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police stop students filming in parliament square: barbara tucker arrested

rikki | 13.11.2008 12:52 | SOCPA | Repression

this morning, some students from kingston university were prevented by police in parliament square from interviewing barbara tucker as part of their MA course. in the arguments which ensued, barbara tucker was arrested for allegedly assaulting a police officer.

idiot cop who spouted non-law
idiot cop who spouted non-law

letter from university
letter from university

at around 10.30 this morning, four students arrived in parliament square from the kingston university MA film-making course. they intended to make a short film about the life of the protesters in the square and they particularly hoped to interview barbara tucker about the reasons she has joined brian haw's seven year vigil and given up everything to camp outside parliament.

but as they began to set up their camera equipment (borrowed from the university media department), they were approached by police. all four students are overseas visitors and so are not up to speed on british law. the police told them that in order to film in parliament square, they would need a license for which they would have to apply to the council.

the students told the police that they were not filming for any commercial purpose, but the police still insisted that a license was necessary. brian haw was busy filming the disagreement, but for some strange reason, although he is not 'licensed' to film, the police did not ask him to desist.

the police then took the matter even further outside the law, and started asking the four (perfectly peaceful and compliant) students to leave the square. both barbara and brian challenged the police to explain under what legislation they were making this request, but no explanation was given.

brian is allowed to have up to 20 people with him in parliament square as part of his demonstration at any time, so he identified the four students as part of his demonstration and asked the police to stop harassing them. barbara shouted the law at the police, who clearly did not know the law and were acting outside of their duty. in the end, in frustration, after continually asking the officer to check with base and higher authority (which he didn't), she reached out to grab his radio to try and do it herself.

within seconds, the officer man-handled her, accused her of assault, and bent her arms behind her back. very soon, more than half a dozen other 'men' arrived and surrounded her, and after quite a wait, a van took her to belgravia police station.

she was held there for nine hours and released near 8pm this evening during which time she was interviewed at tea-time with a solicitor from bindmans

the police have not yet even charged her, and she is currently on police bail till monday 17th

meanwhile, the four students reappeared in the square around midday with a faxed letter (see photo) from kingston university which states they are filming for their course and not for commercial use.

they are still concerned about the law, so i accompanied them to talk to a copper (see photo) who claimed that not only can they not film without a license from the council, but that they can't film people without their permission. i ask him whether he has read the NUJ guidelines (which are supposed to have been passed to every metropolitan police officer) - he said he hadn't. i asked for him to check with his superior and he refused, saying the superior wouldn't be available for another half hour.

unfortunately, the students were still not sure enough to challenge the law directly, and although i offered to do the required filming for them, they prefered to go to a cafe and do an interview with me instead, promising to return another day to see barbara tucker, the original subject of their documentary.

i will write to kingston uni suggesting they give their students an adequate rundown of their rights before they let them out on the streets, and that they also make a formal complaint against the police for their unlawful harassment of these poor students.

it really is time the police were held accountable for this kind of misrepresentation of the law. their actions (not at all in the course of their duty, which is to keep the queen's peace) led to alarm, distress, harassment, an unnecessary and almost certainly unlawful arrest, false imprisonment, and interfering with the education of these students. not a good day's work!!

additional info:
NUJ guidelines (see point 3 especially) :
and who can you photograph?

GLA restrictions refer to trade or business:
Acts within the Squares for which written permission is required

5. Unless acting in accordance with permission given in writing by-
(a) the Mayor, or
(b) any person authorised by the Mayor under section 380 of the Act to give
such permission.
no person shall within the Squares-
(11) take photographs or any other recordings of visual images for the purpose of
or in connection with a business, trade, profession or employment or any
activity carried on by a person or body of persons, whether corporate or

- e-mail: rikkiindymedia[@t]gmail(d0t)com
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Hide the following 7 comments

Yet more ways you can get yourself arrested

13.11.2008 14:59

Yet more ways you can get yourself arrested ...

Watch planes outside Farnborough Airport, take photos of railway stations ...

