Defend the right to resist police racism and violence – stop criminalising the uprisings!

The HSBC 3 Defence Campaign condemns the savage state repression launched against those involved in the uprisings last weekend. We are being constantly told by the politicians and the media that the motivation for those involved was not political, it was pure ‘criminality’. This is a clear attempt by the ruling classes to hide the brutal repression which has formed the context for these uprisings – from consistent police harassment and brutality towards black communities, to the devastating cuts to public services which have hit areas such as Tottenham hardest. It is also an attempt to demonise the inevitable fightback by those whose lives have been destroyed by their policies, and their system.

In the wake of these uprisings the pace and severity of state repression has increased massively. David Cameron called for all repressive measures to be considered, claiming: ‘It is the government’s responsibility to make sure that every future contingency is looked at, including whether there are tasks that the army could undertake that might free up more police for the front line”. The latest figures tell us that 1,401 people have been arrested, with 808 charged so far. This is set to rise continually for the next few weeks. Ed Miliband called for ‘swift, effective and tough action’ against those involved, intending to ‘send a message’ to other young people.

Social sanctions’ are being used against those charged, including stripping people of benefits and council houses. The first eviction notice was served on Friday 12th, threatening a Wandsworth resident with the loss of her council house due the fact that her 18 year old son has been charged with particpating in ‘Monday night’s disturbances’. This is alongside normal criminal proceedings, meaning those involved are receiving ‘double punishment’.
Harsh sentences are being handed out to young people with no previous convictions – such as 23 year old Nicholas Robinson, who has been sentenced to 6 months in prison for stealing a crate of water worth £3.50. Court procedures have been sped up, and courts have sat through the night to speedily convict hundreds of young people, or pass them on to higher courts which can condemn them to harsher sentences. Due to the acceleration of these processes many defendants are not receiving adequate legal representation and are being persuaded to plead guilty in return for a lighter sentence.
These measures are clearly a massive assault against those willing to rise up against the governments destructive agenda, intending to deter similiar dissent in the future. The opportunity has been seized by the ruling classes to expand repressive structures, to incite racism and anti-working class sentiment among sections of the population, and to rob us further of our democratic rights.
End double punishment – no to evictions and benefit cuts!
Stop excessive sentencing!
No to increases in police powers and weaponry!
Defend the right to resist police racism and violence – stop criminalising the uprisings!
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