Arrest Updates, by Donnachadh McCarthy
Donnachadh McCarthy 2nd December 2014.
This morning at 11am I have to report to Charing Cross Police Station to be interviewed.
There is the police answer and there is my answer.
The Police Answer:
is that I have been arrested for firstly having been in possession of a folded sheet of tarpaulin whilst peacefully protesting about the lack of free speech in front of our parliament and secondly for having refused to give my name and address to a private security guard working for Boris Johnson.
I believe both charges are wrong. The Act governing protest in Parliament Square bans possession (outrageously you do not have to be using them or even having the intent to use them) of items designed for or primarily designed for sleeping. Tarpaulin is NOT sleeping equipment. On the name charge, you can see quite clearly from the video (15 minutes in) that I had given my name and address prior to being forcibly taken to the ground and physically lifted and carried away, escorted in military fashion by over 20 police to the police van (driven by G4S) and kept in solitary confinement for 7 hours in Brixton Police Station cell.
In my new book, The Prostitute State – How Britain’s Democracy Has Been Bought, I argue that our democracy has been captured by a corporate elite, which is resulting in the trashing of social justice and the lethal trashing of our planet. I argue that there are three solutions to this prostitution of our democracy. Personal responsibility (stop buying from corrupt corporations and live eco-responsible lives), propose democratic legislative changes (reform politics/end corporate and billionaire funding of parties/ reclaim our press) and finally sadly mass peaceful non-violent direct action is also necessary, if there are to be any human supporting ecosystems left for the next generations.
As someone who has spent my entire life since 1992, advocating the Gandhian principle of being the change we wish to see in the world, I knew as I wrote the book, that I therefore would have to cross the line, into being prepared to be arrested and imprisoned for this global cause. Something I dearly do not want to do.
When the police kettled me for peacefully sitting down on a tarpaulin, after giving a speech along with Natalie Bennett, Russell Brand and John McDonald MP at the opening speeches of Occupy Democracy in October, I knew that moment for me to cross that line had come….
And so when the police demanded, later that week on the Tuesday morning,the so called proscribed item ( a folded tarpaulin) be handed over to them, I refused.
And so I am going to Charing Cross Police station this morning to be interviewed…
My hope is that these farcical charges by our corrupted state will be dropped and I can devote more of my time in the coming months to tackling the real source of corrupt power in The Prostitute State (the billionaire prostituted media).
My worry is that they will have trawled through all the footage of the entire 9 Day pro-democracy protest, to find some other silly charge to pin on me.
Let us hope they do not.
Create a loving and peaceful day.
My arrest is 15 min in and there is a pretty awful scene of young female protesters being arrested for sitting peacefully on a tarpaulin on the grass opposite parliament:
View Inside Parliament Square.
Green Jenny Jones de-arrested and gives her views on the arrests and eviction.
After the Charing Cross Appointment:
Thanks for all the likes and kind comments – they meant a lot to me on a challenging morning.
I am now back from having spent the morning at Charing Cross Police Station being interviewed. I had not realised the process means you have to be re-arrested to be interviewed!
They have not dropped the 2 charges they were pursuing but have added two more.
So for the high crime of standing peacefully protesting in Parliament Square, with a folded tarpaulin under my arm, they are now pursuing the charges of :
– being in possession of a tarpaulin
– refusing to have my tarpaulin forcibly taken from me
– refusing to be evicted from pavement in Parliament Square due to such possession
– refusing to give my name and address
I deny all charges.
I made the following statement:
‘I arrived at Parliament Square at about 9.30 – 10 am. I had
tarpaulin with me just to support a short and peaceful protest. I was
on the pavement.
I had no intention of sleeping or staying longer than
necessary for my protest.
The tarpaulin was a prop only intended for symbolic use. The officials’ and police’s conduct was unreasonable and unlawful. The force used was unnecessary and excessive. I gave my name and address prior to arrest.
My protest was about inappropriate police action against people
who themselves were peacefully protesting outside our parliament’.
I was then bailed, on unconditional bail, to return to
Charing Cross police station on 19th February 2015.
The police are consulting the Crown Prosecution Service about what to do next.
My solicitor asked why was I perceived as being so dangerous, as to have them throwing the book at me like this for such a tiny item?!
He also said he had never seen a questioning officer so confused by a statement in the middle of a formal interview!
I was blessed to have a very kind and empathic solicitor who is passionate about the climate crisis, from Bindmans. This was a great help.
love n peace