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Census Refuser Trials Liverpool 17 & 18 Jan. Solidarity and support needed

NoCONcensus | 12.01.2012 23:55 | Anti-militarism | Repression | Liverpool

Sarah, Derek and Andy (possibly with others) are in Liverpool Magistrates Court on Tuesday and Wednesday 17 and 18 January for their trials. All are being prosecuted for refusing to complete the 2011 census and all have cited weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin's involvement in the census data processing among their reasons for refusal. Their initial hearings were on 8 December [see report and photos plus background].

Join us inside and outside the court to offer solidarity and support to all the defendants. Vigil and demo outside the court from 9.30am both days. Continue the vigil or watch the proceedings in court from 10am.

Sarah and Barry Ledsom
Sarah and Barry Ledsom


It is possible that one or more of these cases will end up being adjourned as there are appeals pending over legal aid refusal, but at the moment it looks extremely unlikely that all will be adjourned, so the solidarity at the court will be going ahead as planned. As far as we're aware, no one has qualified for legal aid yet and application is being made for civil legal aid to seek judicial review of at least one of the legal aid refusals. The funding is needed to enable defendants to present their cases effectively; the legal aspects are not straightforward. We know that one person has passed the 'interests of justice' test for legal aid but not the financial test, while others appear to have passed the financial test but not the 'interests of justice' one...


There is another census hearing on Tuesday 17 January. Mandy Woods is appearing in Bury St Edmunds Magistrates Court.

We are now aware of a Scottish census prosecution (Scotland used a different dodgy US company, CACI, to process their census data). Barbara Dowling's case is being heard at Glasgow Sheriff Court on Thursday 26 January. More on Barbara's situation below.

After that, we have John Voysey from Herefordshire in Wrexham Magistrates Court on Wednesday 1 February. John was a conscientious objector in 1947 and is now a conscientious census objector.

Deborah Glass Woodin appears at Reading Magistrates Court for a pre-trial hearing on Thursday 2 Feb and full hearing on Monday 14 May.

Judith Sambrook is in Mold Magistrates Court on Thursday 9 February for a case management hearing, and back in Wrexham Magistrates Court on Thursday 8 March for the trial.

Roger Grenville, Vicky and the man known as Marcus Hoo are all back in Birmingham Magistrates Court at 10am on Friday 2 March for their trials.


Info from Ethical Census.

Barbara Dowling is being charged under the Census Act, accused of not filling in her census form properly. Her intermediate diet was held on Tue 10 January and her case is going ahead to trial. Barbara will be defending herself.

The trial will be at 10am in Court 16, Glasgow Sheriff Court Thursday 26 January.

Countless Scots have either failed to fill in their census forms or returned them partially completed or improved by critical comments, but have not been prosecuted. Barbara's victimisation is inexplicable. Please make a date in your diary to come along and support her. And please tell your friends.

Barbara will also be in court on 25 Jan over non-payment of a fine incurred for blockading Faslane nuclear submarine base. Barbara is refusing to pay the fine and risks a jail sentence: 10am, 25th January, Dumbarton Sheriff Court - support in court welcome.

- e-mail: NoCONcensus[at]


More census refusers

14.01.2012 07:38

Just spotted this:

"The mayor of a town in Gloucestershire is facing a court hearing for failing to return his 2011 census form.

"Stroud mayor John Marjoram, a Quaker, said he refused to complete the form because of his beliefs.

"He said he disagreed with the ethics of Lockheed Martin, the company that processed the data, which is one of the world's biggest arms producers...

"The Stroud town councillor said: "I've been a peace activist for 50 years and if the government hadn't used this company there would have been hardly any problem with the census...

"Indigo Redfern, from the Nailsworth meeting, said she also refused to complete the census as the Quakers "have a well established peace testimony".

"I have very little to do with arms manufacturers but in this instance I'm being asked to directly collude with Lockheed Martin - who produce cluster bombs, tridents, cruise missiles.

"There are eight of us at the Quaker meeting in Nailsworth who haven't filled in the census and the majority of us would chose to go to prison."

mail e-mail: NoCONcensus[at]


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  1. Update: Legal aid granted in one case — NoCONcensus