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Defend the Right to Protest » Posts » Jonnie Marbles Sent to Jail: Stop Sentencing Protesters NOW

Jonnie Marbles Sent to Jail: Stop Sentencing Protesters NOW


Jonnie Marbles (aka Jonnie May-Bowles), 26, who attempted to throw a foam pie at Rupert Murdoch at the House of Commons culture committee on July 19th, had pleaded guilty to common assault and was today sentenced to six weeks imprisonment of which he will serve three, and ordered to pay a fine of £250 plus £15 ‘victim surcharge’. Murdoch had not wanted to press charges, but the court proceeded anyway.

District Judge Daphne Wickham, who sentenced Jonnie, is the same person who let Sgt Delroy Smellie off the hook for assaulting Nicola Fisher at the G20 protest in 2009, despite YouTube footage of the officer striking at Fisher with his hand and a baton.

Jonnie’s excessive sentence for a prank that hurt no one, committed by someone with no criminal record, against a man whose media empire has ruined lives, is yet more evidence of government crackdown on dissent. The decision to proceed with the case and to punish Jonnie for essentially embarrassing Parliament’s security arrangements, and for rightly pointing out what a mockery the Murdoch hearing was, is on a continuum with recent incredibly punitive sentences handed down to protesters on student protests, union demos and other actions, as well as with the Met’s attempt to get people to turn anarchists into the police (now vaguely retracted).

It is clear the police, the courts and the government are severely rattled by individuals and groups expressing their opposition to government policy and to corruption at the highest levels, as recently and spectacularly revealed in the case of News International’s ties to police, press and government in the hacking scandal. The information gathering explicitly carried out by police on protesters, students, members of UK Uncut and squatters is further evidence that the government are increasingly using the category of ‘domestic extremist’ to tarnish anyone voicing their opposition to government policies (for more information on the ongoing attempt to criminalise squatting see the SQUASH campaign website).

DTRTP extends their solidarity to Jonnie Marbles and with all other protesters recently charged and sentenced: end political policing and sentencing NOW - as @copwatcher puts it: ‘Six weeks in prison for breach of the peace and common assault is vengeance, not justice’.


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6 Responses to "Jonnie Marbles Sent to Jail: Stop Sentencing Protesters NOW"

  1. Tom Driscoll says:

    Should we club together and pay his fine? I know I’d like to give him some money…

  2. James Newman says:

    District Judge Daphne Wickham says there is no evidence that officer smellie who attacked an innocent woman by slapping her across the face with the back of his hand and then using a stick to hit her on the legs. This judge said there was no evidence to suggest he did anything illegal. The video of the incident speaks for itself.

    Why did District Judge Daphne Wickham let this thug in police uniform walk free. Was money exchanged or does this judge favour police officers of members of the public?

    Shame on this judge for ignoring the clear video evidence of a police thug attacking a defencless woman.

  3. Anarchist oldskool says:

    the best way to avoid getting a punitive sentence is NOT TO PLEAD GUILTY! His solicitor should be serving the prison time for giving him such poor legal advice. If Jonnie actually wanted to plead guilty against his solicitors advice well..

    The best thing you can do is to hammer home never to plead guilty.

  4. Liz K says:

    I remember commenting on this yesterday: wonder why it didn’t come out! Anyway: this situation is disgusting. Paranoid Establishment strikes back. Anyway I think he could have pleaded not guilty, on account of a blob of foam not being “assault”, any more than canned party string, or that stuff in discos in Ibiza.

  5. Bill says:

    Does anyone know which prison Jonnie is in and the date/time of his release?

  6. admin says:

    Jonathan May-Bowles A3728CF HMP Wandsworth Heathfield Rd London SW18 3HS

    Not sure of exact release date yet.

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