UAF activist and SWP leader Martin Smith has been found guilty of assaulting a police officer at the protest against Nick Griffin’s “Question Time” appearance in October 2009.
Smith had pleaded his innocence and no evidence was brought in court against him: it was the police officer’s word against Smith’s.
Smith has been sentenced to a 12-month community order, with 80 hours’ unpaid work, and fined £450.
This is a malicious charge. It comes alongside a prosecution against Weyman Bennett, UAF and SWP activist, charged with conspiracy to organise violent disorder at a protest against the EDL in Bolton in March. It is part and parcel of the state’s attempt to stifle anti-fascist protest and intimidate communities threatened by racist and fascist groups such as the BNP into not defending themselves.
The AWL condemns the charges. We hope that the SWP, UAF and other anti-fascists will give up their illusions that the bourgeois state is our ally against fascism and racism.
The working class has to mobilise independently against the far-right. The police, courts and the Home Office are not on our side!