The student movement needs to do more to defend and support activists victimised by the police, defending the right to protest and take direct action is vital to taking on the government and university managements in the fight for free education and other progressive battles. Here is a model motion to get your SU to support arrested protesters:
Support Arrested Student Protesters
The Students’ Union believes:
- When students attend demonstrations, there is a risk of being arrested. Whether or not the individual student has broken the law is irrelevant; the policing of demonstrations is often heavy-handed and indiscriminate.
- If you are arrested, not knowing what to do adds stress to an already stressful situation.
- Being arrested is costly: arrestees are usually released in the middle of the night or early the next morning, meaning they miss their coach home.
- The SU has a duty of care towards its members. This extends to demonstrations which have been organised by the SU, and those which the SU has given its support by organising transport to the demonstration.
The Students’ Union resolves:
- To provide “bust cards,” with information on what to do if arrested, for all students of the SU attending an SU-supported demonstration
- To provide legal advice in safety briefings
- To liaise with demonstration organisers for details of legal firms willing to offer legal support, to be distributed in advance
- To provide financial support to arrestees, including but not necessarily limited to covering the cost of return travel to [insert city here].
- Never to hand over the names of any arrestees, whether to the press, the University, or the public at large.