Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/16221

Posted on 27 February 2013 at 15:58 GMT

Anti-cuts protester arrested for using his right to free speech

Support Michael Macdonald!

Rory Jobe

Saturday 16th February saw a massive demonstration against cuts in Newcastle with protesters turning out in their thousands.

However one unlikely face to walk past the demonstration was Nick Forbes, Labour leader of Newcastle council.

Upon his unexpected arrival, local youth worker and anti-cuts activist Michael Macdonald saw the opportunity to peacefully oppose the brutality of the cuts this man was attempting to implement against the people of Newcastle.

Michael ran over with two placards from the demonstration and stood in front of the disgraced councillor asking: "Have you seen this?"

In no way did he attempt to intimidate or threaten the councillor; he merely used his rights as a citizen to raise awareness of an issue that has massive effects on the city's people.

Indeed Michael had attended numerous budget consultation meetings with the Labour council and despite there being mass support for a no-cuts alternative he felt that the councillors had completely ignored public opinion.

Upon being shown the placards, Forbes' acquaintance asked: "Should I ring the police?" Michael continued to stand his ground despite this and in an attempt to appeal to the humanity of careerist Forbes, told him: "You have been made out to be a saviour in the press today when you've actually left us out to dry" (referring to the minimal concessions Forbes had made to his 90 million budget reduction on the eve of the protests).

Feeling that his point had been made Michael left the councillor to return to the demonstration. As he left, Forbes' acquaintance shouted "who's the big man now?" and Forbes commented "don't worry I know who he is", referring to the protester's employer.

Police arrive at house

Later that night at 10:15pm as Michael was at home with his six year old son he received a knock at the door from police informing him that he was being arrested under section 4 of the public order act.

They stated that he had "come across as threatening" when attempting to highlight the devastation Forbes was causing to the people who had elected him to represent their needs.

After four hours of questioning in the police station during which his son had been in the care of friends, his charge was lowered to a breach of section 5 of the public order act (causing alarm, harassment and distress).

He was issued a fixed penalty notice which he has returned to the court and will be fighting.

This sort of political policing is usually associated with authoritarian states, not with a party that according to its website represents "social justice, strong community values, decency and rights matched with responsibilities".

Therefore it is important for comrades to back the campaign not only for justice for Michael but to ensure we live in a society where we are free to disagree with authority and participate in the democratic process.

To back Michael's campaign or to read further about your rights please visit www.defencecampaign.wordpress.com where there is a link to the original article from the local press which sensationalises this "attack" on savage cutter, Forbes, and links to how you can help with this campaign.


This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 27 February 2013 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.






Related links:

Newcastle:

triangleSelling the Socialist

triangleAsda workers protest against worse contract

triangleDurham Miners' Gala

triangleA speaker at the youth climate change protest in Newcastle, 21.6.19, photo by Elaine Brunskill

triangleClimate change protest in London on 12.4.19, photo Mary Finch

Cuts:

triangleEquity manifesto lays out anti-austerity model for arts

triangleHuge opposition to Barry rehab ward closure

triangleCynical Tories' domestic violence bill not enough

triangleBromley libraries strikers proved right

Police:

triangleNorthern Ireland: Campaign mounts over historic sexual abuse allegations cover-up

triangleKnife and gun crime a product of poverty and austerity

triangleInterview: protests over killing in Israel

Labour:

triangleLabour and the fight for a shorter working week

triangleCorbyn promises 'power in the hands of workers' - how can Labour do it?

Budget:

triangleCouncil seeks to take budget deficit out on school staff and pupils

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

9/10/19

Caerphilly

Attacks on Caerphilly waste management workers

9/10/19

PCS

BEIS: Outsourced caterers' indefinite strike victory

9/10/19

York

York freshers success

9/10/19

Leeds

'The little people can win' - Leeds tenants push back demolition

9/10/19

Health

Huge opposition to Barry rehab ward closure

9/10/19

Waltham Forest

Waltham Forest: mobilisation needed to defend abortion rights

9/10/19

Socialism

Socialism 2019: why I'm going... and why you should too!

9/10/19

Socialist Party

Best way to fight back? Join the Socialist Party

9/10/19

Socialism

Socialism: The alternative to capitalist austerity, low pay and crisis

9/10/19

Unison

Unison's retired members reflect growing anger

9/10/19

RMT

Vote for socialist fighter Jared Wood in RMT elections

9/10/19

Equity

Equity manifesto lays out anti-austerity model for arts

9/10/19

Birmingham

Birmingham HS2 protest against bosses' attacks on trade union organisation

9/10/19

Royal Mail

Vote yes to Royal Mail strike action to take on the bullying bosses

9/10/19

Usdaw

Sainsbury's strikers win

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999