At the regular weekly demo last Saturday, the police arrested one of the protestors.
Below is an abridged version, via the Merseyside Animal Rights mailing list, from the person who was arrested. I’m not going to identify the individual, haven’t got permission to publish his experience but I hope they will not mind because it highlights what sort of treatment the people who are staging the demo’s are going through.
To last Saturday afternoon then…
“Just in case people don’t know, I was arrested yesterday at Cricket for ‘witness intimidation’. The officer who arrested me, …. , turned up and was immediately being aggressive, pointing his finger in my face and raising his voice. After refusing to leave the area as I didn’t consider being there witness intimidation, I was taken to the police van, where, out of sight of the camera, the officer started to insult us, calling us little people without jobs annoying people who are paying taxes. After not saying anything in reply, the officer then slammed the doors to the van on me and I was taken into the police station…
…. I spent 5 hours in the cell and did an interview which was based on them telling me that I was told to stay away from the area, but I came back anyway. The reason I had to stay away from the area was that I was summonsed to court for using a megaphone, and the people in the shop put in a complaint against me….
… I was told I would be summonsed to court for the use of the megaphone on the 7th April (although I’d not actually been summonsed). The officer who arrested me told the sergeant my summons was being processed earlier that day….
…The staff in Cricket said they all feel harrassed and intimidated by me being there…
…When I was released from the cell I was told that I was almost kept in the cell till Monday, when I would appear at the Crown court and could have served time in prison if found guilty. If I go back to Cricket now, I will have to serve time in prison for harrassment. My situation now is that I’m on bail and have to go back on the 17th of July. They are collecting evidence in the form of CCTV. Since I’ve not denied being in the area, I don’t know what the CCTV footage is going to add to the case. I was filmed by cricket, and so if that evidence is used it will show what I was saying, which was not aimed at the staff of Cricket….”
So on Monday there will be another demo outside of the Cricket shop today from Midday. So if you have some time, if you are in the City any time today, stop by and show your support. Help to show people that it is not illegal to protest, to hold a lawful demonstration.
Don’t be intimidated, speak up. As the person who was arrested wrote: “…they can’t just get away with bullying us and threatening us with prison for doing peaceful demonstrations against animals being killed for fashion.”
Previously...May 19th: It’s Just Not Cricket