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Interview with Simon, at anti-repression action in Edinburgh, 17.7.2003

ab | 18.07.2003 16:34 | Anti-racism | Free Spaces | Repression

Simon was arrested on the 17th of july at an anti-war demonstration.
also see for more background information on the actions and the audio interview with Mark Ballard here:
There are also more pictures in bigger file-sizes to see at:

The court cases are coming up now relating to anti-war events.

Here is a short interview with Simon, charged with incitement to racial hatred becuase of the flag he was carrying at the anti-war demo on the 22nd of march.
Unfortunately the circumstances made the interview quite short, and we were not able to take it up later, there are so many more questions open.



Hide the following 4 comments

Solidarity with anti war protester fitted up

20.07.2003 11:45

Simon is innocent as charged. He did not incite racial hatred. We should put pressure on powers that be to drop the charges.

But I fear the 'freedom of speech' call that Simon uses is not his best defence.

As far as courts and the law goes it does not really work as a defense.

As far as building support goes it does not work.

Few people except BNP supporters rallied to support David Wilson of the BNP when he was charge with inciting racial hatred despite him using freedom of speech arguments to gain support.

In fact more people demonstrated out site court calling for bigger sentence. I was tempted to organise a demo calling for David to be released to we could hang him ourselves. We must deal with BNP ourselves and not encourage the courts.

Bascially mentioning freedom of speech arguements is just make people who support you anyway feel more justified in doing so. it does not bring in more supporters.

Simon is better to point out how he is an artist and a comedian and his parading down Princes Street with the flag and other garb on March 22nd was an art action, and did not incite racial hatred, it just made him very visable. And the whole demo was winding up the special branch and Simon being a very visable part wound them up enough for them to attack him.

I wonder Aaron Barschak would have got off so lightly if he had pushed freedom of speech defence rather than I just wanted the publicity but it went so wrong and I am sorry.
No that I am saying Simon should say sorry for winding up some nutty special branch officers, but he should push the I am a comic artist who makes people think but does not incite line.

The demo came at end of week of daily mayhem in the town centre as 1000s of many youth disrupted biz as usual and the police arresting often the one or two adults they could find in mists of youth. The weekend demo was big and more adults attended, the police were wound up that things might escalate more, but the demo organisers had assured them it would not and did there best to keep people in order.

Simon arrest lead to things really kicking off, with several detentions by the police but in end most were released at scene, 6 were arrested and 5 were held over night, and only Simon charged next day.

Of others arrested at many demos most not been charge and yet to hear, with it been less likely as time goes on. Other cases have been heard from anti war protest arrests such as attempting to free a prisoner which resulted in a 200 pound fine, which is much less than feared.

I myself at the time and now am uncomfortable with Simon with his putting of swastika on US flag comparing bush with Third Reich Regime as this diminishes the horror and the crimes of the Third Reich. ( and despite people pointing out that the swastika was reverse of nazi one, I don't think Simon was pointing out Bushs support for the re-actionary Falun Gong or oppresive Hindi cults, or just put it there as decoration and nor will a judge or jury).
In fact indymedia uk has a general editorial line against comparing Israel to the Third Reich ie all post that use word 'Zionazi' hidden. It is poor analysis anyway.

But this is a question for with our movement and debate amoungest ourselves. We should support him as a comrade arrested trying to stop the war.

I myself have a T shirt which bougfht as presenmt that has Union Jack colours and design with Big Ben with a Swastika on clock face. I don't where it out and about. It would have been fitting to where at this demo when offering ourselve for arrest but I choose not. I just carried the post card Mark Thomas has had printed with stylised version of simons flag.

But one has to understand that waving this postcard flag out side police station at this time not same as Simon's in ya face partcipation in the demo of 22nd. I was glad he was there despite my doubts about message in his flag, he entertained us as we caused trouble on Princes Street.

The police took him like others as they lost control of themselves due to them feeling lose of control of us. What is most important to them: maintaining order and biz as usual.

They then found they had Simon back at police station and realised they better justify them selves with this trumped up charge. There were to many witnesses including CCTV to fitting him up on attacking the police rather than other way round, as they would usually. Another charge I am guessing they hoped to use is not clear in Scottish law and thus Prosecutor Fiscal told police off limits. It was brought in as part of UK wide modification to English law.

It is a crazy charge and pressure must be brought to bear for it to be dropped.

Support Simon and all others in court for the stop the war actions.

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21.07.2003 10:13

Apologies for cross posting, but the BNP analogy simply doesn't work because AMERICANS ARE SIMPLY NOT A RACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Besides, when was the last time the editor of the Sun was arrested for provoking "racism" against the French?


Freedom of speech

21.07.2003 23:37


If you are reffering to drawing people to fact that when the BNP use 'freedom of speech' arguements and it does not help them or appeal wider support, then I think you missed the point.

The point is if Simon wishes to invoke freedom of speech as a defense and reason to support him, it does not matter what he said that is point of 'freedom of speech' it is about supporting everyones right to put out material into market place of ideas, where they can be rationally considered against others.

The worse dictator support freedom of speech for those he agrees with.

If one differenciates between people calls for freedom of speech based on what they are defending saying then it is no longer a freedom of speech arguement.

I do believe in supporting Simon on facts of the case and on grounds of anti war solidarity; not on freedom of speech grounds, and I think that is wider case with others too.

So one can say there is a big differance on grounds that I and I guess you support him, with that of BNP, but not on grounds of a general 'freedom of speech' defence.

In the case of BNP incitement verdict on facts of case as law stands there was clearly a guilty mind and potencial chain of events to incite hatred, eg given area leaflet delivered to.

There is no such case here, and more mileage in that then a freedom of speech defense.

I should make clear I am just reacting to the mentioning of freedom of speech by Simon ion the interview and this is just one point he makes and the campaign has focused on absurbity of this case.


War-Time Imprisonment U.S.A. for Innocent Citizens (Free Art and Music)

06.08.2003 04:23

C 4 Ur $elf
C 4 Ur $elf

War and imprisonment has gone rampant. The U.S.A. has become a battle zone with the government, known sometimes as Big Brother, but more often, The Beast, imprisoning, killing, and stealing from those who get in the way of a bureaucratic New American Rainbow Nazi Coalition member.

Free Art and Music is at the site. Best of Luck. You are fighting an uphill battle with the "Trailer Park Thugs" who dominate the higher levels of government in the USA, and without a doubt, a few in the UK.

Can I get a British citizenship with those deportation papers SS potato head?

Senor X
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