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Police too heavy handed says Parliamentary Committee.

Doug | 23.03.2009 07:16 | SOCPA | Repression | Social Struggles

First the Law Lords came down on the side of Critical Mass and now a Parliamentary Committee is supporting public protesters against police. Whatever next!

The Joint Select Committee on Human Rights has criticised the misuse of legislation by police and it wants to prevent the use of anti-terrorism laws against protesters. It also said that the police were too heavy-handed with journalists reporting on demonstrations and was concerned about measures to prevent filming of police.

Other criticisms of the police are that they use, "legal powers not designed to deal with protests such as anti-social behaviour legislation and the Protection from Harassment Act 1997" and the use of officers in riot gear to police protests which could "unnecessarily raise the temperature" and Taser guns.

They went on to say, "The presumption is in favour of protest without state interference. We believe there are changes to the law and practice that are needed to make that presumption a reality."

The report also covers SOCPA and some individual protesters, including the peace camp in Parliament Square.