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13.11.2008 15:51

There MUST be a formal complaint made (hope they got the idiot's collar number). Only when EVERY single act of this type (and they are widespread when any kind of protest takes place) will this be stopped. A complaint to the IPCC should be made and ALWAYS get the collar number. The photo above says it all (body language) smug git! These kind of lies and unlawful behaviour from the legalised bully's that call themselves Police is nothing new to us AR protestors but unless we all make serious complaints about this they will geet away with stifling LEGAL and peaceful protest, and please don't make me laugh by expecting coppers to know the law. Ask any AR protester if you want to know the law!



13.11.2008 17:42

You don't need to hear stories like this one, or photos like the one above, to know that coppers are scum.


Complaining about police misbehaviour and brutality

14.11.2008 11:46

Even if you are only a witness to police misbehaviour, you are still fully entitled to file a complaint. The more people who complain the better. You can do it online via the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) website:

You should only use this process to complain about the behaviour of one or more individual officers. If your complaint is about police behaviour or tactics in general, you should direct it to the commander of the police force concerned and/or your local elected representatives (MPs, assembly members, councillors, etc). If your complaint is about behaviour by the Metropolitan Police, you might want to write to Cllr Jenny Jones, Green London Assembly Member, who is on the MPA:

E-mail: jenny.jones [at]

You might also want to think about writing to your local newspapers, to obtain maximum exposure of police misdeeds and embarrassing the police into changing their behaviour.

If you are complaining to the IPCC and want the matter dealt with by a formal investigation rather than by Local Resolution, then you should make this clear in your complaint. You would then need to make a formal statement at some point.

If you are considering taking legal action against the police, you would be advised to consult a solicitor first, such as Bindmans (Tel: 020 7833 4433).

More information on complaining about the police and taking legal action can be found here:

By the way, you have up to twelve months to register a complaint with the IPCC, but it would be best not to leave it too long, as then the chance of legal or disciplinary action being taken against the officer(s) concerned may well diminish. It would be best to make the complaint not too long after the incident, and to record in writing everything you remember about the incident at the very earliest opportunity.

If you are the victim of police brutality, get any injuries photographed and documented by your doctor as soon as possible after the incident. If you are in custody at the time, you should insist on the duty doctor checking out your injuries, and also insist that the injuries are photographed and thoroughly documented both by the duty doctor and the custody sergeant, and ask for a copy of the custody record upon release (or get your solicitor to do that for you). But you should also get your injuries checked out and fully documented by your own doctor or a local hospital once you are released.

Sir Paul Hussey
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14.11.2008 12:15

they better go arrest all the tourists filming to!!!!!!!!cos every other one has a film camera.gosh what they gonna do wen i bring a million youth down there,ha ha minty.x.

minty challis
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Not Again

14.11.2008 14:10

Why oh why does Barbara always have to go to far. Why cant you let the police make the relevant checks. I can't help but feel you bring this all on yourself. There is better way of making protest's than this!!!

What ?????

Police & Misconduct

15.11.2008 16:34

'Good to know those harassing innocent protesters can have criminal records themselves!

Police with crime records defended
A police force defended its officers after it was reported some have criminal records for offences such as assault, fraud and gun crime.
Hampshire Constabulary said a criminal conviction does not "preclude employment" after it emerged there are 42 separate convictions among its 4,000 officers.
A force spokesman would not comment on reports that the convictions included benefit fraud, discharging a firearm, possession of a cannabis plant, being drunk and disorderly, assault and theft.
He said they expect "high standards" from officers and staff and each conviction is dealt with according to "individual merits and circumstances".

He said: "Hampshire Constabulary adheres to national standards for the discipline procedures for both police staff and police officers.
"The Home Office sets procedures to be followed for officers with criminal convictions. A criminal conviction does not preclude employment, however very careful consideration is always given to people with convictions."
The spokesman added that some of the convictions against officers happened during their youth before they joined the police service.
The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) said those in the force are subject to the Police and Misconduct Regulations set by Government. The regulations include a reprimand, fine or reduction in rank and decisions are left to individual forces.
Paul West, ACPO lead for the Professional Standards Working Group and Chief Constable of West Mercia, said: "Where wrongdoing is alleged, police officers are investigated and action taken as appropriate to each case.
"It should be remembered that there are just over 140,000 police officers in the country, the overwhelming majority of whom serve the public with dedication. From December 1 new Police and Misconduct Regulations will come into effect which will simplify and speed up the discipline process."