On November 11th 2011, Eric Jinks, a student at Cardiff & Vale College who at the time was 17 years old, was arrested along with seven others while taking part in the Occupy Cardiff protest at Cardiff Castle, a public green space owned in common by the people of the city of Cardiff.
Cardiff Council was the only council in the UK to try to prevent an Occupy camp from even setting up its tents. South Wales Police deployed horses and tasers against 200 peaceful protesters. We linked arms and stood together in the freezing rain in order to make a stand against the Council, the Assembly, and Parliament, all of whom are making cuts to essential public services. In order to find a pretext for the arrests, Cardiff Council dusted off an 1875 by-law which one Cardiff councillor has described as “not really a law”.
Despite widespread support for Eric and the other arrestees, including a letter signed by prominent trade unionists, activists and politicians which appeared in last week’s Guardian; and despite Eric’s age at the time of his arrest; South Wales Police are going ahead with their charges against Eric and a “case management hearing” has been scheduled for February 8th. Eric faces a potential three months in prison for peaceful protest in a public space.
Defend the Right to Protest
February 8, 2012
Cardiff Magistrates Court
Fitzalan Place, Cardiff
Occupy Cardiff members are arrested by South Wales Police. Video by Andy Williams, Cardiff University UCU.