The Right to Challenge the Cuts Campaign stand up for freedom of speech, Saturday 23 March 2013.
Photo by MR Swan Photography.
Press Release 23 March 2013 –
A campaign and petition to demand accusations be dropped against Newcastle youth work
Michael MacDonald following his arrest by police late one night in February under
Section Five of The Public Order Act is announced. The arrest followed a peaceful
encounter between MacDonald and labour Councillor Nick Forbes earlier the same day.
Forbes called the police after MacDonald, known by friends and colleagues as ‘Don’,
approached the councillor in the street to express his concern at the sweeping cuts
the Labour council were imposing on the city. MacDonald denies the accusations against
More details about the campaign and petiton, which has already attracted over
800 signatures, are available at https://defencecampaign.wordpress.com/about/
Campaigners see the arrest as a worrying development in the use of police tactics to
curtail freedom of speech. The campaign highlights the fact that Don is a ordinary
man, a member of the community and a loving father. ‘If It Can Happen To Don, It Can
Happen To Anyone’ is the campaign slogan.
The launch comes after the news of a disability campaigner, fined £1000 in Oxfordshire for the same offence.