October 14th-17th 2004):

Of the 7 serious charges not one person has been found guilty of committing a criminal act, (one has still yet to go to court).

- Of the two people arrested at Trafalgar Square on Sunday 17th during the final ESF demonstration: one received a fixed penalty notice, while the other was charged with ‘threatening words and behaviour’, he was found not guilty in court.

- Of the four people arrested at Kings Cross before the final ESF demonstration on Sunday: one had his charges (assaulting police) dismissed by the court through lack of evidence, one person was found not guilty (assaulting police) by the court, one person received a 'caution' for having a pocket knife and one person, initially arrested for 'firearms offences', was released without charge when it was discovered the item in question was a bottle of eyedrops (!)

- Other people arrested at Trafalgar Square on Sunday were: a person who received a 'conditional discharge' for the possession of a butter knife (!).

- The person arrested on Saturday 16th in the evening intervention outside Alexandra Palace was charged with theft (of a police helmet!), assaulting police and 'threatening words and behaviour'. The charges of assault & ‘threatening words & behaviour’ have been dropped. His court appearance is in July 2005.

- Two people were arrested for shoplifting during the reclaim public transport/tube party action on Friday 15th. Both received a 'caution'.

Legal note:
A fixed penalty notice is an on-the-spot fine (£80). It does not presume guilt and you are not charged with any offence. Indeed, a fixed penalty notice is issued when there is no evidence a crime has been committed.
A 'caution' is issued by the police (not the courts) on the condition the person admits the offence. No further action is taken against that person although it is kept on police record.
A 'conditional discharge' is where the court finds someone guilty of the offence but does not wish to punish that person further. This goes on the person's criminal record and depending on the conditions imposed by the court no further action is taken.

We continue to give our unconditional solidarity and support to those arrested and charged during the London ESF.

ESF Legal Support


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  1. just to be clear
  2. Clarification — ESF Legal Support