By New Worker correspondent
Campaigners showed their support for arrested students and anti-cuts protesters outside Westminster City Court in London on Saturday. The protest was organised by the Defend the Right to Protest campaign in support of those arrested at Fortnum & Mason occupation in Piccadilly during the TUC anti-cuts demonstration on 26th March and students arrested on the previous anti fees protest.
Activists were told by a senior police officer during the Fortnum & Mason occupation that they would not be detained if they ended their occupation. But they were promptly arrested when they left the building. Police later confirmed that the arrests were for intelligence gathering purposes.
The police originally charged 138 people with aggravated trespass. All their mobile phones, which contained details of secure networks and email accounts used to mobilise and organise actions, were confiscated.
The Defend the Right to Protest campaign is demanding that all prosecutions brought against protesters be dropped and that an inquiry be held into the process that has led to punitive sentences being meted out by the judiciary to those already convicted.