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Important Notice

September 25, 2011

From infinite thought:

lecturers defending students

This is a message to UK College/University lecturers and other staff in FE and HE:

This Autumn will see many of the students and other protesters from the last year charged with public order offences (particularly violent disorder, which carries a maximum five year prison sentence) in court. Cases will be heard over the next few months, and some trials are expected to last a few weeks. Some of those that have pleaded guilty have already received sentences of course, so now it’ll be the turn of those pleading not guilty to have their cases heard (most of them will be in Kingston Crown Court).

Living with the worry of prosecution and having to spend time talking to lawyers, attending court and so on is incredibly stressful and isolating. Gathering character references and contacting those willing to defend those charged in court takes a lot of work, and some students will be asking their lecturers (if they haven’t already) to put their names forward to do this. Defend the Right to Protest want to ask lecturers and other FE/HE staff who are willing to defend their students by attending court, offering moral support, writing articles etc. to come forward. We’ll shortly be compiling a list of the institutions that accused students attend to make it easier (without naming individual students), although if you are already aware of someone at your institution awaiting trial please get in contact.

Many lecturers attended the education protests in November and December and the TU protests and strikes this year, and are aware that the criminalising of students, protesters and those involved in the recent civil unrest is happening at high speed under the current government. If you believe in the reasons behind the protests, please get in touch to help us organise lecturers who want to defend their students in the months ahead.

Email we’ll arrange a meeting in the next few weeks for those lecturers and other staff who want to give support to their students in whichever way they can.   


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