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call-out for legal observer volunteers at israeli protest tomorrow

rikki | 16.01.2009 20:12 | Palestine | Repression

after unlawful policing actions at previous demonstrations at the israeli embassy, lawyers and civil rights campaigners are working together to provide massive evidence gathering and legal support at tomorrow's protest - they are asking for volunteers to help

a team of legal observers is being organised for the demonstration tmrw.

the objectives are:

1. to have a visible organised presence amongst the protesters.

2. to observe police actions, record police actions on video, stills, audio, or on paper.

3. to distribute and promote legal advice leaflet printed by the Islamic Human Rights Commission.

the plan is to meet from 12 noon at the wholefood market cafe which is halfway between high street kensington tube and the israeli embassy. if you come out of the station and turn right, its a big place on the corner, you can't miss it. the cafe is on the 1st floor, which overlooks the street toward the embassy. there will be someone based there the whole day so if you can't make it for 12noon, come and find them in the cafe. you can also contact Fahim on 0 7 7 0 9 - 112 212

there will be two teams. one to maintain a presence at the embassy, and one to work at the official rally at trafalgar square. the rally ends at 4pm, and the observer group will return to the embassy with the crowd of protesters coming from the rally.

there will be a need for volunteers the whole day, but things may get particularly heated after 4pm when protesters from trafalgar sq arrive at the embassy. so pls come down, even if its later in the afternoon.

hi-visibility vests will be provided with 'legal observer' stencilled on them.

these are interesting times. war crimes in gaza. political violence on high street kensington. police brutality against peaceful and violent protesters. let's make a positive difference on saturday!

Know your Rights


Police can ban a procession or march, but cannot ban an assembly of people. We have the absolute right to protest. An assembly can have conditions imposed under s.14 POA86. A senior officer can say where, when and how many people are allowed to protest. These conditions must be reasonable and proportionate.


Police often bluff just to get your details. Generally, no one is obliged to give their name, address or date of birth to the police, unless they are arrested or being reported for an offence. It is not a crime to refuse to give your name & address. Giving false details can be prosecuted, but refusing to give details cannot (unless required under ASBO provisions of Police Reform Act 2002).



Ask for a solicitor. Experts in this field include Bindmans (0207 833 4433), Birnberg Peirce (02079110166), or Arani & Co. (02088935000). Be prepared for a long few hours in custody.

Police may raid and arrest people away from the demonstrations. Protesters may also be targeted at their homes or places of work.

Stop and Search

Police have the power to stop and search people at random IF a senior officer has made an authorisation under s.60 of the CJPOA94 (power to stop and search in anticipation of violence). This authorisation must be made in writing, specifying the grounds, location and period (up to 24 hours). Uniformed officers can then search for and seize ONLY offensive weapons (which could be an actual weapon or anything intended for use as a weapon), or articles with a blade or sharp point. Uniformed officers can also require people to remove any item worn wholly or mainly for the purpose of concealing identity.

Police can also randomly search you under s44 of the Terrorism Act. They can only give you a pat down, search your bags, remove outer clothing (jacket, hat), and empty your pockets. You do not have to give your name, address, answer any questions, give a DNA sample, or comply with attempts to photograph/video you.

Whilst at the protest, challenge everything police say. Make notes about the officers searching you - name, number (3 numbers and 2 letters). Note the time and the events preceding the search and the specific wording used by the police to explain their authority to search you. Ask the police for the specific reason that they are searching you. Ensure you receive and hold on to a search slip which the police MUST provide you with.

Police Brutality

Police in riot gear are Territorial Support Group (CO20), (badge numbers usually begin with ‘U’). They are trained in crowd control tactics, and use techniques of aggression and intimidation. Don't bother trying to reason with them, just don't let them brutalise you or others. If any Police officer is attacking unlawfully you have the right to defend yourself and others with reasonable force.


Police need to gather intelligence on everyone, and evidence on those they suspect of being involved in committing offences. The Forward Intelligence Teams, part of the Met's Public Order Intelligence Unit (CO11), are uniformed officers who carry out overt and covert surveillance with cameras, taking pictures of 'targets' which go into a central database.

- e-mail: rikkiindymedia[@t]gmail(d0t)com
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What's happening this weekend?

16.01.2009 20:50

Taken from

2pm Rally in Trafalgar Square

We need everyone possible out on the streets protesting this Saturday, and demanding an end to this slaughter now, so please forward this email to friends, family, work colleagues...

Protest every day at the Israeli Embassy (except this Saturday): 5.30pm – 7.00pm

Why does it say (except this Saturday)?

Do they not want anyone marching to the emabassy? Do they just want everyone to listen to the same old speeches and then go home?



16.01.2009 23:35

gandy, i think the "except this saturday" refers to the times.

demonstrators are expected at the embassy earlier tomorrow, after the rally in trafalgar square finishes probably around 4pm (as opposed to 5.30-7.30)

also, ta for the props bob, but i really should have credited fahim, who did all the work on this - i was just the messenger!!

mail e-mail: rikkiindymedia[AT]gmail(d0t)com

Police brutality reported by a cop

17.01.2009 05:10

This story on the Press Association is odd. An off duty police community support officer who attended the demo on the 3rd has been punished for reporting her colleagues for brutality.

Met officer in embassy demo dilemma

A police community support officer has been put on restricted duties for alleged misconduct while participating in a protest outside the Israeli embassy. The Stop the War Coalition said the officer, who was off duty at the time of the demonstration, intervened when she saw nine police officers "brutally arresting" a young man. A spokesman for the campaign group said: "She saw police officers brutally arresting a young man so she intervened to stop them assaulting him. The police have been completely out of control the past couple of weeks." He said the PCSO had put in an official complaint against the Metropolitan Police.

Scotland Yard said a serving female PCSO from Lambeth borough, south London, had been placed on restricted duties pending an investigation into her behaviour during the demonstration on January 3. The Yard also confirmed a complaint had been received from the PCSO about the policing of the demonstration, but denied that there had been any misconduct on the side of the police.


Section 60 name. address, date of birth etc

17.01.2009 10:36

Just to make it conpletely clear:

Although the police usually ask you for your name, address and date of birth when releasing you from a Section 60 penning in, you DO NOT have to give them these details!

At the last Gaza demo, they were asking everyone this question as they filmed each person. It's really good to be clear on this and to spread the word around the crowd if you are caught in such a pen. Then everyone begins to learn that they are not required by 'law' to give out this personal info.



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  1. Thanks Rikki — bob