DEFEND THE RIGHT TO PROTEST - JUSTICE FOR PIERS CORBYN
DEFEND THE RIGHT TO PROTEST - JUSTICE FOR PIERS CORBYN
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Latest: Oct. 23, 2020
Trial update - a small victory - case adjourned to 27 November 2020
My trial got off to a very slow start on Friday 23 October 2020. Firstly we had to deal with the fact that the case of Jeff Wyatt had been joined to mine, but without any formal notice to my lawyers,…Read more
Who am I ? - I am an astrophysicist and weather forecaster living and working in South London.
What do stand for? - I strongly believe that the global policy of 'lockdown' will lead to terrible consequences for ordinary people across the globe - far worse than the coronavirus ever could. Certain people and companies will take advantage of this to accumulate even more power and wealth. The cost to us will not just be lost jobs and destroyed businesses, but for some it will be starvation and the flourishing of real killer diseases like tuberculosis. Above all will be the loss of individual liberty on a scale never before envisaged - mobile phone apps tracking your every move, compulsion to have a dangerous, untested vaccine, and a denial of the most basic human rights.
My legal case - I have twice been arrested for protesting about the lockdown at Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park during May 2020. I am due to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on 24 July and 20 August 2020 at 10am.
Call to action - We are raising £5000 to pay for the legal costs of my defence. I need your support: please contribute and share this page now!
What are we trying to achieve? - I have instructed my lawyers to argue that the newly imposed Health Regulation that forbids public gatherings is a fundamental breach of the human right to assembly and association. If we win the case we will fight to get charges dropped against everyone else arrested. And it will be a huge victory for the right to protest and for free speech!
What is the next step in the case? - I have to appear at court on 24 July and 20 August, 2020 at 10am at Westminster Magistrates'' Court and I need my lawyers working on my case right now.
How much we are raising and why? - I need to raise £5000 as soon as possible to fund the legal costs of the case.
Thanks for taking the time to read this, and I hope you will support me.
Oct. 23, 2020
Trial update - a small victory - case adjourned to 27 November 2020
My trial got off to a very slow start on Friday 23 October 2020. Firstly we had to deal with the fact that the case of Jeff Wyatt had been joined to mine, but without any formal notice to my lawyers, and without additional court time being allocated. The Judge decided to sever his case, so Jeff's trial will now take place on 8 February 2021.
There then began a series of bizarre goings on regarding Prosecution disclosure (see my last update). It transpired that the day after our disclosure application just 2 days ago a new schedule for my arrest on 30 May 2020 had been prepared that showed my name was on the 'Silver' command log - this had not been mentioned on the schedule for 16 May 2020 - but it was the same log. My legal team smelled a rat, and immediately drafted a supplementary Defence Statement requiring disclosure of this document. After much argument the Judge decided we could have the relevant parts of both the 'Silver' and 'Bronze' logs, effectively overturning the decision of the Senior Crown Prosecutor that it was not relevant or disclosable.
This small victory was important as it may assist in my argument about discrimination (contrary to Article 14 of the Human Rights Act) as, while I was targeted for arrest, along with other anti-lockdown protestors, the BLM protestors were not. We say this is 'political' policing.
The Judge was clearly unimpressed by the delay caused to the case by the Prosecution and has reserved the issue of wasted costs to the outcome of the trial - now re-fixed for 27 November 2020. Please put this date in your diary.
A big thank you to everyone who came to support me today. We fight on!
I have now received a letter from ACRO saying that as I have not paid my Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) from 9 May 2020 they will take me to court. I have no intention of paying any fines, so I will fight that case as well on Human Rights grounds.
I will also be fighting the £10,000 FPN for organising the Trafalgar Square rally on 29 August 2020.
I also have 2 outstanding civil cases against the police in London and South Yorkshire for damages arising from wrongful arrest and unlawful detention.
So there is plenty of work for my lawyers to do!
Please continue to give generously so that we can carry on the good fight for these important test cases which may well set a precedent for many others.
