On the 14 August, LCAPSV attended City of London Magistrates court to support A, a member of the campaign, at her latest court hearing for the charge of ‘willful obstruction of the highway’. This charge dates from January of this year, when A was arrested while peacefully protesting outside Downing Street and imprisoned for four days.
A was expecting to be formally tried at this hearing, the previous hearing on the 31 July having been adjourned due to the Crown Prosecution Service’s failure to disclose the necessary evidence to A’s legal team. However, once again, the CPS had failed to comply with the court’s directions and disclosed crucial evidence only once the trial had begun, leaving A and her legal team no time to examine the evidence before the proceedings began. Furthermore, when the CPS eventually handed over the relevant CCTV evidence – some 35 minutes into the hearing – it emerged that an important twenty minutes of footage were missing, for which the responsible police officer had no adequate explanation. As such, the case was adjourned until the 9th December. This means that A’s case will drag on for 11 months. This stretching out of the legal proceedings constitutes a brutal form of punishment in and of itself, as the mental and physical strain such a process puts on people is immense.
In spite of all of this, A is resolute and remains determined to fight against her racist criminalisation. LCAPSV will continue to support A in every way we can and will be in court supporting her on the 9th December. More details will follow closer to the time.