On 25 may anti-fascists were at Haymarket from around 11.10am handing out this leaflet, speaking on the megaphone and otherwise engaging with the public and encouraging people to join the Newcastle Unites march:
Initially the police expressed no concern with these activities. Around 12.00 a police liaison officer informed the anti-fascists that Newcastle Unites organisers had told them FRFI (Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism!) would not be welcome on the march. There was a slow build up in police numbers. The following photos were taken between 12.30 and 12.45, when the anti-fascists had put away their banner and megaphone and were getting ready to go and join the Newcastle Unites march. This was just minutes before the arrests, the first photo shows the main group of people who were arrested:
There was then a rapid build-up of police:
And without any other warning the arrests began:
This is political policing – there was nothing in the behaviour of any of the Newcastle 14 to prompt the arrests, no escalation of the situation before the arrests were suddenly made. The only pretext for the arrests, as the police clearly stated, was that the organisers of Newcastle Unites had told them FRFI were not welcome on the march.
Stop Political Policing! Justice for the Newcastle 14!
Join the N14 Defence Campaign demonstration Saturday 15 June 12noon, Haymarket, Newcastle. Open mic for all anti-racists.
Click here to find out other ways you can support the campaign.
Many thanks to the people who have sent us video, footage and witness statements of the arrests and their context. If you were at Haymarket between 11am and 1pm pm on Saturday 25 May please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.