Thank you for all your support so far.
Oct. 21, 2020
Crown Prosecution Service fight to keep material secret from me
My lawyers went to court on Wednesday 21 October 2020 to try and obtain some important documents in my case, in particular the decision logs of the senior commanders of MO6 (Public Order Policing), labelled 'Bronze' and 'Silver' for 16 and 30 May 2020. This was refused by the Judge but he did order disclosure of more 'body worn video' camera footage taken by the police, and the police 'Power Point' briefing.
My trial remains fixed for Friday 23 October 2020 at 10am. The legal arguments have now been served and a response received from the Prosecution.
Wish me luck for Friday! Come and show your support if you can!
Oct. 21, 2020
MORE COVID MADNESS!!
My second court case - for allegedly organising an illegal gathering Sheffield on 5 September 2020 - is due in court on 3 November 2020.
My lawyer told the court that I would be pleading NOT GUILTY to the charges and invited them to adjourn the case as I am a Core Participant in the Undercover Policing Inquiry which starts on 2 November. The 3 November is a very important day in that Inquiry as this is when the Met Police and Home Office give their Opening Statements.
BUT the Court refused and said a warrant would be issued for my arrest if I did not attend!
So the Court wants me to breach the Covid Regs by travelling from London, in “Tier 2” lockdown, all across the country to a "Tier 3” lockdown city of Sheffield - so that they can hear a case on the breach of the Covid Regs!
The Tier 3 regs come into force first thing on Saturday 24 October 2020 and are due to be reviewed 28 days later.
Here they are:
* people should try to avoid travelling outside the very high alert level or entering a very high alert level area.
* people must not socialise with anybody they do not live with.
These Regulations are neither necessary nor proportionate - and now it seems that the Court do not think either...!
Oct. 5, 2020
Taking action against the police
On Sunday 4 October 2020 we had a lively protest outside New Scotland Yard against the police attacks on the Trafalgar Square rallies of 19 and 26 September 2020 during which a number of people were injured. The orders to close down the protests were completely unnecessary, but appear to have had political backing at the highest level, from Sadiq Khan, the Labour Mayor of London, who declared on 18 September that all demonstrations were now illegal. He was echoing the words of the Conservative Home Secretary, Priti Patel who had already declared large political gatherings illegal on 8 June 2020. This is simply untrue - the right to freedom of assembly is not just a human right protected by law, but the new No.2 Regulations even give an exemption for political protest.
I have now instructed my lawyers to sue both the Metropolitan Police and the South Yorkshire Police, following my arrests on 29 August in London, and 5 September in Sheffield. I am claiming damages for wrongful arrest, unlawful imprisonment and assault. In neither case did the police have any good reason to arrest me, and I was detained for 10 hours and 24 hours respectively. Letters of claim have been sent out today.
In Sheffield my arrest had the effect of preventing me attending the rally next day in Glasgow, and the police then imposed bail conditions that would have forbidden me from attending any protest rally in the UK for the next 2 months! I asked my lawyer to fight this and within a week the bail conditions were lifted. I will continue to protest against global ‘lockdown’ policies and attend rallies across the UK. They will not silence me!
I still have further court cases to fight - the £10,000 fine for the protest on 29 August is likely to go to Westminster Magistrates’ Court some time before the end of the year, and the £10,000 fine from Sheffield on 5 September, has a first hearing on 3 November 2020.
I hope to update you soon about my cases from the May protests in Hyde Park which are due to be heard together at my trial on 23 October 2020.
Thank you for your continued support.
