From Defend the Right to Protest:
Protest in support of Alfie Meadows on the first day of his re-trial, Monday 29th October, Woolwich Crown Court:
On the 9th December 2010, thousands of students took part in a national demonstration against £9K tuition fees.
Alfie Meadows came to protest against his philosophy department closing at the Middlesex University, as well as the trebling of fees and scrapping of EMA. He was struck so hard on the head with a police baton that he needed emergency brain surgery.
Alfie lost his university department and when he protested he received a life threatening injury. However, outrageously Alfie has been charged with violent disorder. This is part of a larger pattern of attacks on protests in which hundreds of students have been arrested, and scores either charged or sentenced to long terms in prison.
Although Alfie’s trial began on the 26th March 2012, the jurors failed to reach a verdict in his case, while three of his co-defendants were cleared of violent disorder.
The outcome of the trial means that Alfie’s struggle for justice is not over. But the trial itself has helped to expose the use of violent police tactics on protests, and the criminalisation of protesters, which need to be challenged.
Now, Alfie must once again face trial on the 29th October and we shall continue to support his fight for justice, demand that the charges be dropped, and will stand with him in solidarity outside the court on the 29th October.