Speakers

Sam Walton

Sam Walton got involved in the Climate Camp Legal Team because the police kept harassing and beating up his mates, and is now part of Green & Black Cross (GBC). Sam often answers the GBC legal hotline, films the police, gets involved with judicial reviews of kettling, trains legal observers, and strokes his beard whilst plotting ways to expose the police’s repressive tendencies. He enjoys watching the police’s lies unravel, cycling, and real ale.

Marc Vallee

Marc Vallée is documentary photographer whose work covers the London graffiti scene, anti-skateboarding architecture, youth culture and political dissent.  Marc is also an investigative journalist and has co-authored major front page investigations on police surveillance of protesters and journalists as well as covert state targeting of activists for the Guardian and the Financial Times. Along side this Marc has also written about photographers rights, press freedom, trade union rights and civil liberties for the Guardian’s Comment is free.
Marc was one of the original founders of the ‘I’m a Photographer Not a Terrorist’ campaign and also played a significant role in setting up the London Photographers’ Branch of the National Union of Journalists.

Rob Safar

On 26 March 2011 Rob Safar, along with 145 other protesters, was arrested on suspicion of aggravated tresspass and criminal damage outside Fortnum and Mason, following a peaceful demonstration organised by UKUncut. The following day he was charged, like his fellow protesters, under the aggravated tresspass laws. On 23 March 2012 he was found not guilty by the Magistrates’ Court.

He is a digital publisher and campaigner, specialising in international development and citizen journalism. He has worked with 38 Degrees, ActionAid, Positive Money and has been involved in campaigns on media plurality, public spending, tax justice, parliamentary reform and economic reform.

Rizwaan Sabir

RizwaanSabir was the University of Nottingham student who was wrongly arrested andheld for 7 days as a suspected terrorist for being in possession of a librarybook on Al-Qaeda, that he was using for his academic research. In September2011, he was awarded £20,000 in damages and an apology. He is currentlyresearching UK counter-terrorism at the University of Bath. He appears onbroadcast media and writes for, amongst others, the Guardian, the Independentand Al-Jazeera. He can be emailed on R.Sabir@bath.ac.ukor followed on twitter (@RizwaanSabir)

Michael Oswald

Michael is a solicitor at Bhatt Murphy who specialises in representing clients who have been subject to misconduct at the hands of the police, including in private law and public law litigation as well as through the police complaints system.  A particular focus of his work is the policing of protest and public order. He is currently instructed in the case of R (Roberts) v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis (heard at the High Court on 3 and 4 May 2012), in which Ms Roberts is seeking a declaration that the power to stop and search without reasonable suspicion under section 60 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 is incompatible with Articles 5 and 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights.

Simon Natas

Simon Natas is a partner at ITN solicitors, based in East London. He specialises in criminal defence and human rights work, with a particular interest in defending protestors; activists and cases involving wrongdoing on the part of the police. Recent high profile cases include H v DPP (conviction for swearing at police officers quashed in the High Court) and R,W,N and O v DPP, a leading authority on aggravated trespass arising from direct action

Susannah Mengesha

Susannah Mengesha is a volunteer legal observer, attending political demonstrations within trained teams to monitor and deter police misconduct. Whilst legal observing at the N30 cuts march last year she and her fellow legal observers were kettled by police for several hours and release from the kettle was made contingent on their giving personal details, as well as each being individually filmed and searched, under threat of arrest. She is currently pursuing a claim for judicial review concerning this matter for the police’s alleged misuse of s50 Police Reform Act 2002 for indiscriminate data gathering purposes, as well as their continued retention of her information and images on the police database.

Susannah is a final year student on the Legal Practice Course at The College of Law and works as Caseworker and Interim Manager of ‘Bar in the Community’ at the Bar Pro Bono Unit, a legal charity which provides free representation to people who do not qualify for legal aid. Before this she worked for eight years in the voluntary sector helping homeless people in London. She volunteers legal support for Traveller Solidarity Network, the activist group which seeks to resist the brutal ongoing evictions of Traveller families at Dale Farm. Susannah is speaking in a purely personal capacity, and any views expressed are solely her own.

Alfie Meadows

Alfie suffered a extradural brain haemorrhage and skull fracture after he was struck on the head with a police baton during the student demonstration of 2010.  Despite the severity of his injuries, Alfie was prosecuted for violent disorder.  Having stood trial once in front of a jury who failed to reach a verdict, he now faces the ordeal all over again in the Autumn, as the CPS have insisted on a re-trial.

April James

April James has been a member of the advisory service for squatters (ASS)
collective for about 2 and a half years, giving free legal advice to
homeless and vulnerably housed people. abuse of police power is common in housing disputes, especially as the police tend to have little or no
understanding of the complexities of civil law and tenants’ rights. With
the coming law change that will make squatting in residential premises a
criminal offence, police misconduct toward insecurely housed people looks
set to worsen. April is also involved with prisoner support work.

Amanda Jacks

Amanda works full time for the Football Supporters’  Federation as a caseworker.   Her role includes referring supporters to solicitors either on their arrest or for possible civil claims and also working with supporter groups and police to ensure better communication and match day policing for supporters of all clubs.     When the involvement of legal professionals is not necessary, Amanda supports fans through making complaints against both football clubs and the police

Kamaljeet Gill

Kamaljeet Gill is a research and policy analyst at the Runnymede Trust – the UK’s leading race equality think tank. He currently coordinates the StopWatch project. StopWatch is a coalition of legal experts, activists, academics and civil society groups that aims to address disproportionate use of stop and search and encourage fair and accountable policing. Prior to working at Runnymede Kamaljeet worked in research consultancy. He has previously volunteered for a Jaipur based NGO conducting research into child labour and slum sanitation in Rajasthan India. Kamaljeet has a BA in modern history from Balliol College Oxford and an MA from the School of Oriental and African Studies.

Rebekah Delsol

Rebekah Delsol works on the ethnic profiling project at the Open Society Justice Initiative, and is a member of StopWatch, which works to ensure fair and accountable stop and search

Katherine Craig

Kat Craig is a solicitor at Christian Khan Solicitors, where she specialises in private and public law challenges against State bodies, including the police and the Home Office, and the private companies increasingly responsible for detainees’ care in custody. She is co-author of The Protest Handbook, and regularly acts for protesters in complaints and civil actions against the police. She acted for Lois Austin in Austin v UK, the lead case on ‘kettling’ or containment or protesters, in the European Court of Human Rights, and is bringing further private and public law challenges arising out of the student protest on 9 December 2010 and the anti-cuts protest on 30 November 2011. She has a keen interest in representing young people from disenfranchised communities, in particular challenging the actions of police where these may be motivated by racial discrimination, and where the abuse of police powers leads to unlawful stop and search decisions. Kat is Vice-Chair of the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers and a member of the Police Action Lawyers Group.