Justice for Alfie Meadows
From Defend the Right to Protest:
We’re writing to you on behalf of the Defend the Right to Protest and the campaign we’ve launched, Justice for Alfie Meadows:
Alfie Meadows was one of a number of students injured by police during the mass demonstration outside parliament against MPs voting through £9000 tuition fees. In Alfie's case he had to undergo emergency brain surgery to save his life after being hit over the head by a police baton. Jody McIntyre was also dragged out of his wheel chair and hit.
A Doctor present on the demonstration set up a field hospital in parliament square as thousands were kettled. The 34 year old doctor was later kettled on Westminster Bridge and recorded symptoms of severe crushing including respiratory problems and chest pains.
These scenes formed part of a wider pattern of attacks on students protesting in defence of education. Mass arrests followed and significant numbers of young have since people torn away from their families and friends to be jailed for up to 36 months. This includes Zenon Mitchell, a Sussex University student, who is in prison for 15 months after being filmed throwing one placard stick on the 10th November education demonstration.
It is absolutely paramount that we do not leave Alfie Meadows to a similar fate. He has since been charged with violent disorder -a charge which carries a sentence of up to 5 years and goes to trial on 26th March.
Alfie first became involved in campaigning during an occupation to save his philosophy department at Middlesex University. After it was closed and moved to another university, he then took part in the demonstrations against increasing fees - and nearly lost his life.
We are asking lecturers to support the Justice for Alfie Meadows Campaign in the lead up to his trial on Monday 26 March. The victimisation of students is an attack on all of us still fighting the governments attacks on education.
Thus far the campaign has the support of NUS, UCU, CWU, PCS and a wide range of academics, MPs and public figures.
There are a number of ways you can help:
1) Sign the Justice for Alfie Meadows on line petition.
Over 1200 people have signed, signatories include Tariq Ali, John McDonnell (MP), Gigi Ibrahim (Egyptian Activist and Blogger), Liam Burns (NUS President), Ken Loach (Film Director), Jody McIntyre (Journalist and Equality Movement) and Zita Holbourne (BARAC and PCS NEC). Circulate the petition widely through all networks. You should also include links to the website www.defendtherighttoprotest.org and an email contact point: firstname.lastname@example.org .
2) Attend and publicize our Defend the Right to Protest Public Forum: Stand Up For Justice at Euston Friends Meeting House, Euston Road. Monday 5th March 7PM. Speakers include: John McDonnell (MP), Imran Khan (Campaigning Lawyer and Solicitor for Stephen Lawrence’s family), Alfie Meadows (Student Defendant), Liam Burns (NUS President), Marcia Rigg (Sean Rigg Justice and Change Campaign), Frank Fernie (Imprisoned protester, now free.) and Rob Evans (Guardian Journalist). Circulate and join the facebook event: http://www.facebook.com/#!/events/242723812474501/. You may also want to create your own event for a delegation.
3) Be part of supporting/organizing a delegation to attend the demonstration outside Kingston Crown Court on Monday 26th March at 9AM, when Alfie Meadows will attend the first day of his trial.
For more information, questions or queries, please email us on email@example.com
Yours in Solidarity,
Defend the Right to Protest