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From The Socialist newspaper, 10 September 2008

Protest against harassment!

Issue 546 of The Socialist reported that Socialist Party member Tony Aitman was arrested for so-called "wilful obstruction", ie selling the paper and collecting petition signatures in Liverpool's Church Street.

A protest was called for last Saturday to show that we will not take this harassment of political activists lying down. The arrest is part of a series of threats and harassment by the police and council wardens. Only a few weeks ago, one of our young members was threatened with arrest for giving out Love Music, Hate Racism leaflets!

Despite the short notice, the 'mass stall' was a great success. Six different groups, and many individuals, came out to defy the attempts to prevent free speech and to show solidarity. The Church Street crowds were swelled by hundreds coming in to see the giant mechanical spider unleashed as part of the City of Culture celebrations. They were met by a long line of stalls down the centre of the street campaigning against rising food and fuel prices, against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, against animal testing and against the blockade of Cuba.

The two stalls run by the Socialist Party and the Campaign for a New Workers' Party were the most colourful and lively, with a tremendous turnout by Socialist Party members to show we would not be intimidated. Our two petitions, one on rising food and fuel prices, the other on the right to free speech and to campaign were met with anger and disbelief - anger at a system that allows prices to rise in the way that they have, and disbelief that someone could be arrested for daring to campaign on the issue. The only criticism was from someone who was surprised Tony was arrested for political activity rather than the state of his beard - and who then gave a campaign donation! In all, 29 copies of The Socialist were sold and a further 21 campaign donations collected.

This response shows the police and the council that we will not be intimidated off the streets. We may have to hold further protests such as this - but the campaign will continue. Please send messages of protest to the council leader at warren.bradley@liverpool.gov.uk and to the Merseyside Police Authority chair at bill.weightman@knowsley.gov.uk.

Send support and copy protests to lynnewild@blueyonder.co.uk.
Merseyside Socialist Party

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In The Socialist 10 September 2008:

Housing Crisis: Brown has no answers


War and occupation

End the wars and occupations

USA: Defying police, students walk out against the Republican national convention


Socialist Party editorial

US mortgage bank nationalisation - sign of deepening crisis


Scotland

Scotland council tax to be scrapped

Scotland: Council pay battle at critical stage


Socialist Party workplace news

Workers' anger surfaces at TUC

London bus workers inspired by strike

Fighting for decent pensions

In brief


Socialism 2008

Come to Socialism 2008!


Socialist Party campaigns

May Day detainees fight for justice

No to post office closures

Boom to bust in Cardiff Bay

Fans pay for the success of the 'beautiful game'

Protest against harassment!


Socialist Students

Fighting start to freshers fairs

Young workers ripped off

Bangor University students union fees referendum


Environment and socialism

Can we have 'the right to travel' - without adding to climate change?


Socialist Party review

Richard Dawkins: The genius of Charles Darwin, (Channel 4)


International socialist news and analysis

Thailand in grip of political deadlock


 

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