"Someone must have been telling lies about Josef K., he knew he had done nothing wrong..."
Kafka, keep quiet , you've had your say.
Now it's my turn. Give me a word in edgeways, please...
Someone must have been telling lies about Davy K., he knew he had done nothing wrong...
Life itself is one long Trial, or a series of little trials...I know, I know. But what I am about to face is no metaphor. It's the real thing.
Soon I have to travel to a distant city to stand trial.
After many delays (due to the dilatoriness of Her Majesty's Constabulary in providing their vaunted video 'evidence' against me), the date of my TRIAL in Edinburgh now falls during the famous Festival (2006). As a former performer in the Fringe, it occurs to me that a trial has a certain theatricality about it too.
It may well prove to be a SHOW TRIAL! Whether it's played out as Farce or Tragedy remains to be seen. I suppose I shall be the reluctant Star. One performance only, I trust.
Anyway, the threat of this looming TRIAL has been hanging over my head like a veritable Sword of Damocles since last July (2005). If I were sure that it was also the Sword of Justice, fair enough, but I have reason to doubt. For a start, there is to be no jury. A justice deficit there, don't you think? But we live in a world where the innocent are often punished & the guilty get rewarded. Just deserts are too much to expect.
Perhaps it's a two-edged sword. You have to be practiced in using such a weapon or you could get hurt.
In this particular TRIAL, instead of a Judge, there will be a Sheriff - that's what they're called in Scotland. The only one I know of is the Sheriff of Nottingham & he was a real villain. Of course, there were the Wild West variety as well. Wyatt Earp et cetera. And there's that Bob Marley song: 'I shot the Sheriff'. But perhaps I shouldn't mention that, in case I appear to be inciting violence or glorifying terrorism. These are paranoid times. [NB for the record, in my opinion, firearms should be banned, the manufacture of bullets prohibited.]
BACKSTORY: During the anti-G8 'Carnival for Full Enjoyment' in Edinburgh on 4th July (ironically symbolic date in that participants were asserting independence from the U.S.A.) 2005 in Edinburgh, Riot Police imposed an illegal cordon on a peaceful procession (more details & some images here) After being detained for about 4 hours against my will, I was arrested by said Riot Police while waiting passively to be let out. They arrested many others that day too, who have their own stories to tell. This is only what happened to Yours Truly. Various concocted charges were brought against me. Soon I shall be standing trial.
Of course, I realize that in the Great Scheme of Things, my TRIAL rates as no more than a vanishingly tiny minor matter, but that's not to say it's entirely trivial. Subjectively, at least, its impact is significant. It affects my life, my health. I can honestly say that not a day or night has gone by since the trauma of my arrest that I haven't thought & worried about the ordeal I shall have to go thru. If found guilty, I shall be branded a criminal.
Perhaps the word Scapegoat would be more accurate (Figuratively-speaking, obviously, I'm not suggesting I have 4 legs & 2 horns - see painting below - that would be boasting!) The police had to arrest a certain number of people in order to justify the massive bill for policing the G8 Summit. Also, they wanted to be seen to be tough, to deter demonstrations. In less repressive times, I would not have been arrested. I can't help suspecting I was picked on because I dared to speak to the police & perhaps told them something they preferred not to hear. And, no, I don't have a persecution complex. So, here I am, a victim of blatantly politicised policing, about to face a court case against me.
(The Scapegoat by Holman Hunt)
Maybe I shouldn't be unduly bothered. This civilisation is headed for imminent collapse anyway! Why care about the opinion of those in control of a corrupt & doomed system?
I would also include a picture of a SACRIFICIAL LAMB, but it might offend the squeamish...
Bertrand Russell, who was himself arrested a few times, said:
"Life is nothing but a competition to be the criminal rather than the victim"
but he was just an eccentric philosopher. What do you expect?
Famous figures like Gandhi & Nelson Mandela stood trial & went to prison but are now rightly revered. While it would be hubristic (& quite frankly ludicrous) to compare myself to these heroes, it goes to show that a criminal conviction doesn't stand in the way of virtue or even greatness.
MP George Galloway is in no way shy when it comes to defending himself (& accusing others) in public. He made mincemeat of the US Senate Committee at the famous hearing on 17 May 2005, utterly refuting malicious allegations against him, his oratorical skill & mighty rhetoric rightly applauded around the world. Respect!