Oct. 1, 2020
The biggest rally yet: Trafalgar Square 26 September 2020
We had an amazing day on 26 September, over 40,000 people turned up to protest against the government's crazy lockdown policies. This is the biggest protest so far, and we hope they will get bigger. We had been in touch beforehand with the Met Police Public Order Liaison Team, and we had a risk assessment in place that had been accepted by the City of Westminster. We wanted a peaceful, legal rally. As a tribute to the police officer killed in Croydon, we all fell silent for a minute. There were some great speeches, and public announcements were made throughout the day to remind people about social distancing between family groups and 'bubbles' of six, and we continued to liaise with the police. However, about 30 minutes before the rally was due to finish, a messenger, PS Sehmby, arrived with orders from the 'Gold' Commander, Ade Adelekan, to shut our rally down, on the basis that they believed there was insufficient 'social distancing.' Of course the issue would have been solved had they let us march down Pall Mall to Hyde Park as planned, and where there was much more space. We asked to speak to the Commander, but without warning about 2.45 pm he unleashed the Territorial Support Group (TSG) with full force to seize the sound equipment, just as Dr Heiko Schöning began to speak. Simultaneously, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, announced that our peaceful protest was "unacceptable."
I am sure many of you have seen the videos posted on social media that include pictures of protestors with their faces covered with blood, having been hit with police batons. Is this now "acceptable" on the streets of London? This unnecessary use of force was clearly designed to provoke a response, in order to pretend that our movement is violent. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Both the Coronavirus Act 2020 and the Regulations have had a "chilling effect" on the right to protest as even the human rights charity, Liberty now acknowledges. Cressida Dick, Priti Patel and Sadique Khan now form an unholy tripartite alliance to suppress protest. They should be ashamed, and resign forthwith!
At then end of the rally, at Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park, Dr Heiko Schöning spoke to a small gathering. The TSG moved in and forcibly arrested him, snapping the handcuffs on so tightly that his wrist was injured. He was held for 21 hours, his mobile phone and laptop seized for interrogation, and asked by police in interview if he had "mental health" issues. It appears that the authorities are now prepared to declare us mentally ill because we disagree with their massively disproportionate lockdown policies. This is a very sinister development, all part of the psychological warfare campaign being conducted against us.
The other attack on us is that we are all politically "far Right." This is simply untrue. we are ordinary people who want to defend our livelihoods, jobs, businesses and our education and health systems; we want to defend civil liberties as guaranteed from as far back as Magna Carta (1215) to the Human Rights Act (1998). We are neither 'Left' nor 'Right'; we are the People; and we will NOT be silenced.
Thank you to all those who have given so generously, but there may still a long way to go. My trial for the Speakers' Corner arrests in May is coming up on 23 October 2020, please watch this space.
Sept. 6, 2020
Arrested again! More orders from "on high" to lock me up.
I've just been released after being locked up for almost 24 hours by South Yorkshire Police. I have been charged with 3 offences - not wearing a mask in Marks & Spencer, participating in an illegal gathering (at the Peace Garden, Sheffield) and organising the gathering, contrary to the Coronavirus Regulations. A second £10,000 fine is looming if I am convicted.
Events followed a similar pattern to London last weekend. Suddenly, at around 3pm orders came from "on high" to arrest me. There had been no attempt by police to disperse the rally beforehand, and I told the Inspector I was not an organiser (I live in London) but just a speaker; I gave him my details should he want to report me for a Fixed Penalty Notice. He later ordered me to leave the area which he has no power to do, unless the gathering is illegal - which it wasn't. After the rally I went into M&S to use the toilet and when I came out police made a heavy handed attempt to arrest me.
This arrest was arbitrary and unlawful, and did not even follow the Regulations themselves. These specify that an arrest can only be effected if the conditions in s24 PACE 1984 apply - which they did not. The police then tried to justify the arrest by saying it had been done "to prevent [me] causing physical injury to [myself] or any other person. PACE CodeG 2.9 (c)(i)." A load of nonsense.
This unlawful arrest triggered an unfortunate confrontation in the shopping centre as people were concerned at police arresting me unlawfully, and hence assaulting me. I know that 3 others were arrested as well.
I have now instructed my lawyers to draft a letter to South Yorkshire Police to ask them to justify my arrest or issue an apology. As for the Court case that is at Sheffield Magistrates' Court on 3 November 2020 at 10am.
