The verdict in Mike Buchanan’s trial

Yesterday I was on trial at Hammersmith Magistrate’s Court, answering a charge of obstructing the highway during an anti-MGM protest in Parliament Square in June. The video is here, the relevant sequences are 6:30 – 7:54, 8:15 – 9:25, 13:31 – 13:38, a total of 161 seconds.

Firstly I should like to thank the six supporters who turned up and witnessed the trial, their presence meant a lot to me. I should particularly like to thank Ian for his legal advice in the months before the trial, and for sitting with me as a ‘McKenzie friend’ during it, providing advice as the trial progressed.

I represented myself, Legal Aid is not available for such cases. The judge was a woman, and was friendly throughout the proceedings. She watched our YouTube video of the matter twice. The CCTV footage provided by the prosecution was hopeless.

Our key objective yesterday was to test the ‘legal excuse’ defence, with a view to possibly using it in relation to future civil disobedience actions. In my defence, I read out a statement.

The judge rejected the ‘legal excuse’ defence, and I’ll be posting a transcript of her lengthy judgement when it’s made available to us, hopefully shortly. We do not believe she gave adequate weight to the minimal disruption caused by my actions, when compared with major protests which can block roads for hours, and no arrests (or few) are made.

We shall be appealing , and a retrial will take place at Isleworth Crown Court at some point in the next 3-6 months. The trial, in common with yesterday’s, will not include a jury. I hope that one day this matter will be tried in the presence of a jury.

I was fined £80, and I also have to pay £250 of the £680 prosecution costs, along with a £30 victim surcharge, a total of £360. In the light of my financial circumstances, the judge agreed I could pay £25 monthly. I was delighted after the trial when Richie gave me £30 for the first monthly payment, and said, ‘use the balance for a pint of beer’. In the afternoon Jordan sent £50 by PayPal for the second and third months. I thank them both warmly, and I shall pay the balance out of my own funds, not party funds. So far my life of crime has been cashflow positive.

We shall continue pursuing legal options for as long as possible. We can win this battle and we shall win it.

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About Mike Buchanan

I'm a men's human rights advocate, writer, and publisher. My primary focus is leading the political party I launched in 2013, Justice for Men & Boys (and the women who love them). I still work actively on two campaigns I launched in early 2012, Campaign for Merit in Business and the Anti-Feminism League. In 2014 I launched The Alternative Sexism Project, aiming to raise public understanding that the sexism faced by men and boys has far more grievous consequences than the sexism faced by women and girls.
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  • cheannaich

    Wasn’t there two bints protesting FGM, dancing around topless outside parliament, wearing only a pair of knickers each? Wonder what their punishment was? A seat in the House of Lords sitting beside the Baroness the press have dubbed shameless shami, perhaps.

    • Their statues are probably in preparation as we write..

  • So to sum up:

    You were fined for breaking the law because you protested against the police, government and medical establishment all breaking the law by assaulting boys’ genitals.

    Is this a video game I’m living in or something? Every single day things get madder.

  • Nick Earnshaw

    mikewould like to send a donation towards your fine. does it need to go to a different account than J4MB?

    • Thanks Nick, much appreciated. If you send the money in the normal way to J4MB, I’ll show the party treasurer your note so the money will get to me. About half the money already sent by J4MB supporters, what a wonderful bunch of people!

  • Sorry to hear the case went against you, Mike. That’s never nice but I hope you get leave to appeal.

    • Automatic right to appeal at this stage, we’ll do that very shortly.