A Statement from Bristol Anti-Repression Campaign in support of Jasmine – whose trial at Bristol Crown Court concluded today.
We are happy to hear that Jasmine was found not guilty of the two most serious charges in her trial today.
We are saddened and enraged that Jasmine was found guilty of arson.
Regardless of the verdict, we always knew that the charges against Jasmine were trumped up and outrageous. The Crown Prosecution Service dubbed Jasmine a ‘leader’ and ‘instigator’ of a ‘riot’. In fact there was no evidence of this whatsoever. This was reflected in the jury’s unanimous ‘not guilty’ verdict for riot.
During the protest, Jasmine pushed a bin in the direction of a police line to create an obstacle and prevent more police violence. The prosecution claimed this bin was damaged by the flames from a burning police car. We find it ridiculous Jasmine was found guilty of arson given zero evidence was presented that the bin in question was damaged by the fire.
Bristol Anti-Repression Campaign stands with Jasmine, and all the other defendants from March 21st.
We are proud that people in our community stood up against the violence of the police. We need to build real community power, and grow our strength to resist against state control.
Today’s not guilty verdicts for the most serious two charges against Jasmine are the first ‘not guilty’ verdicts in the Bristol ‘riot’ trials. These verdicts show we can fight and win these cases.
BARC will continue to support more defendants in winning their cases, as well as supporting those in prison.
What is Bristol Anti-Repression Campaign
BARC (Bristol Anti-Repression Campaign) is an organisation that supports those that took to the streets to resist the Police, Crime, Sentencing & Courts (PCSC) bill. BARC is made up of a number of those arrested since 21st March, and their supporters.
On the 21st March last year, Jasmine was brutally beaten by police at a demonstration against the Police, Crime, Sentencing & Courts (PCSC) Bill.
The Bill seeks to give more power to the state, police and prison system at a time when the police are only being further exposed for their institutional racism, misogyny and brutality.
In the backdrop of the rape and murder of Sarah Everard by a serving police officer, and the violent policing of the resulting vigils, thousands of Bristolians – including Jasmine – took to the streets of Bristol to protest against handing the police further powers through the PCSC bill.
The PCSC bill is an oppressive piece of legislation that persecutes marginalized communities and violates our hard-fought rights to protest. Some parts of the bill have been rejected by the house of lords, but the majority of its authoritarian measures are still being pushed through.
About 21 March 2021
On 21 March 2021, demonstrators like Jasmine faced repeated and excessive violence from police officers. Indeed, the horrific injuries received by Jasmine at the hands of police have been widely disseminated in the media.
Jasmine has now been charged with riot and arson, and she could face a custodial sentence. We see this as an attempt by the state to intimidate and frighten those who dare to come together to resist against a system that brutalises and impoverishes us.
We stand beside Jasmine and all of the other protesters facing charges for taking a stand against police violence and repression. They have all of our love, respect and solidarity.