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Protest grows at SOCPA law

mini mouse | 22.09.2006 22:16 | SOCPA | Repression | London

More than one hundred individuals gathered in Parliament Square tonight in the the third Mass Lone Protest against the SOCPA law. They protested against anything and everything - the point being that protest itself should not be subject to permission.

Since August 2005 it has been an arrestable offence to make any sort of protest - even alone - within one kilometre of Parliament without first seeking police permission. A string of arrests and prosecutions have followed along with documented allegations of police violence and intimidation. Two serial - but legal - protesters, Steve Jago and Barbara Tucker have both suffered injury during arrests and detention.

Today's action reflects a growing unease and disgust amongst a wide spectrum of people that this legislation is irreconcilable with western democracy.

Documentary maker John Pilger, commenting on the arrest and conviction of Maya Evans for reading out the names of the dead at the Cenotaph was minded to share his memories of KGB harassment he'd witnessed at the Kremlin in the 1980s

Tonight's rare disposition allowed the use of a megaphone, resulting in an open mic as darkness fell. Popular activist and comedian Mark Thomas proposed to an enthusiastic crowd that the Lone Mass Protest become a regular event, starting at 5pm on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. From the crowd's response it was clear they'd be back.

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Remember the mass protest on Monday the 9th of October.

23.09.2006 11:26

There will be a massive unauthorised protest against war right outside Parliament on Monday the 9th of October at 1pm.

Bring the war home!


Hide the following 3 comments

More info????

23.09.2006 12:07

Is there anymore info regarding the Sack Parliament demo? The website ain't been updated. Is it a case of turn up on the day and get up to plenty of mischeif?

Matron of Mischeif

May be more info on MT's site:

23.09.2006 19:42

Have a look on the Mark Thomas site, may well be more info there as I believe this was his idea :)


It wasn't Mark Thomas' idea

24.09.2006 01:44

His thing is totally separate from the Sack Parliament thing. His site gives info about the mass lone (authorised) demos which they are planning for the second Wednesday of every month at 5pm. His idea is to inundate Cahring Cross with paperwork. Needs lots and lots of people to participate.

The 9th October Parliament Blockade is an opportunity to challenge the SOCPA act, and bring the protest home to Blair in a more direct and visible way than the usual choreographed A to B marches.

Police are unlikely to use SOCPA as there will be mainstraem media present and that normally dissuades them.

I don't think the website is unlikely will update as the idea I think is to leave the terms of the demonstration up to people who attend on the day. Masses of bodies will be a great help. Some may be planning more direct action than others, but the more people turn up, the more difficult it is for the police to control in the glare of the media. It really could be the most powerful anti-war demo seen for a very long time, even if only a tenth of the usual Stop The War supporters turn up.

More Info