The incident, which involved an alleged attempt to conceal a digital camera memory card, took place when Mr Viesnik was being searched under section 44 of the Terrorism Act, a power often inappropriately used against peaceful protesters. The court in the original trial heard how the defendant had been photographing Ms Irene Willis's silent lone vigil for the victims of the arms trade outside the gates of Downing Street in Whitehall last September, during the Defence Systems & Equipment International (DSEi) arms fair, sponsored by the UK Ministry of Defence, which is held every two years at the ExCel centre in London’s Docklands http://www.dsei.co.uk/ .
Mr Viesnik is determined to take a stand against police repression:
"Police harassment, intimidation and violence against activists, their supporters, civilian witnesses and journalists, both independent and mainstream, reporting on contentious political activities continues unabated, with abuse of anti-terrorism and public order powers commonplace. Clearly the need to defend our civil liberties is greater than ever, and it is up to people like me to do it through action and not simply words."
The appeal hearing is due to begin on Thursday 7 August, at 10am. Mr Viesnik will be represented by Ms Felicity Williams of Doughty Street Chambers, briefed by Bindmans (funded by legal aid). Support and media presence at court is welcome. The court is located very close to Tower Bridge and City Hall. The address is:
Southwark Crown Court
1 English Grounds
(off Battlebridge Lane)
(Nearest tube: London Bridge or Tower Hill)
Report on the original action: http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2007/09/381114.html
Report on Irene's trial, where the charge against her was dismissed: http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2007/12/387326.html
e-mail: dviesnik at yahoo dot co dot uk