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Re: Put the Foreign Office on trial !

Could I please unsubsribe from this list.  I didn't join it to have to
witness the sort of embittered ranting which gets organisations like ours
a bad name, as indeed does a petty act of vandalism.  Though I understand
the frustration which might lead a person to throw paint at a public
building, I fail to see what it achieved other than to further
discredit the name of people who oppose the sanctions against Iraq
peacefully and legally.  

As the daughter of a former prisoner of conscience, I find it just a
little offensive that these people are being made to sound like prisoners
of conscience  when, though they acted in good faith, they committed a
pointless crime which has done nothing to alleviate the sufferings of the
Iraqi people.  Unlike the people of Iraq, they had the freedom to
make their protests in a dignified and constructive manner without fear of
arrest and torture.

We must oppose the illegal vandalism being done to Iraq but not by
becoming criminals ourselves.

F Sultana.  

On Fri, 12 Mar 1999, J. Vernon wrote:

> >...the causing of criminal damage to Her Majesty's buildings.
> This, of course, is the kind of thing that policemen say in court.  We
> don't need lawyers to use the same hyperbolic language. We're talking
> about some red paint splashed on a wall, for god's sake. 
> > As a citizen, I object to people causing disgraceful acts of vandalism.. 
> > As a law student, I object to people deciding that they can break the
> > law whenever they choose.  
> As a citizen, Alan could vent more of his anger on the illegal vandalism
> of Iraq. As a lawyer, he ought to know that the law changes from week to
> week - there is nothing permanent about it, and it certainly doesn't
> require our respectful awe.
> > It is nonsense to say that the individuals concerned risk six months in
> > prison... Even if they are jailed, it will be for a very short period.  
> People can go to jail for far less than criminal damage. Alan should spend
> 'a very short period' in jail and then testify to its democratic
> character.
> > Thank God they are facing a fair trial in open court..
> I agree that this trial probably will be a small affair, but Alan should
> not make too many assumptions about British Justice in general; Birmingham
> 6, Winchester 3, Guiildford 4, Casemount 6...
> Lawyers tend to come from the class of people who never sit on the wrong
> side of a magistrate's bench. Consequently, they believe the ideal picture
> described in their textbooks. Alan might be less enthusiastic if he'd ever
> tried to defend himself, with no legal training and no legal aid, in front
> of a vicious stipe who believes everything the police say.
> > The judge cannot but do his duty and convict these people.
> Thank you, Judge Bates. It's comforting to know that we needn't listen to
> any evidence.
> J Vernon
> (Not speaking for CASI or Milan Rai)
> --
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