Monday, October 24, 2011

Anti-fascists jailed after Welling incident

Six anti-fascists have been jailed following action against a neo-nazi gig in Welling, south-east London. The gig took place on 28th March 2009 at the Duchess of Edinburgh pub in Upper Wickham Lane and was organised by notorious racist promoters Blood and Honour.

After the gig there was an altercation between a few of the antifascists and two fascists on the platform of Welling train station. According to Anti-Fascist Prisoner Support:

'Seven people were arrested on the night, and a further 16 were arrested in a series of dawn raids a few months later. Every antifascist the police could place in the vicinity of the fight was picked up. The police lacked enough evidence against almost all of those arrested to support an assault charge, but wished to pursue the cases against all of the accused for what we can assume were political reasons. 23 people therefore ended up being charged with conspiracy to commit violent disorder, although charges against one person were dropped before they reached crown court.

The first 11 anti-fascists went on trial on 6th June 2011, two or more years after their arrests. After 17 days, seven of them were convicted and four acquitted. Of the convicted, four were immediately sentenced to 21 months in prison. Another two were later sentenced to 18 and 15 months. The seventh was given a suspended sentence.

The second nine anti-fascists went on trial on 12th September 2011. The cases of two people who would have been in the second trial were dropped one working day before that trial commenced. All nine people in the second trial were acquitted. The trial was over two weeks long, but the jury took less than one hour to come to their unanimous verdict. They delivered it with pleasure to a cheering courtroom.

Whilst six of our comrades remain in prison we will give them all the support we can, and urge you to do the same'.

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