Statement by Robert and Carol Moth

Jul 25, 2001


We had a phone call at 22:00 BST tonight, 25 July 2001, from Alan Reuter of the British Consulate in Italy. He was on his mobile and it sounded like he was in a car. He was on his way to the main police station in Pavia, a town close to Milan and about 50 miles north of Genoa.

He told us that Richard had just been released without charge from where he was being held at the prison in Pavia. He did not have any firm details about Nicola except that she was also being released without charge and would also be taken to the police station in Pavia.

They would stay there overnight and are going to be put on the first plane from Milan to England in the morning of Thursday 26 July, together with the other English protestors released.

By the time he had said this he was walking into the police station, and found that Richard was there. He passed his mobile to him and it was an extremely emotional event to speak to Richard for the first time after being denied contact for so many days.

Richard said that he felt a bit battered and bruised but he was in good spirits and sounded as happy as we were to be able to talk to loved ones again.

His main concern was that he was worried about Nicola and how she was as she had not arrived there yet. His next concern was to know about what was happening back home as he knew how the press can distort and sensationalise events.

I told him that the press coverage here was very positive and that they had made the front pages of the Guardian and the Times. I told him that he had a legion of supporters rooting for them. I didn’t tell him that he and Nicola were considered to be heroes back home and are destined to be celebrities, maybe if only for 15 minutes. I didn’t think he was quite ready for that….

He sends his thanks to all the people who believed in him and Nicola and says that he’ll be back in circulation soon.

My wife and I also send our thanks to all the people who have given us their help and support, particularly our daughter Richard’s sister Kirstin, Jonathan and Nancy, Globalise Resistance, Louise Christian (human rights lawyer), Amnesty International, and all Richard’s friends and supporters at the University of Portsmouth, SOAS, and the LSE. Sorry if I didn’t mention you but you know who you are.

Richard is a very special person, not just to us his family but to millions of people around the world, the people who have become aware through the global media of his predicament and bravery in the face of seemingly insurmountable opposition.

We’ve only met Nicola once, but this was enough to show us that she is also a very special person and will be the hero of a multitude of women around the world. They seem to be a perfect match but as a parent I could be frowned upon for saying this…

Tony Blair branded these peaceful people as thugs and criminals, bordering on being terrorists. Sorry Tony but you were giving out the wrong message to the British public. And they recognised it, read about it, made their own minds up, and saw through your crap. We will never vote Labour again.

What did you do Tony to help Richard and Nicola? You kept your email address secret so that we could not email you. You do not even have a contact form on your web site, which would have been the next best thing. This was an urgent matter and sending you letters would be too slow. This is 2001 after all as you keep telling us.

The Foreign Office and the Italian Consulate were equally pathetic and seemed powerless because they appeared ordered to be so. Although this is now a 24 hour world our government seems to go home at 5pm as they have always done. And my email pleas to Unison remained unanswered. Thanks for nothing to these people.

I will close this message with two things. First, we will not be completely happy until Richard and Nicola are back in the UK and free from any repercussions.

Secondly, as a final treat for all of you have a look at this wonderful photograph posted on UK Indymedia by “A Friend” showing Richard and Nicola doing what they had gone to Genoa for:

Thank you all again,
Robert and Carol Moth, Richard’s parents

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