However, for all his eloquence, even he failed to sway a Scottish Court when he was convicted of Breach of the Peace & fined £180 (following his arrest at the Big Blockade of Faslane in February 2001).
What I do have in common with them is this: the charges were brought against me for POLITICAL reasons. My little trial is POLITICAL rather than anything to do with supposed criminality.
Remember, my arrest took place in the context of an anti-G8 demonstration. The police would not have been there in such numbers & with such an aggressively repressive agenda were it not for the presence of those terrible twins Dubya & Tony (double trouble!!) on Scottish soil.
If there were any real justice in the world, Messers (sic) Bush & Blair would be put on trial at the International Criminal Court in The Hague (International War Crimes Tribunal), as they are guilty of 'a crime against peace', 'the supreme international crime' according to the principles of international law identified at Nuremberg. However, they both remain in power (as of August 2006)...
How can anyone be expected to respect the law when our leaders openly flout it with complete impunity?
"Every year about 15,000 are charged with breach of the peace under Scottish common law." (Source: BBC)
Soon I may be adding to that number...
However, if justice were truly to be done, this case would be dismissed without further ado.
TRIAL A TRAVESTY
(Some hasty notes)
Memory Malfunction, Mistaken Identity
Finally I Get to Speak ...
...But Am Curtailed
Summing Up Doesn't Add Up
[Please excuse any typos & deficiencies of style. These notes were rapidly compiled & pressure of time necessitates omissions of details etc. I may be able to add to & revise it later.]
There were definite elements of theatre, nay, archaic ritual, in this 'Show Trial'. The Sheriff wore a rather fetching if somewhat antiquated wig & was accorded the most exaggerated deference, addressed throughout as 'Milady'. It was 'yes Milady, no Milady, 3 bags full Milady'. O what a tedious rigmarole of shibboleths & legalese. Everyone had to stand & the legal bods even bowed their heads in abject obeisance when Milady Panjandrum Drama Queen par excellence made her grand entrance & exit...
During early September I had a compulsory interview with a Probation Officer. (It should have been a qualified Social Worker & I should have been given an explanatory leaflet before the interview, but I had to let that pass...)
I asserted myself slightly by insisting he would have to make a home visit, instead of my going to him. I also told him I would record the interview to protect myself, as I had already been the victim of police perjury.
The Prob. Off. admitted that he usually only dealt with people who pleaded guilty.
He explained that sentence had to be both a punishment for me & a deterrent for the public.
The options were: custodial sentence, electronic tagging, fine, conditional discharge.
He seemed to take a sadistic relish in describing the details of electronic tagging. As he repeated them twice, I feared that was his preferred penalty.
What a shame flogging and/or the stocks are no longer options...
Prob. Off. gave the impression of another petty tyrant flaunting his tiny portion of power.
I was subjected to a barrage of information meant to intimidate. When I attempted to interject a few comments of my own, Prob. Off. got up & threatened to leave. I had to try to placate him as his report would probably have a considerable measure of influence with the Sheriff.
Obviously, I intend to appeal against my conviction, but, in all likelihood, my appeal will be refused. Call me a cynic.
No-one has yet been able to explain to me precisely how I exceeded my human right of Freedom of Expression (Article 10, European Convention on Human Rights).
Yes, "Someone must have been telling lies about Davy K., he knew he had done nothing wrong..."
To be exact, two policemen, whose names I can supply, told lies about me & they told those lies under oath in a court of law. Paid so-called public servants committed perjury.
There was no concrete evidence to prove my guilt beyond reasonable doubt, merely malicious and false allegations.
This is what passes for justice in Britain in 2006.
|I am a non-violent pacifist. I don't act like some lairy lager lout or boorish bovver boy trying to pick a fight. Yet I was arrested for Breach of the Peace. You know it makes sense.|
*Commentary on the charges against me (pdf)
*Analysis of police video 'evidence' (pdf)
*Refutation of police 'witness' statements (pdf)
*Request for clarification of the exact nature of my 'crime' (pdf)
To call the Law an Ass is an insult to donkeys!
|'Ashamed to live in a land / Where justice is a
(Hurricane, Bob Dylan & Jacques Levy)
Another account of my trial (by an independent observer) can be found here:
"All my trials, Lord, soon be over"?
"I fought the Law & the Law won"?
[NB Embedded Sound requires Internet Explorer]