Sun, 30 Sep 2007

It will never happen to you. Take 234

There's no need to commit a crime to have a brush with the law, and it seems to get easier every day. Please do take care to avoid train stations when using a Freedom Pass (free transport for over 60 and disable residents in London), avoid looking at the Police officers surrounding you when having a pint and of course do look at any officers by the entrance of a tube station straight in the eyes.

On 2007-09-13, Pacifist Gwyn Gwyntopher, 66 years old, was arrested by the British Transport Police at the Excel Centre Dockland Light Railway (DLR) station. She was wearing on her back a poster that said ‘Remember the victims of the arms trade’, and it was visible to the arm dealers selling their wares at the DSEi arms fair. Her husband Chris recounts (via Kathz blog):
She was then dragged along the ground to the lift. In considerable pain she appealed to the police to take the handcuffs off. They declined. When her husband Chris Gwyntopher came up the stairs to find out what had happened to her she appealed to him to get the police to remove the handcuffs. He tried to persuade the officers to do so, pointing out that she would not harm anybody and would not seek to run away. They refused and pulled him away from her.

She was charged with trespassing on DLR station and refusing to leave. She had her freedom pass on her and was ready to leave, in the direction of the Excel She was offered bail on the condition she did not go on the Docklands Light Railway until her court appearance. She refused to accept this condition. She was transferred to Forest Gate Police Station and held overnight to appear before Stratford Magistrates on Friday 14/9/07.

At about nearly midday Friday, the Magistrate heard her plea of not guilty. She was bailed to appear for trial on Monday November 5th at 9.30 am with a pre-trial review the afternoon of Thursday 4th October at the Magistrates Court, 389-397 High Street, Stratford E15. Supporters welcome The bail conditions were that she not go on DLR land or the Excel Centre until midday Saturday 15th September. She was not required to accept or sign to keep the conditions which would have prevented her communicating with the arms traders.
On 2007-09-26, Bob Hamlen, 47, and Michael Burbidge, 31 were stopped and searched as they sat on a bench outside the Westcliff Tavern in West Cliff Road, Bournemouth. The pub patio overlooks the security checkpoint at the entrance to the Highcliff Marriott Hotel where Labour politicians are staying during this week's party conference. Bob was interviewed by the Bournemouth Echo (via UK Liberty):
"I was carrying my disabled bus pass but it didn't make any difference. I needed to go to the toilet and an officer went with me in case I escaped. After radioing through the information, they asked us to accompany them, in separate police cars, to the police station.

"It was very embarrassing because some of our friends were sitting nearby. Michael suffers from stress and was getting very agitated.

"They said the reason I was being taken to the police station was because I had been seen passing a white envelope.

"But all I did was take my post out of my jacket pocket and open an electricity bill.

"On Michael's stop and search form they said they wanted to speak to him, under the Terrorism Act, because he had been looking at a police officer.
Act now. Refuse to be terrorised.

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