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Democracy’s Last Stand Four: A bad case of COC

Oscar Beard | 31.03.2007 03:01 | SOCPA | Repression | London | World

Oscar Beard returns to Horseferry Court with the Parliament Square peace campaigners for round 2000 of the twisted and debauched circus known as UK democracy.

Fake pine was the flavour of the day. Stark unnatural lighting too, that flickered at a rate too high for the human eye to register, but allowed political vampires to appear in simulated daylight without the threat of bursting into flames.

But the microphones were not working, so everyone in the public gallery was twisting their necks and ears to hear the court proceedings. People grumbled and moaned. I just grinned: “Cutbacks.”

And there were plenty around ready to spontaneously combust, that much was certain. CX 674 for one, known to all as Smithy. The stalker, the weirdo - the professional turd that crawled out of the cesspit known as Charing Cross police station.

Judge Wickham resided over the day’s events and spent the first few hours rifling through endless extradition trials, mainly to send people back to Poland, a disturbing catalogue of events to witness in itself.

Wickham reminded me of a cross-between Margaret Thatcher and my old religious education teacher. Miss Mott. She wasn’t married. We used to call her Sparrow Legs, for the obvious reason. She too, like I was about to witness in Wickham, was prone to poking out her neck, arteries spasming, lips gripped into some kind of tormented beak, ready to peck the shit out of anything in her way.

Contempt of Court. Accused of CoC. That was the charge that day hovering over Barbara Tucker and Brian Haw. Haw entered the court clutching a red folder of documents, like his life depended on them. And he was probably right. Something was amiss in this trial from the outset.

Tucker had entered court on 26 March 2006 to support her friend and fellow peace protestor, Steve Jago, in his latest, and probably not last, court hearing, only to find herself on the list of trials.

When she got in court Judge Evans dragged her up to answer to four summonses she knew nothing about. It turned out, despite Tucker being known and involved in court proceedings for over four years, her summonses were sent to the wrong address.

Evans asked for her to plead to the summonses, Tucker refused and asked for the summons to be explained to her. Evans refused and announced she was pleading "not guilty". Tucker protested. Haw joined in. And the rest was history.

Evans escaped court, probably heading to find Judge Snow’s green bikini-clad Samoan monkey’s for some light relief. Haw and Tucker were wrestled to the cells by court security.

As Tucker and Haw were led into the glass cage to await their outcome that afternoon a member of the public whispered through the bullet-proof glass, “God be with you.”

Before the trial began Tucker made complaints about CX 674, Smithy, being in court. She felt he was intimidating her, harassing her, stalking her, and asked that he be removed from the court.

Wickham refused, stating he was an officer of the law and could enter and leave the court as he pleased: “That’s the law,” she stated.

The first witness called was Miss Austin, a legal clerk who attended court on the day in question. She was a smartly dressed girl, chunky, with a neck problem not dissimilar to Wickham, or my religious education teacher. Maybe this is some kind of nervous disorder common in legal circles I thought. She smiled brightly, her teeth stained with bright red lipstick, and recounted the day’s events in her own fashion.

Austin recounted Judge Evans demanding a plea from Jago, Jago stating he had no information to give a plea, and Evans stated he was not allowed the information and pleaded “not guilty” on his behalf. Jago had objected and Tucker interjected.

Then Evans had turned on Tucker. He called her up for the four outstanding summonses. Tucker, as she had done earlier to her own solicitor, stated she had no knowledge of the summons, because they had just become part of a cat litter tray in the home of someone not remotely connected to any of this. Probably in Windsor. Things like that happen there. It’s a fact. Court summonses are shat on, crime goes unheard, Corgi dogs are professionally assassinated and served as the main dish at supper. Often on silver platters, with Spanish onions forced into rectal passages. And no one is held to account.

Evans jumped in and pleaded “not guilty” for Tucker. On the summonses, not the Corgis. Judge, jury and executioner, by all intents and purposes.

Legal Clerk, Austin, recounted that Tucker got annoyed, saying “how dare you,” and “this is a disgrace”.

Then, according to Austin, Haw rose from the dark recesses of the court and began shouting at Evans: “Do your job…don’t bully this woman," and the caveat: “You’ll pay for this.”

Austin said Evans warned both on this behaviour, but the both persisted. Evans rose, probably with the help of black magic and floated out of court like a wraith, his words hauntingly flowing out behind him: “Take them to the cells.”

Although it was not heard in court that day, but Judge Evans was later spotted naked on Horseferry Road covered in mud and horse shit, performing strange Druid acts involving several dead crows, whilst clutching and chomping down on two strains of highly poisonous indigenous fungi. He is still to be brought to trial on that one, which only outcome would be to burn the vile excuse of flesh at the stake until his flesh is as brown and tender as an Angus steak.

