The May Day event in Birmingham saw 14 arrests and 9 charged. Those charged included 5 comrades from the S26 Collective and 1 comrade from the SWP, who was arrested for wearing the wrong kind of trousers, apparently displaying a four letter word.
The gathering point of the demo was lively and good natured with lots of media interviews...however the police soon moved in, (by 'coincidence' almost as soon as the Collective appeared!), and started to block about 40 people within the convergence space. We later found out that another 150 people had turned up but were unable to get through the police lines.
The police presence was massive..about 60 police were corraling protesters, 4 or 5 riot vans parked near by and a van full of police dogs lurking around..as well as a mobile CCTV van!
The police soon issued a notice under section 14 of the public order act 1986...which demanded we march along their designated route. Obviously the designated route was well away from the public eye.
The demonstration started to move along the designated route and the police began to physically push the demonstrators into each other so that it became difficult to move. At this stage the police then arrested people for failure to comply with their order to move!
The S26 Collective sends a message of solidarity to all those who were arrested on May Day. We call for a broad working class based campaign against these laws..(even the official Trades Council demo we attended on May the 5th had to protest under police restrictions) contact us and let us fight back!
Brum S26 Collective