Against the draconian sentencing of Edward Woollard

Draconian sentencing is an attack on the right to protest

The 32 month custodial sentence given to Edward Woollard in the Millbank protests is an outrage.

It will not only see Woollard spend the rest of his teenage years behind bars, but is a politically motivated attack on the entire student and anti-cuts movement.

Woollard handed himself in to the police, had never been in trouble with the authorities before, pleaded guilty to the offence, and had 30 statements of good character. He made a terrible mistake in throwing the fire extinguisher off the roof of Millbank tower, but the judgement handed down to him is not about his individual action. In truth, it is about the courts sending a message to wider society that the state will not tolerate resistance to the biggest attack on working people we have seen in living memory.

Judge Geoffrey Rivlin QC was quite clear that this was a “deterrent sentence” designed to send out “a a very clear message to anyone minded to behave in this way that an offence of this seriousness will not be tolerated”. Woollard was simply not judged on his individual actions which thankfully led to no injuries. Far more serious acts of violent disorder routinely receive shorter sentences.

We the undersigned will campaign vigorously for the rights of all arrested protesters.

We recognise the biggest criminals of all are those wielding the axe to our public services.

A broad and powerful protest movement is now taking shape on the streets and in the workplaces.

We will not be intimidated by draconian sentences or any form of police repression.

If you would like to support the statement, join this facebook group or email againstfeesandcuts [at]


Jon McDonnell – Labour MP (Hayes and Harlington)
Lindsey German – Convenor of Stop the War Coalition; Coalition of Resistance
Joana Oliveira Pinto – NCAFC; School of Oriental and African Studies
Sean Rillo Raczka
– NCAFC; Chair of Council, Executive Officer Birbeck College Students Union
Luke Cooper
– Revolution; Sussex University
Clare Solomon – President of the University of London Union
Patrizia Kokot – NCAFC; LSE and Aberystywth University
Andrew Burgin – Coalition of Resistance
Edward Maltby
– NCAFC; Alliance of Workers’ Liberty
Michael Chessum
– NCAFC; Education and Communications Officer University College London Union
Ashok Kumar
– NCAFC; Education Officer London School of Economics Student Union
Louis Hartnoll
– President of SUARTS (University of the Arts London)
James Haywood –
EAN; Communication and Campaigns Officer Goldsmiths College Student Union
Flaminia Giambalvo
– NCAFC; Goldsmiths College
John Bowman – NCAFC; Revolution
Greg Brown – NCAFC; University College London
Maham Hashmi-Khan – School of Oriental and African Studies
Jess RawAberystwyth University
Sean Ambler – NCAFC; Revolution; Oxford University
Jo Casserly – Revolution; University College London
Edwin Clifford-Coupe – University College London
Paul Webster – Aberystwyth University


  1. Anyone got Edward’s prison address for support?

  2. Chris Rawlinson says:

    Hey Bob,

    I have Ed’s address but I can’t hand it out for obvious reasons. However, if you would like to contact Ed, please send a letter with an addressed and stamped envelope inside, so Ed can reply, to:

    Student Union
    Brockenhurst College
    Lyndhurst Road
    SO42 7ZE

    We will then either pass it on to Tania, Ed’s mum, or send them directly to him.


  3. The Voice of Reason says:

    What complete rubbish. He’s an ATTEMPTED MURDERER. He’s lucky the sentence is so light.

    And before anyone shouts me down for being some kind of fascist, I’m actually at the most liberal end of the spectrum for prison regimes – I don’t believe custodial sentences are ever appropriate UNLESS someone is a danger to the public, or themselves. That’s why fraudsters and conmen shouldn’t be in jail – but attempted murderers like this twit should be.

    Nobody made him chuck a fire extinguisher off a skyscraper. Nobody even asked him to. This violent idiot thought that in the heat of the moment it would be a good thing to do – and CCTV shows it landed inches from a police officer, very nearly killing him. He is a danger to society.

    How out of touch with reality are you? Is it because he was on your sacred march? Can’t you people tell right from wrong? Not everyone who marched that day was a saint. (I was on the march myself – the non-violent part of the march – before you try and denounce me.)

    Hang your head in shame.

  4. He is undoubtedly a political prisoner.

  5. “The Voice of Reason” is an idiot. If you’re going to call him out on this, get your facts right. He wasn’t violent, this was a one off. It was a female police officer. And it wasn’t a skyscraper.

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