Sunday, 5 December 2010

Blacklisted Electrician Steve Acheson in Court for Trespass

Steve Acheson, blacklisted electrician, is in court in Runcorn at 2pm, Tuesday 7th December, at the Runcorn County Court, Halton Lea, Runcorn Cheshire. Warrington Trades Council is lobbying the hearing in solidarity with Steve. Please attend if you can.

It would appear to be a preliminary hearing for trespass by the power company who run Fiddlers Ferry power station, Scottish & Southern Electricity, as they object to Steve protesting outside their gates against his dismissal - nearly 2 years ago now. Steve's dismissal was connected with the use of an illegal blacklist by construction employers against union activists.

The case will turn on the finer points of the English law of trespass. There is one legal case (Harrison v. Duke of Rutland, 1893) which seems to say that the only right on a public right of way is to "pass and repass", however thankfully there is more recent case law (Hirst and Agu v. Chief Constable of West Yorkshire, 1987) which seems to establish a right to use a right of way for any purpose so long as it is "reasonable and lawful."

As Steve's protest is peaceful, and commits no criminal damage and takes place on the public highway, not on land belonging to SSE, it is difficult to see how they will win the case. It is likely to turn on what a judge deems "reasonable" in the circumstances.

Andy Ford (the contact phone number is 0774 241 7862; if anyone needs further details),
Campaigns Officer
Warrington and District Trades Council

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