31st January 2007 - The Crown Prosecution Service have cited ‘lack of evidence’ as the reason for dropping their charges against Chris Osmond, a member of Brighton and Hove Palestine Solidarity Campaign who was arrested and charged with an offence under the Public Order Act at a peaceful demonstration against the Israel’s participation in the Davis Cup at Eastbourne on 22nd July 2006.
Ann Hallan, a member of the Brighton and Hove Palestine Solidarity Campaign who was also at the demonstration commented today ‘The Crown Prosecution Service has seen sense at last. The arrest was going beyond the powers police have under the public order act - this was yet another example of the infringement of the right to protest. The police were targetting certain activists for arrest - they had a sheet of 20 photos with pictures of known activists and were dying to arrest someone. The demonstration was entirely peaceful. Two people, under police supervision, were leafletting near the entrance to the stadium while the rest of the demonstrators were kept behind barriers at a distance.’
The protesters at the match were responding to calls from Palestine and Israel calling for a boycott of Israel until it complies with international law and universal principles of human rights. The boycott includes an academic, cultural and sporting boycott. The call for an international boycott has been signed by 180 civil society organisations in Palestine.
At the time of the protest Israel was engaged in a murderous assault on Lebanon. Over the Summer Israel murdered over a thousand civilians in Lebanon
The action is part of a wider campaign to build a mass boycott movement against apartheid Israel.