EMERGENCY PROTEST FRIDAY: JAILED FOR PROTESTING AGAINST ISRAELI WAR CRIMES

From: Natasha
Sent on: Thursday, February 25, 2010 2:57 PM
DEFEND THE RIGHT TO PROTEST SUPPORT THE GAZA PROTESTORS

WHERE:
ISLEWORTH CROWN COURT
36 Ridgeway Road, Isleworth TW7 5LP
(nearest tube Osterley on the Piccadilly Line)

TIME: 9.30AM

(FOR THOSE WHO WOULD LIKE TO MEET UP AND THE TRAIN STATION IN THE MORNING PLEASE EMAIL NATASHA)

Young people who took part in the mass demonstrations against
Israel's attack on Gaza in January 2009 are being handed down
jail sentences for minor offenses. A protest has been called
this Friday 26 February at Isleworth Crown Court and there
will be a public meeting, open to all, in Parliament next
Tuesday 2 March (PLEASE SEE CALENDAR)

Friday's protest and Tuesday's public meeting will be in
support of those now being treated so harshly by the courts,
and to defend our democratic right of protest.

Israel's barbarism -- which devastated Gaza and left 1400 dead
-- brought tens of thousands on to London's streets, including
the demonstration of over 100,000 on 10 January 2009.

Numerous complaints were made about police aggressive
behavior on the Gaza demonstrations. Thousands of protesters
were 'kettled' -- illegally held for hours and only released
after the police had obtained their names and addresses.

In the months that followed the demonstrations, over 90
protesters were arrested -- most of them Muslims, many of them
teenagers, often in intimidating dawn raids. More than seventy
of those arrested were charged with disorder offenses.

The courts are now hearing these cases. The defendants
pleading guilty are being tried first and the sentences have
been draconian. The judge has made clear that he is issuing
deterrent sentences.

We are seeing first-time offenders receiving two and a half
years imprisonment for minor offenses which would not normally
face custodial sentences.

It is hard not to conclude that this is a concerted attempt by
the police and judiciary to criminalize protest, intimidating
in particular young Muslims.

Meanwhile, there has been no investigation into the aggressive
and often violent policing on the Gaza demonstrations, despite
the high level of complaints.

And while these young people are facing years in prison for
protesting against Israel's war crimes, no one is being held
to account for those crimes, which have been fully documented
by reports from the United Nations, Amnesty International,
Human Rights Watch and others.

FOR MORE BACKGROUND TO THE COURT CASES, GO TO:
http://bit.ly/daqyC7

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