This Friday, (16/11/12) had been the date set for the trial in Brighton magistrates court of a man Sussex Police claimed was guilty of disorder as part of the anti-fascist counter demo against March for England earlier this year. Brighton and Hove Unite Against Fascism understand that this court action has now been abandoned by the police.
Police had claimed the counter demo was violent, however there were only three arrests made, all on the day, and none of these have resulted in conviction. One man was immediately released without charge, one was released on bail and then no further action taken, and now the final case has been abandoned by the police .
This is in spite of a heavy police presence on the day, and a lot of police cameras taking a constant film of the protest for the whole day. If the police spin on this event was accurate the number of arrests would back it up. They do not.
Five photos were published by the police after the event of protesters they claimed to have a case against. Most of these pictures were of too poor quality to result in any kind of identification , again the high amount of footage taken by police would have resulted in clear images of genuine criminals, had any existed.
As they were put out after the force had faced severe criticism and negative publicity it seems the motive of Sussex Police was the shift the attention from its own actions.
A spokesperson for Brighton and Hove UAF said:
“We firmly believe that the wider public in Brighton oppose the presence of a racist march in our city, and wish to demonstrate against it. It is our commitment to do all we can to ensure Brightonians can protest safely without threat of violence or arrest from the far-right or the police, which was the case for the majority of people on April the 22nd. We hope that the police will now make a similar commitment.”