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8 November 2017

Sheffield trees campaigner sentenced to prison

Sheffield Socialist Party

Sheffield trees campaigner Calvin Payne was sentenced to three months in prison, suspended for one year, on 3 November for breaking a High Court injunction obtained by the Labour council to try to prevent direct action.

On 27 October, Green Party councillor Alison Teal was found not guilty of breaking the High Court order and costs of 64,000 were awarded against the council. A third named protester did not appear in court after signing an undertaking not to undertake further protests.

The council applied for 32,000 costs against Calvin but the judge only awarded half against him. These legal proceedings alone have cost Sheffield council taxpayers 80,000 plus all the undeclared costs of surveillance, evidence gathering, private detectives and so on.

And for what? To try to intimidate campaigners from carrying out peaceful civil disobedience against private finance initiative (PFI) contractor Amey's profit-driven felling of roadside trees.

It really is a comment on the role of a right-wing Labour council carrying out cuts and privatisation that Calvin feels that he was treated more fairly by a High Court judge than Sheffield council!

Calvin recently wrote an article in the Socialist about the council's threat to campaigners.