Martin Smith, leading Unite Against Fascism activist, national coordinator of Love Music Hate Racism and a central committee member of the Socialist Workers Party has been convicted of assaulting a police officer in what is, almost certainly, a miscarriage of justice.
Smith attacked his sentence of community service and a fine as an attempt to criminalise anti-fascist action.
Mark Serwotka, an old work colleague of Smith's and now head of the PCS union, said of the conviction that "I am shocked at the verdict delivered in a magistrates court today, in the absence of any evidence, that Martin Smith, national co-ordinator of Love Music Hate Racism, was guilty of assault on a police officer at the demonstration outside of the BBC on 22 October 2009, against Nick Griffin’s appearance on Question Time."
He continued that;
A worrying development but it's good to hear that people are not willing to be deterred.
"There is a danger that verdicts such as these provide encouragement for the abhorrent views of racist and fascist organisations and therefore it is crucial that across the labour movement we stand united in our condemnation of it.
"At PCS we will re-double our efforts to campaign against the far right, including organisations such as the BNP and English Defence League and we will continue to support Martin and other anti fascist campaigners when they are treated in such an unjust, outrageous way.
"PCS will work with UAF and LMHR to fight the far right wherever we can and also to highlight the unequal way in which anti-fascist campaigners and activists are treated in comparison with racist and fascist thugs."