Members of UK Uncut on trial in connection with the occupation of Fortnum & Mason in March today opted not to give evidence in their defence against charges of ”aggravated trespass with attempt to intimidate”.
The ten activists, who are aged between 19 and 42, decided against taking the stand after the most senior police officer inside the building appeared to characterise the protest as non-threatening.
Police chief inspector Claire Clark repeated her assertions, captured in a video (below) produced by activists during the occupation, that the action was “non-violent” and “sensible”:
With the prosecution struggling to link activists before Westminster Magistrates Court to individual instances of intimidating behaviour, the outcome of the case is likely to hinge on a single point of law: the opinion of District Judge Snow as to whether the activists were ”intimidating” staff and customers simply by being in the store.
“No one took the stand as Inspector Clark effectively made the protesters’ case for them”, one source close to the case told Scrapbook. Police have been accused of arresting the peaceful UK Uncut activists en masse after a failure to apprehend members of the so-called Black Bloc.
Expect a High Court appeal if they lose.