A number of defendants appeared at Stratford Magistrtates in London Throughout the morning and early afternoon on Tuesday 16th 2003.
12 people representing themselves, were charged with obstruction of a highway (West entrance to Exel Building) on Tuesday 9th (Disarm Dswei day) as a result of a sit down action. They have arranged for their group to be tried as a whole rather than as individuals and have all entered a plea of not guilty. They have been told to keep their diaries free for Nov-Jan and were given unconditional bail.
1 person from the Sheffield samba band who was also arrested for obstruction of a highway is being tried separately as he was arrested slightly earlier on Tues 9th and in a different place. He too has entered a plea of not guilty and will he heard on the 18th November in Stratford Magistrates at 1.30pm. He would like support at the court as he is also without legal representation, if people are free to go along. On Tuesday he was supported by a Mackenzie’s friend* (see below)
2 arrestees from Cardiff, also for Obstruction of a highway – as a result of locking on to a car in the road, pleaded guilty. Although this plea was more because they can’t afford to keep going backwards and forwards between Wales and London for the next 6 months. They both received conditional discharges.
1 woman from the London samba band who was arrested for common assault (to a police officer) has had her case adjourned to the above mentioned magistrates Tuesday 23rd at 9.30am, as the police haven’t found her file. She plans to plead not guilty and should be in court around the end of the year.
All of the above were arrested as a result of actions on “Fluffy Dsei Day” Tuesday 9th.
1 Defendant from Manchester received a conditional discharge for the charge of Sec. 5 of the Public Order Act…of causing alarm and distress. He ran into the grounds of Buckingham Palace during the changing of the guards, to hand out anti Dsei flyers!! He also wasn’t entitled to legal representation, so was supported by a Mackenzie’s Friend.
1 other male demonstrator was heard for Assaulting a police officer, obstruction of a highway and something else. Not entirely sure of the outcome, but it looked like the case was adjourned.
Other judicial information is that I person from the Turin samba band who was arrested on Thursday in front of the Lancaster Gate Hotel where the Dsei merchants were being wined and dined. He is in Horseferry Road Magistrates on Friday 19th charged with some really jumped up scapegoat stuff: ABH, Assualting a police officer, affray, obstruction of the highway and possession of an offensive weapon. He would really appreciate some support as hasn't been able to return to Italy since Dsei.
2 people who were also arrested from the die-in in Leceister Sq on Thurs 11th will be in Leceister Square Court on Nov 18th
The Claimants (Police) seemed to be surprise, surprise completely incapable of having any paperwork ready to sort the cases out. There has been some talk about organising a Dsei defendants group, for all those arrested or affected by the arrests. Anyone interested?
*NB. A Mackenzie's friend is someone who sits in the witness box with the defendant and advises them if they are unable to have other legal representation. They aren't allowed to speak directly to the court, but can say whatever to the defendant. It is good if at some point you are being tried alone and bricking it, or just because it's really easy to get flustered and forget what you wanted to say and they can remind you and make suggestions. I'm sure there's more, please add if you know.