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Standing against deportations

10 January, 2019 — By John Gulliver

Slogan on Euston Road bridge: ‘Stand with Stanstead 15. End deportations!!!’

WHOEVER dashed off the words on the wall in Euston Road supporting 15 activists who tried to stop a plane carrying 70 immigrants at Stansted airport is in for a nasty shock.

The slogan at the end of the junction with Hampstead Road– painted just before Christmas – calls for an “end to deportations”.

Just a legitimate debating point, you’d think.

But, I gather, because the charge against the activists – all professionals, three of whom are editors of the radical magazine Red Pepper based in Islington, Ruth Short, Emma Hughes and Jo Ram – involves “endangering public safety”, under terror laws anyone who “promotes or glorifies” their actions can face jails sentences of up to seven years.

What this says of the law, I don’t know, except, possibly, it makes it look like an ass.

Meanwhile, the lawyers handed in their appeal on Monday against the verdict reached by a jury last month. It is nearly 150 pages long and turns mainly on the judge’s summing up as well as the decision by the Attorney General to raise the charge to an offence under the terror laws.

The defendants, who denied the charges, are due to be sentenced early next month.

Eleven barristers were involved in drafting the appeal, co-ordinated by Raj Chada, a senior figure at the Euston firm Hodge, Jones and Allen, and a former leader of Camden Council.

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