Regardless of the media portrayal or the forced moral scope those who wind up feeling the revenge of the state as a result of their involvement in the movement need to be supported.
Our movement must have a heart as well as a fist if it to be called a movement at all. Just as we are seeing the growth of our own legal, medical and intelligence organisations and tactics so too we need systems of support both legal and emotional for those punished and imprisoned.
Edward Woolard, a sixth-form student, has been sentenced to 2 years and 8 months (32 months), for violent disorder. I’ve not got much of a problem with violent disorder properly vented, and the movement should not shy from criticising their ‘law’ and their ‘justice’. Others feel that Woolard should have been tried with attempted murder or attempted manslaughter, I would argue that policemen and women who batter children on the head with shields and metal batons resulting in the need for life saving brain surgery of one of our fellow protester should be charged on the same offence if the same logic is applied.
A commenter puts my personal feelings on this matter better than I can:
“he put the fire extinguisher out of harms way during a riot to make sure no one used it as a weapon. What better place then to hand it over to the police?”
The draconian sentence was handed out in hopes of deterring others from participating in the struggle, how short sighted that judge was. The best way to deal with these measures is of course to escalate action, to show that we won’t be cowed by a threat of imprisonment.
Support needs to not only take shape of blog entries, like this one, or solidarity motions but needs to be manifest in the real world. Both in the streets on our demonstrations and showing our chumrade that he has not been forgotten. We should be giving support in the form of letters and reading materials for his time inside, and support for the legal support. These are just preliminary ideas and an initial call for a Black Cross of the student movement. Our prisoners need to be remembered and supported throughout.
“They’re in there for us, We’re out here for them”
Leeds Uni Autonomous