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From The Socialist newspaper, 18 October 2017

Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

Sheffield trees protest, February 2017, photo by Alistair Tice

Sheffield trees protest, February 2017, photo by Alistair Tice   (Click to enlarge)

Calvin Payne, Sheffield trees campaigner

Two months have passed since Sheffield's Labour council won a High Court injunction against peaceful protesters fighting the felling of thousands of street trees in the city. The injunction prevents people from entering or remaining within work areas on the street but also attempts to restrict online posting on the subject.

Since then a growing number of campaigners have been protesting around the terms of the injunction, including breaking the court order. Many protesters have disguised themselves and continued peacefully preventing the felling programme from being carried out.

This period has also seen an escalation of oppressive measures against the campaign. Sheffield council has spent thousands of pounds on 'evidence gatherers' who attend protests filming and recording but also following people home from protests, filming people arriving and leaving and monitoring Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Recently one of these evidence gatherers made an unfounded accusation of assault which saw a pensioner held in police custody until video footage showed that no such incident occurred. A campaign of direct action has been going on for over two years and, despite 14 arrests and charges, no-one has been convicted of anything as a result.

On 27 October myself and others will attend Sheffield Combined Court to hear the latest allegations of injunction breaking against us and have a trial date fixed. Contempt of court carries a prison sentence and our Labour council is requesting this course of action from the court.

All of this stems from a secret 25-year 2.2 billion PFI contract between Sheffield council and Amey which has only been seen by a small number of senior officials. We fight on to prevent the ecological destruction but also to end the imposing of such secretive contracts for multinational firms to run public services in Sheffield and across the country.

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In The Socialist 18 October 2017:


What we think

Tories torn - bin them now


Socialist Party news and analysis

Schools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now

Young people being strangled by debts

Tories scrap the NHS pay cap: now fight for real-terms pay rises!

Obesity epidemic: end food market anarchy

What we saw


Socialist Party workplace news

Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

PCS ballots members on the pay cap

Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems

Striking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

Unite local government sector plans strike ballot

Salford Unison condemns pay cuts


October revolution 1917

Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

October 1917 reviews: 'More bright than any heaven'

October 1917 centenary pull-out and poster


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!

Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

Uprising to save the NHS!

Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea


International socialist news and analysis

Campaign against political repression in Hong Kong


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Powerful picture of the Port Talbot steel workers' struggle

Conference on state spies: who's watching who?

'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future


 

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