openDemocracyUK

Fortnum UKUncut defy guilty verdict

OurKingdom Ourkingdom
17 November 2011

This is the statement from the UKUncut defendants outside of court today after being found guilty of "aggravated trespass" for a peaceful sit in of Fortnum and Mason high-class food store in Piccadilly on 26 March this year, which we debated here.

Today, the 10 of us who were on trial have been found guilty of taking part in a protest. A protest that was dubbed ‘sensible’ by the senior police officer at the scene. We were standing up, or more accurately sitting down, against our government making harsh cuts to public services, whilst letting companies like Fortnum and Masons get away with dodging a total of tens of billions of pounds of tax every year. Then we are put on trial, whilst it’s clear the real criminals are the tax dodgers, the politicians and the bankers who caused this financial crisis and who continue to profit. We are supposed to have a democratic right to protest yet people like us, exercising that right and expressing our discontent feel the force of the law and receive harsh and disproportionate sentences. We have been convicted of Aggravated Trespass, an example of a law created in the 1990′s as an attack on our rights to protest and which is used in situations like this one to turn protesting into a crime. We will, of course, continue to fight this and will be appealing the judgement.

As the government’s cuts continue to destroy the economy and people’s lives we will not be put off by these attempts at humiliating and punishing us.

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals


To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.


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