Saturday, 25 February 2012
Copied below is an e-mail I was sent about the case of Alfie Meadows who is up on a violent disorder charge following the tuition fees protests of Autumn 2010- a worthy cause that deserves support;
Many of us, understandably so, have pushed to the back of our minds the issues surrounding the arrested students and demonstrations of 2010, and their support for the lecturers. I think that we have to continue to show solidarity with them: there are many who have been disproportionately charged, usually with violent disorder which carries a maximum sentence of 5 years and in many cases arrested, and are serving sentences in the range between 15 months and 2 years.
The case in point is that of Alfie Meadows. As you all probably know, this has been a very high profile case since the student fought for his life after undergoing brain surgery – he was hit by a baton during a demonstration by a police officer. It was sheer coincidence and sheer pot luck that he survived – the police didn’t take him to the prison cell that night – had they done so, he would have died in the police station. The type of injury he had was not life threatening if operated on within the first few hours of receiving that kind of blow to a head, but it is life-threatening if left unattended for more than those few hours. Unfortunately, Alfie Meadows was in the latter category – please open up the attachment to see a photograph of Alfie after surgery, during recovery stages.
Alfie’s trial is on 26th March – it is he who is on trial for violent disorder, not the police, or more specifically the policeman who hit him. The Defend The Right To Protest is asking at the moment every single UCU branch to support the campaign for Alfie Meadows. We are now 11 days away from a Public Meeting in London in support of Alfie, and 31 days away from a day when he could be sent to prison for years –we don’t have much time left.
1. Could members to make every effort to attend, at least the public meeting? There are attachments, and here is the relevant link: https://staffmail.brighton.ac.uk/owa/redir.aspx?C=ebf0455c92e94442ab72d4a92cf7fc4d&URL=http%3a%2f%2fwww.defendtherighttoprotest.org%2fstand-up-for-justice-dtrtp-public-forum%2f
2. Could you all please sign an online petition as a matter of urgency? We are trying for 9,000 signatures first as a symbolic number (tuitions fees number), then we want to push to 30,000 if at all possible. Online version is here (http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/justice-for-alife-meadows/), but you can also print off the attached petition and get people to sign and then scan it and e-mail to me. The former would be easier of course.
All materials included in this e-mail and the petition can also be found here: http://www.defendtherighttoprotest.org/justice-for-alfie-meadows/