I have been bailed on condition not to attend any illegal protest of more than 30 people anywhere in the UK. I will challenge that condition as it allows the police to arrest me pretty much on sight at any protest on "reasonable suspicion" that I am breach of my bail conditions. This is a clear attempt to silence me. Who gave the order for my recent arrests? PM Boris Johnson said on 7 June 2020 that there was a right to protest peacefully; if that is still the case in the UK, Boris please tell the Police! Or have all human rights now been suspended?!
Please note that I am still allowed to attend and speak at any rally of more than 30 on a public open space that is organised within Regulation 5B. But this is not enough - this is still a chilling effect on the right to protest, and human rights must remain paramount.
Please write to your MP to protest about any extension of the Coronavirus Act and Regulations due to be renewed and debated in Parliament for the very first time within 7 days of 26 September 2020. Complain to them about the assault on our freedoms and civil rights.
Thanks to everyone for their support. I vow to keep up the good fight - do not expect me to be silenced any time soon!!
Aug. 31, 2020
Arrested again! For organising the biggest anti-lockdown protest in the UK
On Saturday 29 August 2020, we had a hugely successful rally at Trafalgar Square in central London with well over 10,000 people attending and a number of excellent speakers. This was followed by a march to Downing Street. Everything passed off peacefully, but out of the blue I was suddenly arrested for breaching Regulation 5B which restricts gatherings, and which I was told had only come into force 24 hours earlier!
This arrest was completely unnecessary and arbitrary. I was told orders had come from "on high" - another example of political policing. I am the first person ever to be arrested under this new law - passed without any Parliamentary scrutiny.
I was detained for almost 10 hours until finally released in the early hours of the morning, having been interviewed by an officer seconded from Counter Terrorism Command. The Police have now reported me for being an organiser who allegedly failed to take appropriate measures to stop the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This is further attack on civil liberties. I will refuse to pay the £10,000 fine and take the matter to court. This will be my second major court battle - and another TEST CASE!
Let’s continue to fight for our freedoms, against the destruction of normal social and economic life, for a healthy society free from fear. No second lockdown, no ‘New World Order’ based on lies!
Aug. 31, 2020
MY DEFENCE STATEMENT
Aug. 31, 2020
Defence Statement Served
My Defence Statement was served on the Crown Prosecution Service and the Court on Friday 28 August 2020 - you can view it below.
My defence is essentially that the exercise of my right to protest should be a ‘reasonable excuse’ under the Regulations. It was also grossly unfair that anti-lockdown protestors were targeted by the Metropolitan police for arrest, while they ‘facilitated’ the Black Lives Matter protest - this is discriminatory “political policing.”
I now need to raise further funds for a QC to defend the case at trial on 23 October 2020 - it is very important that we win, not just for me but for all the other protestors who now have trials lined up in November and December on charges arising from the same protests in May 2020. I have therefore raised the target to £25,000.
Thanks to everyone who has contributed so far!
June 28, 2020
BAIL CONDITIONS VICTORY
Your support is already bringing results!
On 24 June, despite strong opposition from the Crown Prosecution Service and the Metropolitan Police the District Judge upheld our application to delete the bail condition not to enter the City of Westminster, imposed by Metropolitan Police on 30 May.
This condition was designed to stifle my right to protest in the political heart of the Capital.
The trial will now take place on 23 October 2020, and we urge any other protestors due to appear at court to ask for their cases to be adjourned until after this date. If we win then all other protest cases should be dropped!
Our CROWD FUND EXTENSION is to make this possible. Thank you one and all for great support!
June 17, 2020
THANK YOU ALL, KEEP IT UP!
Thank you very much for your contribution. We've had a tremendous response and are pressing on beyond the original limit into "stretch fund" to support others who are affected by this case and potential further actions such as a Judicial Review.
We are of course liasing with other case on the wider Lockdown issue.
For the latest on what's going on in the campaign look on twitter #StandUpX and follow @Piers_Corbyn
Do pass on the links to contribute and join action.
Thank you again!
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