Necessity Still Breeds Ingenuity - Archive of SQUALL MAGAZINE 1992-2006
Arrests following Hackney Homeless Festival
Photo: Nick Cobbing

News Shorts And Other Business

Acquittals For Five Arrested In Hackney Homeless ‘Incident’

Squall 10, Summer 1995, pg. 5.

Peter Silver, of solicitors Peter Silver and Co, represented Robert Walker who was charged with Violent Disorder contrary to Section 2 of the Public Order Act.

He along with four others, represented by solicitors Hodge, Jones and Allen, were all acquitted of public order offences following the incident which occurred on Green Lanes after the Hackney Homeless Festival in Clissold Park last May (see SQUALL 7).

Peter Silver believes that “quite frankly, there was a violent disorder after the festival but I think a jury of 12 people have indicated quite clearly that they think it was perpetrated by a bunch of thugs in blue uniforms and crash helmets. I can’t speak for the jury but I can only assume this is what they thought”.

Nick Cobbing’s photograph (see photo) was useful in the case because, says Mr Silver, “It shows the attitude of the police,” who are quite evidently not administering first aid to a “very badly injured man” lying on the ground after he had been beaten around the head by police, whilst attempting to run out of the way. The picture also refutes police claims that paving stones, bricks and bottles were thrown at them; the road is completely clear of missiles. The injured man’s civil action against the police is pending and this photograph could again prove useful evidence.

Mr Silver told SQUALL that the police case was very weak. He has no doubt that the violence, following an excellent and peaceful festival, was “totally unnecessary” and thinks there would have been no trouble had the police not turned up. “There should be people in court charged with grievous bodily harm and if found guilty they should be treated the same as everyone else. That means 5 years. But because they’re policemen, they’re not.”

Related Articles
The Festival, Council & Scapegoats - Hackney homeless take the blame - Squall 7, Summer 1994.
Hackney's Homeless Peoples' Festival - Is to go ahead on May 8th at Clissold Park - Squall 6, Spring 1994.