A PRO-PALESTINE activist arrested following a demonstration in Dundee last month has had all charges and bail conditions dropped.

Jim Barlow, 71, was arrested at his home in Dundee on October 29 after a protest by more than 600 people in the city centre the previous day.

A lifelong socialist and trade unionist, Barlow was arrested on the grounds he had encouraged the initially static protest against Israel’s military assault on Gaza to become an “unlawful” procession. A date of November 28 was set for a court hearing.

Bail restrictions, which included Barlow being banned from setting foot in Dundee city centre until the court case, led to concerns among activists and trade unionists. Dundee Trades Union Council (DTUC) described the bail conditions as “severe” and “worrying”.

The National:

Barlow (above) was visited by police on Wednesday and informed the case against him was being dropped. “The two police officers who arrested me recently for leading the ‘unlawful’ Free Palestine march came to my house to let me know the court case has been dropped and bail restrictions cancelled”, he told The National.

Barlow credits the support of the Dundee Palestine Solidarity Campaign, DTUC and local MPs for the case against him being dropped. He criticised Police Scotland’s decision to bring the charges in the first place.

The October 28 protest was, he said, “very lively, with many young people. It was very peaceful, and there were no arrests on the day. Nevertheless, the police used the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982, which prohibits marching without permission to make my arrest the following morning.”

Barlow suggested the legislation and rhetoric on public order of the Conservative government at Westminster might have influenced Police Scotland to interpret its own powers under Scots Law in more draconian terms. Looking to England, he said “it will require more law-breaking” in order to defend civil liberties and get rid of former Conservative home secretary Suella Braverman’s Public Order Act.

READ MORE: Pro-Palestine marches are not about 'hate'. They are about history

Barlow also believes it is “not a coincidence” that the charges against him have been dropped at a time when the pro-Palestine movement in Scotland and across the UK is growing. “We had more than 20,000 protesting against Israel’s appalling onslaught on Gaza in Glasgow last Saturday, and between 800,000 and a million in London, which was the UK’s biggest ever demonstration for Palestine,” he told The National.

“I certainly won’t be letting this little legal difficulty deter me from continuing to support calls for an immediate ceasefire, both in Gaza and in the West Bank”, he continued. “I will continue to do everything I can to support the cause of justice for the Palestinian people.”

A Scottish national demonstration calling for an immediate ceasefire has been called by the Gaza Genocide Committee, assembling at Glasgow Green at 1pm tomorrow. A lobby of the Scottish Parliament has been called by Stop the War Coalition Scotland for 1pm on Tuesday.