FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
“Stop the Met’s criminalisation of strikes” says barrister in legal challenge to Metropolitan Police
The trade union United Voices of the World (UVW) has launched a fundraiser so its former Head of Legal, Franck Magennis, a barrister with Garden Court Chambers, can take legal action against the Metropolitan Police after being unlawfully arrested on a picket line in January of this year.
The arrest, which took place on January 13th at St. George’s University of London, saw Mr Magennis handcuffed and detained in mid-conversation with a Metropolitan Police officer as he inquired into the legality of workers and UVW staff being threatened with arrest under Section 119 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008.
The arrest led to the breakup of the workers’ picket and subsequently saw St. George’s University of London management routinely call the police on striking workers in the days after the arrest – on each occasion workers and UVW staff were threatened with arrest under Section 119 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008.
It is understood the fundraiser will cover the Metropolitan Police’s legal costs if the legal claim against them is unsuccessful.
Speaking about the significance of the case Mr Magennis said: “My unlawful arrest is another episode of the Metropolitan Police brazenly attacking trade unionists; only a few weeks before a Judge had to instruct jurors to throw out a nonsense case against trade unionist James Farrar for using a megaphone which the police said had been assault because it hurt two officer’s eardrums. This case is now more important than ever, as the police have clearly been emboldened by the anti-worker rhetoric of Boris Johnson’s Conservative government and think they can act with impunity, putting workers’ rights and civil rights at risk. By supporting UVW’s crowdfunder we can send a message that we won’t tolerate these attacks on the fundamental and human right to strike.”
Susie Labinjoh, of Hodge Jones & Allen solicitors, and Mr Magennis’s lawyer said, “Magennis’s arrest clearly raises important constitutional issues. We will be looking at all legal avenues to ensure that police are held to account, that trade union members are not criminalised for going on strike, and that people are not arbitrarily arrested. The police must respect and uphold union members’ right to protest’.
For more information and quotes please contact:
Kane Shaw, email. email@example.com 07950 927798
If you wish to donate to the fundraiser you can do so here.