Speaking after Judge Christopher Morgan declared that the actions of the Stansted 15 protesters,who successfully prevented a deportation flight full of asylum seekers from flying, do not “pass the threshold for immediate custody”, Gerry Carroll MLA stated:
“Only a few days ago some of these campaigners were facing the prospect of life in prison for actions relating to terrorism. The fact that they were hauled in front of a court for standing up for human rights is appalling.”
”Whilst it’s welcome news that the campaigners will not be jailed, they should never have been sentenced. I fully support the campaign to appeal and remove all charges.
”This case was a synical attempt to send a message to anti-deportation campaigners and protesters generally – that we should be careful. In reality the Stansted 15 deserve medals, not criminal records. We should resist attempts by the courts to criminalise peaceful protest.”
”Moreover, the fact that at least 11 people in board the plane which protesters prevented from flying were successfully given asylum and the right to remain in the UK proves that the protesters were right to act. No human should be illegal, but some of those being deported should never have been on that plane, even by state standards.”
”There is no doubt that the lenient sentences mean the court felt the anger of the public and the pressure to reflect it in this judgement. We need to keep up that pressure to ensure the sentences are successfully appealed and that no more anti-deportation activists stand trial.”