Five in court over Liverpool Irish march opposition. Accused were seen “chanting and gesticulating” to marchers, court hears
Five people appeared in court charged with a public order offence relating to an Irish and trade unionist march in Liverpool.
Paul Harrison, 31, of Windbourne Road, Aigburth; Jason Aspinall, 41, of Cherry Lane, Walton; Jonathan Halvorsen, 22, of Wentworth Drive, Everton; Margaret Anders, 24, of Northumberland Street, Toxteth, and Paul Anders, 26, of Northumberland Street, Toxteth, appeared at Liverpool magistrates’ court today.
They are all charged with failing to comply with a notice which required counter-protesters at the James Larkin march last July to assemble in a designated spot.
All five deny the charge.
The hearing, which is scheduled to last two days, heard evidence from senior officers who were responsible for policing the event.
Chief Inspector Martin Woosey said protestors were told at the start of the march that they would be liable for arrest if they tried to disrupt the procession, which in previous years had been marred by scenes of public disorder.
He said that all five of the accused were spoken to by officers on separate occasions during the course of the march, culminating in their arrest as it made its way along Hanover Street and The Strand.
Giving evidence, Chief Inspector Mark Morgan said that he saw Harrison, Aspinall, and Halvorsen “chanting and gesticulating” towards the marchers in Hanover Street, which they denied.
He also told the court that he saw Paul and Margaret Anders “shouting abuse” towards the parade as it made its way along The Strand, which they also denied.
From The Liverpool Echo. 26.11.13
Editorial. For anyone not familiar with the political climate in Liverpool, the James Larkin Memorial March is an annual event which commemorates Liverpool’s greatest trade unionist. Last year it was violently attacked by members of the English Defence League and the North West Infidels on the entirely spurious and totally nonsensical grounds that the march had been arranged by the IRA! This year, in advance of the march, the police served public order notices on all known far right activists in the north west, warning them that they risked arrest if they caused any disruption. Given the appalling acumen of the average NWI/EDL member, it is both gratifying and surprising that the police only needed to make five arrests.