There have been several cases recently under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act (SOCPA) mostly connected with last October's “No More Fallujahs” Parliament Square peace camp.
On 18 May, Milan Rai and I were convicted in the same trial of both organising and participating in unauthorised demonstrations near Parliament. We were fined #100 each, with no court costs. Ten other defendants from “No More Fallujahs” went to court on 23 May, just for “participating in an unauthorised demonstration”. Steve Barnes, Brian Barlow, Genny Bove and Rob Clohesy pleaded “not guilty”, and go to trial on 14 September.
Gabriel Carlyle and Jan Smith pleaded “guilty” to get their cases out of the way, and were each fined #100 - with #60 court costs!
On 12 June, Martin Newell (see p10) was found guilty in his absence although he was sitting just outside the court. Martin was asked to pay even more - a #100 fine and #200 costs!
On 19 June, Adam Twine's case was dismissed because there was “not enough evidence”, though it was identical to all the others.
Meanwhile, Helen John and Sylvia Boyes are on trial on 7 September under SOCPA for trespassing at the Menwith Hill spy base in April 2006. They face up to a year in prison and a #5,000 fine.