Trafalgar Square Anti Cuts Safety Reminder

Looking forward to seeing you all this evening. As it is Dutch Day in the Square we will gathering in the Square as usual at 6.30pm (look out for our placard).

Wanted to circulate some reminders so that we make it another successful peaceful occupation 😉 Have popped below info about legal advice from Green & Black Cross, key aims of the protest, draft groundrules to be put to consensus vote this weekend.

There will be representatives from Green & Black Cross in attendance tonight to give a basic overview of keeping things safe and providing some basic legal advice..

We will also be updating Twitter (http://www.twitter.com@occupytraf) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/occupytraf) and will have a text number for you to contact.

Occupytraf xx

Green & Black Cross Legal Advice

Download / Print / Distribute a ‘Bust Card’ with our arrestee support number on it. You can use you own or ones we’ve already prepared: Comprehesive [PDF] or Summarised [PDF]

On your body write
Legal Support 07946 541511
Bindmans 020 7833 4433

IF ARRESTED – NO COMMENT

You do not need to talk to the police about anything. If you are arrested, giving your name and address will speed up the process of being released. Any other information may be used against you and once you start talking it can be hard to stop: so don’t say anything, it is easier! If they ask you questions, just say ‘no comment’, until you have spoken to a solicitor and don’t sign anything.

DON’T USE THE DUTY SOLICITORS

If you’re arrested you have a right to FREE legal advice. You can use a ‘duty solicitor’ but we STRONGLY advise against. If you haven’t been told at the protest of local solicitors who have experience of dealing with protesters, we recommend you use BINDMANS (020 7833 4433) who should be able to come to your interview if you are in London or otherwise advise you by phone on what to do.

DON’T GIVE YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS TO COPS

When you are stopped or searched under any search powers, you don’t have to give the cops your details. The only time you are legally required to give your name and address is if you are driving a vehicle or involved in a road traffic accident. If you are suspected of anti-social behavior (causing harassment, alarm or distress) or when the cops want to issue you with a summons with or fixed penalty notice, then the cops can arrest you if you fail to give them your details.

If you are arrested but you think there is no good reason for your arrest, the police may be just trying it on to get your personal details (they have a database to fill). At this point you can still refuse to tell the arresting officer and say that you will give your details to the custody officer at the police station. You may find you are simply released so it can be worth waiting it out.

AVOID LETTING THEM PHOTOGRAPH YOU
You don’t have to make it easy for them to photograph you – they have no power to force you to comply with being photographed or filmed unless you are being processed at the police station.

Check out the briefings page for more info.

GET IN TOUCH WITH US VIA 07946 541511 (KEEP THIS NUMBER WITH YOU)

* Call if you want practical advice about your rights!
* Call if you want arrestee support for your protest or action!
* Call if you want to know what to do after your arrest!
* Call if you were injured or subjected to unacceptable police behavior!
* Call if you filmed or witnessed an arrest or police misconduct!
* Call it you want information about the legality of occupations or campus protest!

HAVE YOU BEEN ID’D IN A MET PHOTO?
If you or a friend has been Id’d in one of the photos the Met Police are pubishing you may want to read the following articles

An article from fitwatch here
An article on indymedia here

Aims and ground rules

Aims:

  • Raises awareness of the ideological cuts that the Government is instigating – without mandate – and how they are affecting the most vulnerable in society, creating a safe space for all, including parents and children, where alternatives to current policy can be discussed and learned about, with workshops, talks, debates and creative art.
  • Defends the right to peaceful protest. The group intends to show that without police presence, protesters can organise themselves peacefully and lawfully. This has already been successfully demonstrated on previous occupations, when the police stayed at a distance and there was no conflict. If there are attempts to remove participants, they will resist non-violently through passive resistance. The group refuses to use violence when it is violence done to our society that it is trying to resist.

Ground rules (draft):
The occupation strives to create a safe anti-oppressive space, whether physically in Trafalgar Square or on online associated spaces. To ensure this, it is imperative to establish some ground-rules for which participants of the group are collectively responsible:

  1. Raising awareness of the agreed aims above is vital to the success of the camp. It is us that can engage with the public, helping to make people think and feel that they can do something about these cuts. As such, if you are part of the camp, please help make this happen so that more people become aware of what is happening and get involved in the movement.
  2. The protest camp is comprised of a group of individuals. When you speak with the public or members of the media, do reiterate the key aims above, but remember that when you are speaking, you speak as an individual, not for the entire group.
  3. “Respect the person; challenge their behaviour.”
  4. Islamophobia, ageism, homophobia, sexism, transphobia, ableism or prejudice based on ethnicity, nationality, class, gender presentation, language ability, sexuality, asylum status or religious affiliation is unacceptable and will be challenged.
  5. Be aware of the space you take up and the positions and privileges you bring to the discussion, including racial, class and gender privilege. Avoid making assumptions about the opinions and identifications of other participants.
  6. The group is not here to judge each other, put each other down or compete. Let’s foster a spirit of mutual respect: listen to the wisdom everyone brings to the group, and give each person the time and space to speak. Be aware of the language you use in discussion and how you relate to others. Try to speak slowly, clearly and be considerate of others’ language abilities.
  7. In large groups, or for groups using facilitation: raise your hand to speak, and remember to use hand signals in meetings. Respect those who have raised their hand before you.
  8. If someone is having difficulty with any of the issues raised in the discussion, there is the option to speak to a nominated mediator (who is acceptable to the majority of participants) on a one-to-one basis outside the discussion space. If someone violates these ground-rules, they can be asked to leave the space to speak with the nominated mediator.
  9. It has been agreed by consensus that alcohol will not be consumed during daylight hours in the camp. Should people wish to drink at other times be mindful of the impression that your behaviour demonstrates to the public and others watching, including the police. Opaque plastic cups are available.

[Adapted from the Queer Modes of Belonging Ground-Rules]

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