Crowd-funding legal actions

4 May

Wow. A lot of people want to see the Met in court.

I had an unpleasant surprise on Wednesday night that my legal excess bill was not small change. (The rest is covered by legal aid, but this bit is non-negotiable) and I need to pay £550 before the end of the month.

(Background to the case nicely covered by the Guardian here:)
Guardian Video

Sarah J from the Bad Reputation suggested crowd funding, so I put together a Facebook group called ‘I’ll Give Hannah a Tenner to see the Met in Court‘. I was looking for 55 people to pledge a tenner, which would be refunded (as all my legal fees would be) if I win – but if I lose the case then, sorry, thank you for your charity. It went to a good cause.

I made a group with this copy:

Hannah was arrested, handcuffed and held in a police station on the day of the royal wedding because she was dressed like a zombie (for a flashmob) which police had decided was an anti-royalist statement. She hadn’t broken any laws and was in a Starbucks, queuing to buy a coffee at the time. She and fourteen others arrested pre-emptively (i.e. illegally) have won the right to a Judicial Review.

Full details available here: http://pageantryandprecrime.wordpress.com/

However, even with legal aid she’s got a few costs that can’t be shirked. She’s looking for 55 people to donate a tenner – which will be refunded if she wins the case.

And I tweeted and Facebooked it – as did my friends. I was expecting some friends to support it, and maybe even a couple of activists with… ahem… history with the Met. I was thinking even half the costs would be a huge help.

You, good people, did not disappoint. Within 24 hours I had more money pledged than I was asking for. Thank you so much, you have no idea. It’s a huge help financially, obviously – it’s also hugely heartening and touching that so many people want to help so much.

I will spend the weekend sorting out the best method of transferring money (I’ve been warned off paypal). If anyone wants to donate to this cause but has missed the boat – the wonderful Netpol – the network for police monitoring are well worth a tenner. They’re made up of amazing organisations such as the Climate Camp Legal Team, FITWatch, Green & Black Cross, the Legal Defence & Monitoring Group and Newham Monitoring Project (NPM). These guys will be supporting protest and fighting police abuses of power long after our court case has been and gone – so click on the Netpol site where you can donate.

But in the meantime, from the bottom of my heart, thank you everyone.

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