Sølvi Goard, freed antifascist protester, speaks outside Westminster Magistrates Court shortly after the case against her and four others collapses. Read more about the trial here.
rs21: I believe you fought the law. Could you tell us how that went exactly?
Sølvi: Satire won today. I was laughing in court. They had no case. They set us up all these months and the only reaction you could have to their pitiful prosecution was to laugh.
They didn’t want to actually go through with the case. Their chief inspector booked his leave on the precise five days that the trial was taking place. It’s quite a cynical move on their part to disrupt protest.
rs21: So is it cynical, is it incompetent, is it Machiavellian? What’s going on here?
Sølvi: Six of one and half a dozen of the other, innit. The police are institionally incapable of delivering any justice. And that transposes it itself into being institionally incapable of functioning as a police service.
They started off the operation with “good intentions”, knowing that they would try out mass arrests. However they didn’t really have the resources and the wherewithal to go through with it. When push came to shove, they couldn’t properly defend what they were doing.
rs21: Now they’ve strung this out till now, this is: June you got nicked, November you got charged, the prosecution wanted to string it out further until September, plus there were these bail condition [banning you from antifascist protests].
Sølvi: The courts are flooded, overworked. It’s very hard to get a five day trial. The CPS is a huge mess, as you can see. They lost the key document – “dog ate the casework”.
The bail conditions were challenged under human rights law. Our lawyers got them voided. You can’t tell people to not go on a protest!
Once we were actually charged the five of us had all our bail conditions dropped. If we were the five most likely to reoffend why on earth would you not give them bail conditions?
It was about stopping protest, stopping people from coming out against the BNP and the EDL at a time when they wanted to capitalise on the murder of Lee Rigby.
They were happy to let people go round the streets threatening Muslim people, beating up Muslim people, for that situation to escalate, as long as they could keep “public order”.
That’s very cynical and concerning. I’m glad we did it, because we got vindicated.
rs21: Okay, thank you Søren and enjoy your pint.
Interview by Anindya Bhattacharyya.