Tyneside East Timor Solidarity fully supports the Defence Campaign of Mark and Patrick arrested during the peaceful demonstration on the 18th of December, and of Toby, arrested a few days later.
Members of Tyneside East Timor Solidarity joined about 200 demonstrators in an effort to raise awareness of the tax dodging antics of shops in the city centre. Despite a senior police officer stating the role of Northumbria Police was simply to ‘facilitate the demonstration’ it became obvious the police were more interested in protecting the interests of tax dodgers like Vodafone, HSBC, and Philip Green, the multi-millionaire head of the Arcadia Group. Police became enraged when demonstrators shut down the main doors of Marks and Spencer, from the inside, for about 15 mins. It was clear from then that in a effort to regain credos the police were going to arrest someone.
It is nothing new for protesters who are deemed politically active to be singled out for arrest; the police are acting for the state in an attempt to stop political dissent, but it is up to each of us to resist intimidation and support those arrested.
In Solidarity, Lidia Tindle – for
Tyneside East Timor Solidarity