Solidarity demo on Monday for Detained Banner Drop activist

Last Friday, to mark the opening of the Liberal Democrat conference, 3 activists did a banner drop from the bridge connecting the Hyatt Hotel with the ICC. The banner, which read “Traitors Not Welcome” referred to the decision of many Liberal Democrat MPs (including local MPs John Hemming and Lorely Burt) to break their pledge to vote against a rise in tuition fees, leading to the trebling of fees to £9,000.

All three activists were arrested, and held over the weekend. One of the activists has been held on remand, and has a further bail hearing on Monday, by which time he will have spent 10 days in prison.

Update: The case was thrown out of court after 10 minutes, before the jury was even sworn in as the prosecution revealed they had no evidence.

A defence and support campaign – Banner Drops Are Not A Crime – has been setup. They have a facebook page and twitter feed.

There will be a solidarity demonstration on Monday from 3pm, outside the Magistrate Court on Corporation Street. Click here for the Facebook event.

We urge everyone who can to attend this demonstration against the imprisonment – before trial – of a peaceful protester. This decision is the latest piece of political policing and judicial decision making, and must be opposed.

Update: Edd was released on bail on Monday. The solidarity demo was huge, around 80 people turning up, including members of Birmingham Against the Cuts. We could be heard in the court. You can see some photos on this Flickr set.
There will now be a campaign to get the charges dropped, and more generally against political policing.
However, Edd has been suspended from his elected position at the Guild of Students, pending an investigation that may see him sacked. Please sign this petition calling for his re-instatement.

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