HJA was delighted to secure the acquittal of an activist who had been accused of assaulting the police during the Climate Change March on 7 March 2015. The prosecution collapsed after the police failed to produce any witnesses at court that could confirm that any assault had taken place.
Raj Chada (1) who had been defending the activist expressed concern about police tactics during demonstrations
“Too often, people who are legitimately exercising their right to free speech end up being arrested. This acquittal follows on from more than 50 people being arrested at the Westfield Shopping Centre in December – with hardly any prosecutions. We will be looking at those Westfield arrests to see if anyone has any action against the police” (2)
Raj will be speaking at a Roundtable Conference organised by Defend the Right to Protest on Thursday 11 June 2015 about police tactics at protests(3). Raj commented that
“Bearing in mind the new disclosures about police brutality in the US, that are happening on an almost daily basis, it is a good time to examine where we are heading in the UK – particularly for demonstrations”
(1) Raj Chada heads the Protest Law Team at HJA
(2) If anyone wants further advice about the Westfield arrests, then please contact Susie Labinjoh on 0207 8745 8466
(3) Defend the Right was launched in response to police tactics at the student protests in Nov/Dec 2010, with the support of activists, MPs , trade unionists and other group. They campaign against police brutality, kettling and the use of violence against those who have a right to protest. The roundtable “Protest, Policing and Civil Rights – Where are we heading” is set for Thursday 11 June at 6pm.