A protest will take place on Thursday morning outside Newcastle Central Magistrate’s Court, on Market Street East, in solidarity with an activist who has been charged with ‘obstructing a police officer’. Toby Hobbs was arrested four days after a peaceful yet militant demonstration on 18th December in Newcastle City Centre which was protesting against cuts to education, corporations avoiding tax and companies whose directors/ chief executives signed the open letter to David Cameron in the Daily Telegraph in support of cuts to public spending.
Toby will enter a plea of ‘not guilty’ at tomorrow’s court hearing and supporters will hold a protest against political policing from 9.30am outside the court.
Annie Rutter, a supporter of the HSBC 3 said, ‘The case of the HSBC 3 has broader implications than simply the fates of these three activists. If the court decides it is acceptable for police to target protesters for political reasons, such as trying to disperse a demonstration, this would be a huge setback for democratic rights. This is why the HSBC 3 need our support.’