The defendant lawyer then grilled Austin, leaving her to roast till her flesh bubbled and blistered over the heat. Holes fell wide open in her initial grinning statement. The butter that previously didn’t melt in her mouth now basted her plump body, ready for an ensuing feast.

Did Tucker request an adjournment? Yes. Were the unknown summons read out? No.

Then Austin recounted the conversation between the two.

Tucker: “I’m not here for this.”

Evans: “Of course you’re here.”

The lawyer continued to grill the girl. Her smile dropped, she began rocking backwards and forwards, twitching slightly, and suddenly suffered an instantaneous case of amnesia.

As Tucker was called to the stand, Austin was met by a scrawny woman in a checked tweed jacket, was patted on the back and was seen to mouth the words “well done”.

I had seen this woman before somewhere. But I couldn’t place her. First impressions said she co-starred with Felicity Kendal in some sick and twisted sitcom about 1980s suburban lesbians, that never mentioned the word lesbian, but every reference to “just good friends” or “women in comfortable shoes” was instantly followed with five minutes of canned laughter.

Tucker was up to her usual standard of response, to the point it is not worth this journalist recounting. One particular slam in the face was how summonses had been created to criminalise her for “living and breathing,” and attending her own court hearing. This would be funny if it wasn’t true.

All the while this was going, a member of the public leaned in above Smithy and whispered in his ear, creep, stalker, lying git. Smithy laughed for a while, then took to shaking his head, which he stopped when the culprit snapped: “Don’t you shake your head at me.”

Further incomprehensible assaults of legal ignorance fell from Tucker’s mouth as she recounted numerous incidents that she had the misfortune of facing. Being held under breach of bail conditions when the breach stated “no further action”. Being held under breach of bail, when the conditions had been lifted.

By this time Smithy couldn’t hold it back any longer and burst out laughing. Tucker took the opportunity and attacked him directly, “You may well laugh,” she said.

By now Wickham’s face had twisted upwards and to the right. Her eyes bulging behind her glasses. She was huffing and looking impatient around the courtroom for someone, something, anything to come and save her. Perhaps some divine intervention.

Haw took the stand next. He recounted his own experiences of abuse of process, then slammed in one solid statement - that day there was no process. Barbara was abused so badly in court. What they have done. The police, the courts, the government. They nearly murdered her.

Wickham halted his speech. Haw then went on to announce how wonderful it would be to have CCTV in court. Then all these events would have been recorded. What he failed to think of, though, was how CCTV has an amazing knack of not working when it is most needed. Just ask the de Menezes family.

This is unlawful. Evans is lawful. You are answerable. We all are. For our actions. Assaulted. So violently. Bully comment. Admit it. Police, courts, judges. Wicked ones.

By this time Wickham was swelling up red, the blood to her brain was having problems. She was huffing at regular intervals, her head in her hands.

As the trial came to a close it slowly became apparent what was going to happen.

“Oh shit,” I said, scribbling onto stolen sheets of note paper, as the laptop battery had run out, “she’s going to jail them.”

“A threat is a threat,” said Wickham, referring to the ‘answer for this’ comment made by Haw. She reached for the big book of law, the “big book of bending” as someone called it. Wickham read the law. I remembered Oscar Zeta Acosta. Hold it, I thought. Remember what happened to him. Lawyer, turned acid-crazed terrorist revolutionary and finally drug and gun-runner in the Gulf of Mexico. No, this would not do.

Wickham read the fucking law and made her own decision on half-truths and statements from one witness against three. She accused Haw of making violent threats to Judge Evans, accused Tucker of refusing to sit down when the Judge ordered, and that was it.

We all waited for the jail sentences to be read out. But they didn’t come. A journalist close to Wickham heard her say, “I’m not going to make martyrs of them,” and she hit both with convictions and fines.

Haw protested to the point I thought he was going down again for contempt of court, but Wickham ignored him, drawing into question the whole last four hours. There they were, on trial for CoC related charges and yet another blatant CoC offence was ignored. Absurdity was the first word that came to mind. But it was closely followed by farce. Then my mind just turned vile and satanic. So, we need not go into that here.

Everyone left court dejected, beaten and truly trounced. Wickham may well have just beaten each and every one of us around the head with the big book of law. At then least the pain would have been physical and easier to deal with.

As I left the court that day, the martyr statement held strong in my mind, because I had heard the same comment from the Superintendent of the Irish Garda not a month earlier. Not going to make martyrs. No, instead the Irish guards were now beating men, women and children who opposed the Shell oil corporation.

That was their answer. What would be next here, in the UK? For now, we would have to wait and see. But these people, the Parliament Square Peace Camp were still going. Beaten down yet again, both physically and legally. The scars were starting to show. And they were still but a few, a handful in a nation 60 million-strong that were willing to give everything up to stand for all we used hold dear and true in this country. But that is gone now. As are the days of two million protests, when the world thought it could change political plans with peaceful protest.

Oscar Beard
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  1. Excellant commentary! — Charity