Skip to content or view screen version

SOCPA - sir ian blair and other police in court at last

rikki | 27.06.2007 00:11 | SOCPA | Repression | London

today, brian haw won a major victory in court when district judge workman issued summonses against leading police figures. last year, police raided parliament square on 23rd may and removed 90% of brian's display. in january this year, judge purdey ruled that brian haw had no case to answer as the conditions he supposedly broke were not lawful. this meant the raid itself was unlawful.

in may 2006, the high court accepted a government appeal that brian haw should be covered by the new socpa legislation controlling demonstrations around parliament. until then, brian had been the only person not covered by socpa, as his demonstration had begun in 2001, several years before the act, and so he could not give "6 days notice before the start of his demonstration" as it had started before the law had come into force. the high court decision bent the laws of physics and stated that for the purposes of the law, brian had actually begun his demo in august 2005, not four years before.

the socpa rules state that someone wishing to demonstrate must give six days notice, and then that the commissioner must authorise, but that the commissioner can impose certain conditions if he reasonably believes that certain criteria might be breached.

after the may court ruling, brian received a list of conditions on his demonstration in parliament square, the most draconian of which was a limit of three metres on his display. the conditions were imposed and signed by superintendent peter terry.

despite ongoing negotiations between brian's lawyers and the police, sir ian blair ordered a night-time raid on the 23rd may to remove all but 3 meters of brian's display, and the rest of his placards were thrown into a large container and taken to hendon, where they still remain.

the following january, around the same time as mark wallinger's artistic recreation of the original display opened at tate britain, judge purdey ruled at westminster magistrates court that brian had no case to answer over breach of conditions as the socpa law clearly states that conditions can only be imposed by the commissioner.

this ruling showed that superintendent terry had no more right to impose conditions than a sewer rat, and the police attempt to cover themselves, by bringing to court a mysteriously undated "delegation of authority" letter, was thrown out by the judge.

months later, the police are appealing that decision in an extraordinary court case at the high court on 4th july where they intend to cite mark thomas's mass lone demos as a reason why purdey's interpretation of the legislation is unworkable. what this has to do with the case against brian remains to be seen!

in the meantime, brian has been trying to get some justice over the clearly mischievous and illegal raid on his site, and yesterday judge workman (who has recently been awarded a cbe) agreed to send out summonses as follows:

sir ian blair is summonsed to westminster magistrates court on the 24th july for theft.
the chief superintendents at both charing cross and at hendon are summonsed to the same court on the same date for "receiving stolen goods" (including banksy artworks valued at tens of thousands of pounds).

this is a huge victory for brian, and a kick in the teeth for the socpa law and the degenerate police who protected the war criminals instead of protecting the people who try to expose genocide and war crimes.

supporters and a friendly lynch mob are warmly welcomed at westminster magistrates court on 24th july. more details nearer the time.

- e-mail:


Display the following 5 comments

  1. Fantastic! — Doug
  2. Excellent, rikki - thanks for posting! — Bon Chance
  3. Brilliant! — Rebel W
  4. He is a murderer and a thief! — Abiola Osinuga
  5. Awesome News! — freeluncher