Support Blacklist Support Group secretary, Dave Smith, as rescheduled trial starts Thursday 9 June

7 June 2016

For over 7 years campaigners have called for the jail sentences for those directors of multinational companies responsible for the construction industry blacklist conspiracy. To date, not a single senior manager has even been interviewed by the police or disciplined by their employer. But when the Blacklist Support Group (BSG) dared to protest about safety concerns on Crossrail and the ongoing blacklisting of union activists on the publicly funded project, Dave Smith (BSG secretary) was arrested.

Companies responsible for blacklisting have been forced to pay compensation to blacklisted workers but they have averted a trial. It is a scandal that, as things stand, the only people to face trial over the blacklist is a blacklisted worker, Dave Smith and Ian Kerr who set up the Consulting Association blacklist.

The Blacklist Support Group has pledged to continue the fight for justice.

The re-scheduled trial starts this Thursday 9 June and continues until Friday 10 June.

The Blacklist Support Group has called a protest for 09:15 on Thursday and there is a large public gallery at the court.

City of London Magistrates Court
1 Queen Victoria Street

(Next to Bank tube station)

Smith is charged with unlawful obstruction of the highway, when along with
40 other protesters, he stopped traffic on Park Lane outside a Construction
News Awards ceremony held at the Hilton Hotel in March this year.

Police notebooks disclosed as evidence to Guney, Clark & Ryan
(GCR) solicitors indicate a link between David Cameron and the arrest.

Smith is a leading campaigner against the blacklisting of union members in
the building industry and as co-author of the recently
published book,’Blacklisted: the secret war between big business and union
activists’ has exposed the role of undercover police spying on trade unions

Smith has repeatedly claimed that both he and the BSG continue to be spied
on by undercover police because of their campaigning activities. The BSG is
one of the groups that has made submissions to the Pitchford public inquiry
into undercover policing recently set up by Teresa May – see link:…

The Metropolitan Police have refused to supply Smith with a copy of his
police file claiming ‘national security’ and ‘ongoing investigations’ as
the reasons. FOI requests in relation to police spying on the BSG receive
the response that the Met can ‘Neither Confirm Nor Deny’ whether
surveillance is ongoing. Yet, Police Notebooks disclosed as evidence for
Thursday’s trial state that the Met Police had intelligence about the
demonstrators before the protest took place. Several police notebooks also
refer to receiving instructions at a briefing delivered by superior
officers about David Cameron in relation to the protest. Full details will
be disclosed during witness evidence at the trial.

Dave Smith commented:

“It seems that its one law for big business and another law for the rest of
us. Multinationals and the secret police can conspire against trade unions
and destroy evidence that would be used in court cases, and nothing
happens. But if we dare to protest about the human rights scandal, we get
arrested. At a time when the Tories are attacking trade unions and
increasing state surveillance, this trial is about defending the democratic
right to protest”.

Witnesses have claimed that although 40 protesters blocked the road,
that Smith was particularly targeted by the police and arrested within
seconds of the demonstration moving into Park Lane. On the night of Smith’s
arrest, John McDonnell MP repeatedly tweeted “Police refuse to tell me
where they’re holding Dave Smith. Suspicious that he was the only one
arrested at blacklist demo”.

John McDonnell MP is set to be a witness in the trial.

Smith is being represented by the barrister JC Townsend and the solicitor
Liam Dunne from GCR, both are more used to appearing in human rights cases
at the High Court rather than obstruction charges in a Magistrates Court.

Liam Dunne, from Guney, Clark & Ryan solicitors commented,

“We intend on vigorously defending, Mr. Smith’s attempts to draw attention
to the nefarious practices of the various constructions firms who have
egregiously mistreated thousands of construction workers. These workers
risk their lives to complete the infrastructure projects upon which society
and the economy depend. Construction Workers are the engine of economic
development and the “wealth creators” of our society. They should have
their rights to a safe working environment and security of employment,
safeguarded. This arrest was heavy handed and an unnecessary restriction on
Mr. Smith’s right to protest under Article 11 of the Human Rights Act 1998″.

The court will also be shown video footage and time stamped photographs of
the arrest taken by the grassroots media collective Reel News info@

For press quotes:
Dave Smith
Liam Dunne

Attached photo shows Dave Smith handcuffed inside the police van – Hi-Res
versions available from Guy Smallman (NUJ)

1 comment

  1. Henry Charles Pryor said:

    Dave Smith congratulations on the part you played in uncovering the blacklist. I wonder if you agree with me that these 40 plus construction companies probably also cooperate over which of their number shall bid for and win all major contracts. Much less trouble and much bigger profits and in this way they can be sure that supply never meets demand.

    23 August 2016 at 5:18pm

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