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Mark Thomas - SOCPA (17.07.06)

Marc Vallée | 17.07.2006 22:00 | Free Spaces | Social Struggles | Workers' Movements | London

From Mark Thomas:

"It is illegal for an individual to hold a placard protesting in Parliament Square without permission from the police. So what happens if a number of individuals want to demonstrate about different things at the same time? We are about to find out."

So today a few folks met up outside Charing Cross police station at 5.30pm and then handed in applications for demonstrations on the 24th of July (a week Monday).

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To see more images from today:
Mark Thomas - SOCPA (17.07.06)

Marc Vallée
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charing cross police make it up again

18.07.2006 19:03

mark and charlie outside the station
mark and charlie outside the station

in the nick - that's cx695 who refused the notification and left
in the nick - that's cx695 who refused the notification and left

the notification left on the desk, witnessed by many
the notification left on the desk, witnessed by many

it seems the charing cross mob just haven't read the legislation! over and over, they are caught just making up the rules as they go along.

yesterday, mark and his gang managed to hand in 14 applications for lone demonstrations all due to start in the socpa zone next monday at 5.30pm.

but when it came to the fifteenth, the desk officer, cx695, refused to even accept, let alone process it, because the applicant hadn't used one of the police format application forms.

the socpa act simply states that the police have to receive 'notification in writing', and court cases have already clearly established that the police form is not compulsory under the act, and yet even when this was pointed out, the cx695 refused to cooperate, and simply walked away.

the notification was left on his desk, witnessed by several persons and photographed and videoed by this reporter. if the applicant doesn't receive the authorisation that the police (under the act) 'must' give, then once again charing cross will be seen to be acting illegally in their application of this ridiculous legislation.

for anyone interested, here is the wording of a suitable 'alternative' notification that complies with the socpa act, and also adds demands of the police to comply in a far more pro-active way than their own application.


Attn: Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis

RE: Demonstration in designated area notification.

Dear sir,

I, the undersigned, hereby notify you in accordance with the requirements of s132 Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 (Socpa) that I intend to demonstrate/protest as below.

Starting at the same time as notice received in 24 hours time / on the sixth day from receipt of this notice (s133.4 a).

It will be carried on within the designated area (s133.4 b), and will continue from time to time indefinitely (s133.4 c).

I will carry it on myself / not by myself (but occasionally on my own, dependent on attendees) (s133.4 d).

Name: __________________________________________________________________

Address: ________________________________________________________________

** With regard to Section 134.2 Socpa, “The Commissioner must give authorisation…”, I will consider authorisation given upon receipt of this notice at a police station in the metropolitan police district OR via email to the Commissioner (or his office).

In regard to s134 Socpa, I will ONLY accept conditions fully justified on the attached form (see attached). Also, any contested conditions will not be considered valid until settlement of any dispute arising.

I look forward to receiving the written confirmation of my authorisation as required by s134.6 (conditions notified on attached sheet). In like fashion to s133.6, section 7 of the Interpretation Act 1978 does not apply to the written authorisation and conditions.


(see above)

Conditions notification - Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 (Socpa):

If any of the following apply, please specify reason you are trying to prevent (taken from s134.3 a-g) and explain fully why this is necessary (you may use a separate sheet of paper if needed but you should begin your explanation in the space provided).

S134.4 a) Place restriction;

To prevent: ______________________________________________________________


S134.4 b) Times restriction;

To prevent: ______________________________________________________________


S134.4 c) Period restriction;

To prevent: ______________________________________________________________


S134.4 d) Persons restriction;

To prevent: ______________________________________________________________


S134.4 e) Banner or Placard Size restriction;

To prevent: ______________________________________________________________


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more police fairy tales

18.07.2006 23:38

some folk have put no end time on their demonstrations

apparently the police have been phoning them up and claiming this was "illegal"

erm, no. read the legislation!

also they've already established the precedent - brian haw's demo is ongoing and unspecified duration, and it has been authorised by charing cross. (it was also notified by his solicitor at bindmans by email - not on one of their forms)

so once again, charing cross seem to be willfully trying it on!

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nice photos

19.07.2006 13:43

nice photos Rikki.

marc vallee
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Re: notification.

20.07.2006 11:13

Just a quick note concerning the above notification.

I have been informed that the Metropolitan Police Service (although, they think they are a 'force'?!) are trying to refuse to accept the 'indefinitely' part of the notice shown by Rikki, above. Solely for the sake of ease and simplicity, this word should be replaced on any NEW notifications to "for the foreseeable future.".

The "from time to time" part should remain, as this clarifies that you are intending to come and go - the demo is NOT a continuous one.

[For the attention of Superintendent Terry, Charing Cross police station:
The phrase "indefinitely" is intended to mean the same thing as "for the foreseeable future". I, personally, don't understand how you could misunderstand the statement. But since you are trying to refuse notifications from people who don't comply with your own, misleading, 'application' please consider this published note as confirmation that the phrase "indefinitely" should be read as "for the foreseeable future".]