On Monday a group of fifteen people will appear in court in Chelmsford, charged with terrorism offences. Their crime? Blocking the take-off of a plane deporting people from Britain against their will. The maximum sentence? Life in prison.
Read the full story on the Independent’s website: Activists are being charged under terrorism laws for the first time in Britain – this sets a dangerous precedent
SBS stands in solidarity with the peaceful protesters at Stanstead Airport who took direct action to oppose harsh and punitive state immigration practices. We note with particular concern that the protestors are not only being criminalised but tried under terrorism legislation. This is wrong.
Freedom of assembly and expression is the lifeblood of liberal democracy but using terrorism laws to penalise such protests is the mark of fascism. The protesters have a right to peaceful and lawful protest and to a fair trial and due process – democratic principles that this government falsely claims to uphold in the name of so-called British values.
Activists protesting against deportation flights have gathered outside Chelmsford Crown Court, where 15 people are going on trial accused of invading the runway at Stansted Airport.
More than 20 flights had to be diverted when the group got onto the tarmac at the airport last year.
They chained themselves to a charter plane that was due to deport asylum seekers and other migrants to Nigeria and Ghana.
The group deny charges of obstructing a person engaged in lawful activity and taking part in a demonstration likely to obstruct the airport.
Taken from the ITV News website: Activists gather outside court as trial of Stansted Airport protestors begins