5 February 2013News

Student protestors Alfie Meadows and Zak King face a third trial for taking part in a  demonstration on 9 December 2010 against the trebling of university tuition fees, the scrapping of the Educational Maintenance Allowance and other attacks on public education.

The protestors that day suffered ‘kettling’ (mass detention), charges by police horses and baton attacks. Alfie required emergency brain surgery after being struck by a police baton.

Like many others, Zak and Alfie were arrested and charged with serious public order offences. Some cases have resulted in prison sentences, including one of 12 months for a student for merely waving a placard stick. However, where students pleaded not guilty and described police brutality on the day,…

1 December 2012News in Brief

Just 11 of the 182 cyclists arrested in London in July for taking part in a Critical Mass bike ride are facing trial (see PN 2549). The 11 are being tried in February under the Public Order Act (1986).


17 October 2012News in Brief

On 19 September, Italy's supreme criminal court, the 'court of cassation', upheld abduction and 'rendition to torture' convictions against 23 Americans, all but one CIA officers. The charges related to an Egyptian imam, Osama Mustapha Nasr, abducted from Italy to Egypt in 2003 and held for four years before being released. The court also ordered €1.5m in damages to be paid to Nasr and his wife. The Italian government may now seek extradition of the 23.

17 October 2012News in Brief

The US government is still allowed legally to detain suspected terrorists indefinitely, after a ruling by the US court of appeals on 2 October. A lower court order had earlier barred indefinite detention under the National Defense Authorization Act.

The court of appeals has allowed the US president to continue detaining indefinitely anyone 'who was a part of or substantially supported' al-Qa'eda, the Taliban or 'associated forces'.

17 October 2012News in Brief

On 21 September, the US justice department released the names of 55 men held at the Guantánamo detention centre on Cuba, who have been cleared for release.

On the list were British residents Shaker Aamer and Ahmed Belbacha. A previous request for this was rejected in 2009, so the disclosure, while not signalling any imminent releases, is being seen as a positive step.

25 September 2012News in Brief

On 17 September, the Metropolitan police finally fired the police officer who hit passerby Ian Tomlinson with a baton and pushed him to the ground during protests against the G20 in London in April 2009.

Despite the fact that a inquest jury found in May 2011 that Ian Tomlinson had been unlawfully killed by a police officer, PC Simon Harwood was…

25 September 2012News

Two local fishermen have died protesting against the activation of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu, India.

On 10 September, local fisherman Anthony John, 44, was shot dead by Indian police while taking part in a blockade protesting against the completion of a nuclear power plant in Kudankulam in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

Two 1GW reactors have been built on the site and were being loaded with uranium fuel as PN went to press: the authorities plan to build a further four 1GW reactors on the site.

The protests were organised by the People’s Movement Against Nuclear…

2 July 2012News in Brief

The 169 men held in the US Guantánamo Bay detention centre in Cuba, including 87 cleared for release, can no longer challenge their indefinite detention without trial.

That is the effect of a US supreme court ruling handed down on 21 June, refusing to uphold a previous ruling in 2008, while giving no reasons.

In 2008, the supreme court gave Guantánamo prisoners the right to challenge the lawfulness of their detention under habeas corpus. Subsequently, lower courts whittled away…

2 July 2012News in Brief

A recently-declassified memo indicates that the British government gave British soldiers a ‘licence to kill’ in Northern Ireland. The memo records a meeting on 10 July 1972 between then-secretary of state for Northern Ireland, William Whitelaw, the top army commander in Northern Ireland, the deputy chief constable and senior civil servants.

The 10 July meeting discussed the army’s strategy in Northern Ireland, noting that Whitelaw would announce the government’s intention to carry on…

26 May 2012Blog entry

An overnight peace vigil tests how the new law restricting protest around Parliament is being enforced - or not.

Following long-term Parliament Square peace campaigner Maria Gallastegui's unsuccessful High Court challenge of the blanket ban (literally) on 'sleeping equipment', tents and other structures in Parliament Square under the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act (PRASRA) 2011 (Part 3), which came into force last December, resulting in the removal on 3rd May of her last peace box and tent (Maria has since lodged an appeal with the Court of Appeal), Maria has continued to sleep…

4 May 2012Blog entry

On 3 May the police removed the remaining peace box, tent and other items of Maria Gallastegui's Peacestrike protest in Parliament Square after an injunction against the enforcement of the new restrictions on protest was lifted. Below are images of the peace boxes, inside and out, from the last year, and an update on the current situation.

see A SOCPA victory and the blanket ban and Parliament Square Peace Camp resists eviction

The remaining peace box on the morning before it was removed by police.

Maria has been protesting 24/…

3 May 2012Blog entry

Simon Moore, the first person to be served with an ASBO relating to the Oympics, was in court again today. 

Simon was served the Anti Social Behaviour Order after he was convicted for public order offences defending common land at Leyton Marsh against development for Olympic baseball courts.

The ASBO prohibits him from going within 100 yards of an Olympic venue or route, obstructing any Olympic participant - including officials and spectators, going onto any private land without permission of the owner, and from disrupting the Jubilee or Olympics events. (See more:…

27 April 2012Feature

The police continue to prevent journalists doing their job


21 March, Parliament Square photo: Rikki

While documenting Budget Day protests in central London on 21 March, I wandered across Parliament Square and was accosted by two ‘Heritage Wardens’ warning me that the grass was out of bounds. As Boris’s fences have finally been removed so that the public can once more enjoy this historic space, I refused to leave, and the police were summoned.

27 April 2012News

On 18 April, US federal authorities seized a server in New York belonging to Riseup, a radical internet service provider.

Over 300 email accounts, between 50-80 email lists, and several websites were taken off the internet by the FBI action.

27 April 2012News

The national domestic extremism unit has failed to impose anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs) on two Catholic peace activists, during a trial arising from a demonstration to mark the anniversary of the Afghan war (see PN 2539).

The application cited 14 times over the past 21 years when Chris Cole had been arrested at protests involving spray paint or bolt-croppers. It sought to ban him from the City of…