Talk:The Angry Brigade
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To call the Angry Brigade trial a 'political trial' isn't an NPOV, so I'll change it to 'criminal trial', which has a strict meaning within the English legal system. Countersubject 15:04, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
- Please excuse my ignorance of English law, but I would argue that whether English law classes this as criminal is irrelevant. The Angry Brigade's acts were solely political, with some of the accused being put on trial because of their politics and not because of any evidence against them. This, I would argue, would make it a political trial whether English law deems it so or not. Ants 00:54, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
The problem here is verifiability. As a matter of fact, the defendants were were charged with offences against criminal (as opposed to civil) law. Whether or not the prosecution was politically motivated is a matter of opinion. Countersubject 11:27, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
- You are most certainly correct. What I'm trying to say is, with Wikipedia being an encyclopedia, would the trial when analysed be perceived to be a political trial? Re-reading the article I agree that you were right to change it to criminal as the sentence was specifically referring to the length of time the trial lasted for. However I would still maintain that this was a political trial in a wider context. Not just because the prosecution may have been politically motivated (again, I agree that this would be opinion), but because the Angry Brigade's actions were most certainly politically motivated. Ants 22:25, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
There are two issues here: the nature of Wikipedia, and the meaning of 'political' and 'criminal' trial in the context of this article. Because Wikipedia is an encyclopaedia, it has a policy of no original research. That is, assertions should be should be externally verifiable. The analysis you're suggesting is original research. A political trial is one where a prosecution is directed for political ends. A criminal trial is directed at criminal activity, that is, an apparent breach of criminal law. The defendants were accused of bombings. There were bombings, for which the Angry Brigade were apparently responsible. In the UK, as elsewhere, bombing is a criminal activity, irrespective of the motivation. It may be claimed that there was political motivation in prosecuting some of the defendants, whose crime was to be political associates of the bombers, but without verification, such an assertion would be at the best original research.
A less distressing analogy may be helpful. Imagine, for argument's sake, that the government of the day proposes to ban dominoes, and that I'm so disgusted with this infringement of my liberty that I throw paint over the Prime Minister's car. That would be a politically motivated criminal act, and I would not expect my motivation to excuse me from criminal prosecution. It may be that fellow domino players are prosecuted for encouraging or helping me in some way. They may claim that this is just an excuse to criminalise political dissidents, but without evidence for that, the Mandy Rice-Davies response springs to mind: they would say that, wouldn't they? Nor would failure to convict be evidence of such a conspiracy. It would have to be shown either that there was political motivation in the decision to prosecute, or that there was so little ground for prosecution that political motivation could reasonably be assumed. Countersubject 09:16, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
- Agreed. Or the fact that the Amhurst Rd arrest of the Stoke Newiington 8 led to spurious material being introduced into Jake Prescott's trial for the bombing of Robert Carr's house less than a week before its start. There is no discussion of the ab/mis-use of the charge of conspiracy and the entire debate that that engendered.Jatrius (talk) 05:36, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
- Although the group purported to represent "the autonomous working class", when the police arrested nine suspected members of the group, only one, (Jake Prescott, who was arrested in Notting Hill) came from the working class; the other eight, four men and four women (arrested together in Stoke Newington) were middle class student drop-outs from the universities of Cambridge and Essex.
- Horspool 2009, p. 385.
In the mid-70s I was a neighbour of Jim Greenfield's father, who was not middle class. He once informed me there was a ready market for any scrap metal I might be able to liberate from my place of employment -- not a usual topic of conversation among the chattering classes, or so I'm led to believe.
Communist not anarchist?
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