Following the arrests of 3 peaceful protesters on 18th December, members of Newcastle Occupation wish to express their disappointment that Northumbria Police felt it was appropriate to victimise demonstrators in this way.
Out of the hundreds of people participating in the actions that day it appears that three arrested were picked due to their involvement in political activism on Tyneside.
We believe that the type of actions that were taking place in Newcastle prior to the arrests were a peaceful and legitimate form of protest attempting to highlight the problem of tax evasion by corporations and executives. Tax evasion and avoidance costs the country many billions of pounds a year. Targeting these morally objectionable activities would reduce, if not negate the need for cuts to public services including higher and further education.
Participating in peaceful protests and demonstrations is an inalienable democratic right afforded to each of us. It is from this perspective that we urge Northumbria Police and the Crown Prosecution Service to drop the charges against the three demonstrators arrested.
We hope that our good relationship with the Northumbria Police can be maintained into the new year.