So when the protesters and activists have long gone home and the legal observers are enjoying their well earned and deserved pint the next phase of the back office is initiated. Step up the unsung hero’s of what we do station support. There is something special about the people that turn up for station support. You haven’t got the chanting and excitement of a demonstration/protest, you haven’t got the adrenaline rushing through you as a legal observer. These people have more than likely been standing shoulder to shoulder with those that are now in the cells. They may not know the people in the cells but they are showing solidarity. They sit in the station waiting sometimes for hours, waiting with coffees that may have gone cold and been replaced with beers and crisps and the cost of a fair to get the person home. As they sit for hours they constantly keep at the desk to get news of arrestees they get messages to friends, family and solicitors. they feed back to the GBC back office to continue the time lines. To sit in a police station not knowing how long it will take to be fed bullshit by police officers and refusing to be fobbed off is a truly selfless act of solidarity.
To come out of your cell to be greeted by people with smiles, hugs, friendship and solidarity is something you can not put into words or put a price on. For arrestees to know that there are people waiting for them and they are not on their own is one of the strongest forms of solidarity we can show our comrades in these situations. I remember walking out of my cell and seeing people asleep on the police lobby floor waiting for me. I can’t put into words how important this act of solidarity is and the act of letting comrades/arrestees know that they are appreciated.
Appreciating the work of all the support systems involved in protest but today it is a big up for station support. YOU FUCKING ROCK !!!