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SOCPA - a plea from barbara tucker

rikki | 14.03.2008 01:19 | SOCPA | Repression

police tried this afternoon to arrest brian haw and remove the tents that are home to him and several supporters. they backed down in the face of legal argument, unsure that they would get away with yet another illegal act. they did however arrest 'ant' (again!) for alleged public order offence. although a minor offence, he has been held at belgravia for nine hours already and refused contact with his lawyer

in this very short and heart felt video plea, barbara tucker points out that the courts have never given permission for the police to enforce SOCPA because the act requires authorisation and conditions to be set by the commissioner, and any legal authority to delegate has yet to be proven. in the meantime, the protestors have successfully argued against the use of criminal law section 3(1) to empower seizure of banners, tents etc, showing that the £110,000 police operation in the dead of night in may 2006 was illegal.

despite having the law on their side, the peace camp suffers regular arrests and threats from the police. just last week, barbara and two others were held at belgravia for nearly 20 hours after being arrested for alleged unauthorised protest. (

today, inspector fox tried to threaten brian haw with arrest if he didn't remove tents and banners that exceeded an arbitary 3 metre restriction. police also tried to search the tents without warrant or court order. ( and

it is blindingly obvious that if the powers existed, police would have got court orders for search, seizure or enforcement by now. instead they keep committing acts that are shown later in court to be unlawful. the fear of further such cases seem to have caused the retreat today, but the pressure and intimidation is growing. 'ant' was arrested for calling the police 'nazis' this afternoon. despite this being a minor public order offence at worst, he is still in detention at belgravia police station, and his solicitors have repeatedly tried to get news or speak to him, but the police have refused to co-operate.

there are fears for his safety.

tomorrow night, indymedia will publish footage of today's attempted seizure and ant's arrest

- e-mail: rikkiindymedia[@t]gmail(d0t)com
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14.03.2008 15:00

ant was finally released at about 7.30am this morning after being held overnight at belgravia police station

his arm is in a sling after some rough treatment at the police station

he has been charged with a public order offence after allegedly calling the police 'nazis'

brian haw's video of yesterday's events will be posted later today


update correction

14.03.2008 17:59

ant turned up back at the square about 7.30 this morning, but was actually released from belgravia at around 3am the intervening hours were spent in hospital where his arm was x-rayed - nothing broken but bad bruising

surely if ant had been struggling he'd have been charged with resisting arrest or assaulting a police officer, so the only remaining explanation for the bruising must be assault at the hands of the police



Display the following 2 comments

  1. Why is this an arrestable offence? — Paul Hussey
  2. Why is this an arrestable offence? — Brian B