Defend Our Education - Defend Alfie Meadows
2nd October 2012 11:57 am Author: SU exec
On the 9th of December 2010 students from across the country
demonstrated outside parliament against the introduction of £9,000 a
year tuition fees. Many students came to protest against the effects
of privatisation in their universities; Alfie Meadows was one of them,
opposing the closure of the philosophy department at Middlesex
The behaviour of the police on the demonstration, as subsequent video
footage has revealed, involved kettling students for hours on
Westminster Bridge in sub-zero temperatures, charges by mounted
police, and attacking the demonstration with police batons. Alfie was
struck so hard on the head with a police baton that he needed
emergency brain surgery.
After the demonstration the police launched a campaign criminalise
students, arresting and charging scores of people, and in the process
attempting curtail the right to protest. Not one police officer faced
disciplinary or legal investigation following the demonstration, yet
Alfie was charged with violent disorder.
The jurors in Alfie’s trial earlier this year failed to reach a
verdict, while three other students tried at the time were cleared.
Alfie now faces a retrial on the 29th of October.
Alfie and other protesters would not be facing these trials if it were
not for the austerity policies – of which the attacks on education are
one part – being forced through by the coalition government. His
retrial will take place as the effects of cuts and privatisation wreak
havoc across higher education.
We plan on continuing those protests this Autumn. We believe our
students have the right to challenge these decidedly un-democratic
reforms and they have the right to be defended if they are criminalized
for doing so.
We stand with Alfie against attempts to criminalise him, call for the
charges to be dropped and pledge to join the protest in his support
on the first day of his re-trial at Kingston Crown Court.
Defend the Right to Protest will be holding their annual conference on
October 14th this year, with workshops on defence campaigns, on
challenging deaths in custody and international protest movements.
You can book a place online at
Also there is a Facebook page for everyone who is signed up