Peter Jolly's Circus have a reputation for intimidation and violence. At a Walsall protest members of the circus came out and had harassed protesters.
The police response to this was not to act against the circus, but instead to act against the protesters. The next day's protest saw officers forcing activists to protest from the opposite side of a main road, threatening that if "any problems occur, arrests would be made".
Police had also said to activists "you shouldn't be here anyway!".
Activists disagreed with the police's actions, believing they were dealing with the situation incorrectly; acting against the wrong people and limiting the effectiveness of the protest, trying to repress campaigners.
Activists could not even cross the road partially in order to hand people leaflets, without police threatening them with arrest and forcing them back over to the opposite side of the road.
Two activists then took to the other side of the road, wanted to question the police's grounds and reasons for their actions and debate the situation.
Officers approached activists and one was escorted back to the other side of the road, however short conversation between the other activist and the police officer ended up in a swift, heavy-handed and wrongful arrest.
Officer: "Move immediatly. You're on private property"
Activist: "This is a grass verge by a main road, are you sure it isn't public?"
Officer: "It's to prevent a breach of the peace."
Activist: "How would I be breaching the peace or a risk of doing so if I am simply stood here with a placard and some leaflets?"
The officer then heavy-handedly arrested the protester, whom was held in a police cell for 24 hours.
Charged with a breach of the peace, the CPS offered a bindover.
The activist pled not guilty to the charge, and rejected the bindover.
The CPS's response to this, was to then not only charge the activist with a breach of the peace, but also obstruction of a highway or passage and obstruction of a police officer.
Again the activist pled not guilty to all the charges.
Legal-Aid was refused twice and the activist was to represent himself in court at trial (with support of others).
However a day before the trial, the CPS dropped all of the charges and discontinued the case.
This is a clear example of scare and intimidation tactics being used by the police, however it also just goes to show that it's always good to be clued up on the law and your rights, to stand your ground and to fight police-bullying. Accepting guilt for a lawful action would be allowing the police to walk over us, they must not be let to think they can get away with such.