Third Battle of Newbury

P.O. BOX 5520, Newbury, Berks. RG14 7YW.

Tel: 01635 45544 Fax: 01635 45545 24 hr info: 01635 550552

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Immediate Release Tuesday 10th September


Second Hunger Striker vindicated

Mel Parker, a campaigner against the Newbury Bypass, remanded on August 12th 1996 was released today from Holloway Prison. Mel's imprisonment for breach of bail, followed her refusal to accept the draconian bail conditions imposed on bypass protestors. After 12 days on hunger strike - the longest so far, Mel's bail conditions were relaxed today when the case was heard at Reading Crown Court.

Campaigners are delighted at this Crown Court and previous High Court decision. This yet again affirms the contention that local magistrates are setting unreasonable bail conditions. While bail conditions are supposed to simply ensure suspects return to court, bail conditions on the bypass protest have been used to quash legitimate protest. These conditions have to date imposed a one kilometre exclusion zone around the bypass. Mel Parker breached bail to protest at these unreasonable terms. She has agreed not to trespass on the bypass route or interfere with the building of the bypass. Mel has yet to be convicted of the offence for which she was originally arrested - aggravated trespass.

Mel Parker said

"As I stated to both Stipendary Magistrates, it is not an offence to protest. It's important to make this stand in order to protect every other person's right to protest. Do we not live in a democracy ?"


Editors Notes

Further Information: Third Battle of Newbury Office 01635 45544

Mel will be available for interview from 11.00 a.m. Wednesday 11th September. Please phone the Third Battle of Newbury office to arrange an interview.