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more arrests at parliament square under soca law today

rikki | 18.09.2005 18:29 | Free Spaces | Repression | London

five people were arrested late this afternoon for defying the ban on 'unauthorised protest' in parliament square under the new serious organised crime act legislation which became effective at the start of august this year

this afternoon's pro-democracy demonstration started well, with a small crowd sporting banners with many varied slogans contesting the draconian ban on protest in parliament square. armed with lists of bye-laws, protesters urged police to arrest people on all sorts of archaic and bizarre grounds, but without success. it seemed there was no quota for this afternoon!

later on, the crowd decided to move on to the south bank where preparations are underway for this evening's 'festival of light' public festival and procession attended by ken livingstone. although still in the 'designated area' the group was told by officers from lambeth police that they could carry on and so they demonstrated and informed people about the law in the area near the london eye. at one point private security guards tried to stop them, but as the police had basically given permission, they gave up a bit confused.

it was apparent once again that most people were unaware of this anti-democratic legislation, and many expressed surprise and disgust when they were informed.

some of the group decided to return to parliament square, and while attempting to hang a banner round churchill's neck they came to the attention of the police once again, and this time there were five arrests. it is not known whether soca legislation was used or whether other laws relating to the banner drop were used. the arrested are being held at charing cross police station this evening.

meanwhile one or two protesters are still roaming the crowds at the south bank informing the crowds of this law, and hoping to both take part in the procession and to meet up with red (haha) ken as he does his customary walkabout.

to date, there have been 12 prior arrests under the new legislation and some of those waiting for charges on police bail are under condition not to return to parliament square. this condition is likely to be challenged in the courts, as of course will the whole law be if charges are finally brought.

there are ongoing protests, picnics and discussion groups at parliament square every sunday from noon, and you are all urged and welcome to attend - you can decide for yourself what level of challenge you wish to make to the law and thus whether to personally risk arrest, but at present it seems safe to simply go there and chat and picnic as police seem to be under political control and are simply targetting organisers and arresting quotas as instructed.



Display the following 8 comments

  1. reply becomes long- as usual :) — twilight
  2. I support you — Memory-Hole-Catchers-Mitt
  3. Turn This Country Upside Down — Spark
  4. I Was arrested — Matthew
  5. Protesting MUST be fun — Rene Thomas
  6. twilight — gaz
  7. TWIGLET (sic!): YOU ARE A MORON! — musological
  8. Rene — anon