Predictably there has been a lot of interest and comment on the sentencing of Charlie Gilmour to sixteen months for two counts of violent disorder. It has been both suggested this was lenient because he’ll only do eight months or less on a tag, and that it was a harsher sentence because of his parent’s notoriety.
Neither of these sentiments are accurate. It is a harsh, unjustified sentence – certainly far longer than those involved in drunken violence on a Saturday night receive. And those who think it’s not long should fuck off and spend a week in prison before making such facile statements.
However, Charlie also hasn’t been sentenced to sixteen months for being rich and privileged, but because he was part of a militant movement which the state is seeking to crush. This is just one more sentence in a long line of deterrent punishments being passed down by the courts, including our Antifa comrades who were sentenced for 21 months for conspiracy to commit violent disorder under very dubious circumstances. Anyone politically motivated and found or pleading guilty is being made an example of, and after Frank Fernie received twelve months for throwing two harmless sticks last week, it was inevitable, with two counts of violent disorder against him, Charlie Gilmour would face a longer stretch.
It has been made very clear to anyone facing violent disorder charges from recent protests that they will be sent to prison if convicted. This leaves defendants with a simple choice – plead guilty and resign yourself to months behind bars, or fight the cases, put the policing of these protests on trial, and show self defence is not an offence.