Remember way back in September I was not chuffed to hear that student Edd Bauer had been packed off to jail for unfurling a protest banner on a bridge near the ICC in Birmingham where our Conference was going on?
Well, today his case came up before the judge in Birmingham and, in what sound like farcical scenes, were dropped because the prosecution could not offer any evidence.
To put someone through five months of stress, not to mention the time in prison when he was subjected to violent attack, for, essentially, nothing is really not acceptable. Liberal Democrat MP John Hemming had actually gone to Court to give evidence on Mr Bauer’s behalf.
West Midlands Police and CPS got this case badly wrong – and the Federal Conference Committee should not go to Birmingham again until they can be assured that a more liberal approach will be taken. We’ve all had our agendas for Federal Conference this week – this might be something we might want to bring up in the Reports session.
We’re a party of Government. We’re going to attract protesters. As long as they conduct themselves in a manner that doesn’t harm anybody, they have a perfect right to do that. We’ve all done it ourselves – and some of us still do.