April 12, 2006 by cosmoakacitizensmith
my first case for breach of bail was up in edinburgh at the end of october 2005. bill, the guy i’d been nicked with, had been up the day before and the procurator fiscal had told him he needed to come back the following week.
when i arrived in court, my solicitor suggested that i write an account of what happened at my arrest. i did so, the procurator fiscal looked at it and the case was deserted.
this meant that it had been dropped, and although technically it could be picked up again at a later date, this was unlikely.
talk about random justice. bill had to go back and i got let off, all on the whim of a solicitor and the procurator fiscal. bunch of tossers.
i’m not sure what happened to bill’s case as he didn’t keep in touch.
next up…. the case for breach of the peace at edinburgh. the first time i went up for my pre-trial review in novemebr 2005, i hooked up with the rogues’ gallery of people i had been nicked with(!). we were like the naughty kids at school, goofing around in the huge courtroom as people’s charges were read out.
all of us had to come back a second time for the actual trial. in the end i got let off because the coppers who were supposed to give evidence never turned up. some others were in the same boat but they had to return the next week. total randomness again.
my solicitor told me that most of the cases would have been dropped but the press had been really angry about it, so the cases had gone ahead. i said, in other words, this is a show trial. he just laughed.
i also asked if i could sue for wrongful arrest under the european convention of human rights. he said this is scotland and up here the convention is “pish,” (his exact word).
on the positive side, many of us in the rogues gallery have become firm friends. josie, who i got nicked with, eventually relocated here to cardiff. i’ve spent time with edda and troy, the two autralians both here and in london. and of course, there’s debi, singer from drunk granny…. i ended up doing a benefit gig with her last month.
on the negative side, i wasted a lot of money toing a froing and missed days off work.
they don’t want to make this easy, this protesting lark. we managed to hold a benefit gig for people who couldn’t afford to spend money on transport, but i paid my fares myself.
the next time i put myself in this position i intend to find out a lot more about the legal side of things first. i’ll make sure i think through the possibilities of any direct action i take and their consequences. and also, making the time and space to follow through any legal action necessary is important. that has been really difficult in this case because of other concerns.
val, who i travelled to scotland with, has been studying an MA in law precisely for these reasons. recently, she was up for assaulting a copper at a demo. she sacked her lawyer during the trial and defended herself instead, and she ended up with an acquittal. howzat!
it is important not to cave into yr fear. then they’ve got u.
other developments….an ex-reuters journalists, patrick chalmers, got in touch with me shortly after my trial. he’s writing a book about democracy and globalisation, and he interviewed me about the g8 protests and my role in them. part of that interview now makes up the opening lines of the first chapter of his draft!
i’ve always been a showboating little prat.
finally bloke, flannel bassist and one of my closest friends and co-conspirators, died at the end of october 2005 in a tragic accident in france, where he’d moved with his family. the gigs i talked about in this blog were the last we ever did together. we still had so much passion and energy for the music we made together, even then.
after our last gig i wrote here: “something about the past seems resolved.” i wasn’t too sure what i was getting at, but for bloke’s sake and for all our sakes i’m glad i felt that way.