UK: Student facing trial over writing on pavement in chalk

From: Andrew Johnson

Date: 2009-03-23 00:21:28… Student facing trial over writing on pavement in chalk A university student is facing a trial for criminal damage after writing two civil liberties messages on the pavement in chalk.   By Richard Savill Last Updated: 9:00PM GMT 19 Mar 2009 Paul Saville Photo: SWNS Paul Saville, 23, a second-year sociology and criminology student at the University of the West of England, Bristol, was arrested, locked in a cell for two hours and forced to give DNA samples. His “crime” was simply to write on a pavement “Liberty. The right to question it. The right to ask: “Are we free?” in protest over what he says in the “loss of civil liberties” in Britain. Mr Saville has pleaded not guilty to a charge of criminal damage “under the value of £5,000” in Bristol, and is awaiting trial. He said: “Children use chalk on the streets for hopscotch and some cafes advertise with chalk on the pavement so I don’t understand why they treated me like this. “I don’t think I have done anything wrong. I considered it to be a fun way of conveying my message. The whole reason I was writing in chalk was because I wanted to get my message across without causing lasting damage.” Police confirmed that Mr Saville has been charged and is due to appear in court next month. A spokesman declined to comment further due to the pending court appearance. Mr Saville said that on the first occasion he was staging a one-man protest near a new shopping centre in Bristol about the “loss of civil liberties” in Britain. He wrote on a pavement: “Liberty. The right to question it. The right to ask: “Are we free?” He claimed that a short time later four policemen approached him and asked him to stop. He said he wrote one more letter and was then arrested. He says he was taken to the nearest police station in a van. He was then photographed, fingerprinted, forced to give DNA samples and kept in a cell for more than two hours. Police also examined photographs on his digital camera before releasing him under caution, he said. About a month later he carried out another similar pavement protest, during which he wrote: “As the buildings go up, the wages go down.” Police approached him and checked his records “to see who I was”, he said. He was taken to a police station and underwent the “same procedures”, before being charged, he added. He said he had pleaded not guilty to the charge. He said: “This is normal playground chalk. I was merely highlighting the point that we are losing civil liberties in the UK. This is something we should be thinking about. “To arrest and prosecute me is a waste of the court’s time, police time and taxpayers’ money.” He added: “You could say what I was doing was deviant behaviour but I never thought I would be arrested. “If these really are such dangerous times surely the police could use their time and resources more effectively than this. “I am sure people will say it was a bit daft getting caught twice but I feel adamant that I should be standing up and speaking out for my rights. “I understand that if everyone started using chalk all over the place it would be a mess but surely people can see how ridiculous this is.” Mr Saville has been charged by police. The Crown Prosecution Service reviews each case it receives from police to make sure it is right to proceed with the prosecution. A CPS spokesman said last night (Thurs): “We have requested all of the evidence from the police and will review the case when we receive it.”   Are you interested in what’s really going on in the world, behind the facade? Then…www.checktheevidence… happened on 9/11?    

Related articles...

Comments are closed.