Our purpose as Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC) is to build effective solidarity with the Palestinian people as an extension to the Palestinian struggle for freedom against Israel's programme of ethnic cleansing and genocide in Palestine. We can only do this if we defend our rights here in Scotland and resist attempts by government and Police Scotland to prevent peaceful protest and opposition to the atrocities being carried out by the state of Israel and the complicity of the British government in those crimes.
On Saturday 16 December, founder member of SPSC Mick Napier, was seized and frog marched out of an anti-genocide protest at Glasgow Central Station by two burly cops, his phone forcibly taken and he was then put into a small cage at the back of a nearby police van. Two officers informed him that he was being arrested on "religiously aggravated" charges. At London Road Police Station he was put in a cell and charged with support for a proscribed organisation under the Terrorism Act 2000 S12(1). He was told that the charge was because he had said something earlier that day with reference to the Palestinian Hamas movement that was unacceptable. The full video of Mick Napier’s speech is available here and below this statement.
This arrest and charge by Police Scotland is the latest in a line of legal attacks by the Scottish police and prosecution authorities over the last 14 years. Having successfully defeated in open court a series of fake antisemitism and wholly invented assault charges, extracted a churlish apology from Scottish police for wrongful arrest and assault, we will now vigorously fight and see off this new, but even more sinister and equally baseless terrorism charge.
The earlier charges were failed attempts to intimidate and isolate SPSC from the wider Scottish movement of pro-Palestine advocacy, very much a page from the Israeli anti-BDS playbook.
The current bail terms imposed on Mick Napier include a ban from Glasgow City Centre, the city where he was born and grew up and where much of his social life is focused. He is also banned from attending any protest of any kind any where in Scotland.
There is a long history of the use of terrorism legislation to silence dissent. Some may remember that 82-year-old Labour Party member Walter Wolfgang was ejected from that party's annual conference after shouting "nonsense" to Foreign Secretary Jack Straw's defence of the invasion of Iraq. Police then used powers under the Terrorism Act to prevent Mr Wolfgang's re-entry to the conference!
SPSC will vigorously defend Mick Napier and the words that he spoke in relation to the Palestinian right to resist Israel's genocidal violence. Mass killings have been part of Israel’s program to drive all Palestinians out of their homeland - not since 7 October 2023, but over decades of planned and executed massacres.
We will take this fight into Glasgow Sheriff Court and as far as necessary through the legal system to achieve yet another victory against those who attack our rights to protest and to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people.
We ask for the following support in response to this censorship against those opposing Israeli genocide:
- share and post your support for this statement and the video, and ask your contacts to do likewise
- host a discussion of the issues involved in 'terrorism' charges being used to silence non-violent protest
- join demonstrations in your area
- support all those arrested for standing up for Palestinian freedom
- donate to SPSC
- join SPSC
The most suitable response to this harrassment is to maintain and intensify your activity for Palestinian freedom.
Scotish Palestine Solidarity Campaign
20 December 2023