Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/13255
'Not guilty' - support for Cardiff activists
Jaime Davies, Socialist Party Wales
On 11 November six Occupy Cardiff activists were arrested by South Wales police, simply for exercising their right to protest peacefully.
Two activists, Jason and Eric, were charged and brought to Cardiff magistrate's court on 28 November.
Occupiers left their new camp outside Transport House, Welsh headquarters of Unite the Union, to show support for Jason and Eric outside the court.
Almost as soon as the "Defend the Right to Protest: Occupy Cardiff" banner was unravelled, support was given from passers-by and beeping car horns.
Jason then led chants of: "What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!"
In a great show of solidarity, activists from Occupy Bristol also made the journey to Cardiff.
After about 45 minutes of energetic protest, the court was ready to start and allowed around 25 activists to 'Occupy' its seats.
Proceedings lasted a mere five minutes. Both Jason and Eric pleaded not guilty to the charge of breaking the public order act.
The trial was adjourned to 8 February. Eric was given unconditional bail and Jason received bail on the condition that he did not go near Cardiff Castle, the original Occupy Cardiff site.
Cardiff city council should have supported their right to peaceful protest instead of wasting money on the trial. The council used a 136 year old by-law to withdraw the right of access to the land.
Additonal information from Edmund Schluessel:
Occupy Cardiff remains strong and growing, with peaceful protesters in the old Tax Offices, Westgate Street, working hard to restore the building, which has long lain fallow, to a state of usefulness for the whole public.
South Wales Police entered the building yesterday afternoon, baselessly claiming the occupiers had broken into and burgled the building, but left, unable to find any evidence of criminal activity.
Occupiers are receiving legal training and are working hard to turn dead capital into communal property for the benefit of all.
This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 29 November 2011 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.