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INDYMEDIA SCOOP - repressing protest - what's next?

rikki | 13.05.2009 22:27 | SOCPA | Repression

in secret meetings not recorded in Hansard, our government has formulated a plan to rid parliament square of not only the current tamil protests, but also brian haw's seven and a half year vigil. emergency legislation is expected to pass through parliament unopposed within a matter of weeks.

michael martin, the discredited current speaker of the house, is hoping to salvage his currently pathetic reputation by tabling a motion within the next couple of days to bring in emergency legislation to repress all protest outside parliament.

he has held secret meetings, with the final one today, not recorded in Hansard, to iron out an agreement with representatives from westminster council, city hall, the metropolitan police, and the home office.

the plan is first of all to transfer the pavement area of the square from its current westminster council ownership to the greater london authority run by tory boris. this would mean that the square bye-laws, which control camping, and other activities including the display of banners, would then cover the pavement area where the tamils are currently sheltering their hunger striker, and where brian haw has his long-standing peace campaign.

the second part of the orwellian plan is to change the anomaly that means that in the socpa area around parliament, the public order act cannot be used. currently, socpa legislation controls all aspects of protest management in the area, and police are unable to use section 14 of the public order act to make demands on a protest in terms of its size, situation, length of time, and noise levels. michael martin is formulating a change to the law so that the public order act will apply.

the new arrangements and legislation will be announced over the next few days, and mr martin will table a motion in the house which he expects to pass through unopposed in a matter of weeks.

clearly he is confident that our weasel politicians, having already agreed to widely abusing their expenses, will next quickly agree on repressing any protests held against them outside our supposed democratic parliament. mr martin is quite probably right.

brian haw and barbara tucker have vowed to challenge any new legislation applied to their 24/7 vigil for peace. they take the view, supported by human rights legislation, that a government cannot deny access to one group of people in an area where the ordinary public can go about their daily business. the peace campaign has never been involved in any sort of violent disorder (the only grounds under which they could be banned under human rights legislation).

they are currently trying to take their case, for an end to harassment, to the european court, after recently discovering new papers from a confidential meeting at new scotland yard. these show that when the police swooped on brian's protest display on 23rd may 2006, they did so with the foreknowledge and "full support of police actions by both houses and 'Black Rod'".

brian haw believes that the seizure of his property that night was unlawful, but the problem with the new revelations is that it means he cannot possibly receive a fair trial in this country, since the highest judicial level in the land (the house of lords) is directly implicated in the decision to seize. there was never any power of seizure granted under the socpa legislation, and the authorities are relying on an arcane interpretation of the criminal law act section 3 to defend that night's operation.

it is thought that having run out of legal means to repress brian's protest, the government will seize this window of opportunity to try and rid themselves of their 'problem'. it is amazing that in the midst of the expenses quagmire, the utterly reprehensible mr martin found time to meet with the men in suits today to put the final touches to this plan.

the speaker, mr martin, has a sordid history as a politician himself. he has in his time used more than £20,000 of taxpayer's money on lawyers to try and counter negative press stories. he has tried to block the publication of MP's £5m yearly travel expenses under the freedom of information act. we wonder why? last year he was accused of using official business airmiles for his family's recreational travel. his communication chief had to resign last year after misleading the press over £4000 of taxi expenses incurred by mr martin's wife. he also used £1.7m taxpayer's money to refurbish his home last year.

he is likely to face a vote of no confidence next week, but will certainly gain some support from politicians for his plans to stamp out the voice of conscience outside their "work"place.

roll on the summer of rage!

- e-mail: rikkiindymedia[@t]gmail(d0t)com
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Hide the following 13 comments

announcement of meeting in the house

13.05.2009 22:48

vid of michael martin's announcement of this final meeting - he talks about the 'shambles' in the square that must be dealt with.


Maybe the shambles

13.05.2009 23:11

that is the corrupt, stealing house of commons should be his priority....... oh, hang on, that includes him..... OK go kick the shit out of Brian and the Tamils.... just draw the press away from my newly refurbished pad.

Whatever folks feel about the media in general, this one must not be allowed to overshadow the true shambles..... if they try to impose resist.... let it be known that they are only trying to hide their own shame.


Phoney war

14.05.2009 07:39

"roll on the summer of rage!"

I think that is an awful thing to say, unbecoming of your reports. You are a brilliant journalist, probably IMs best, and I have read how strongly you feel about these issues. You are furious because people are dying through our inaction.

'Summer of Rage' is police PR rhetoric though, worded to provoke violence in order to justify a clampdown. It is the verbal equivalent of an agent provocateur and that phrase has already cost a life.

We all mouth off here, we all get furious for understandable reasons. What differentiates you, and a few others, is that you stick to exposing the awful facts without encouraging a mindless response. Due to the police PR hype of a 'summer of rage', one police officer has already murdered Tomlinson. The only way you as a journalist can stop more deaths is to expose the hype and so change public opinion, not play up to it. I am not suggesting a neutral point of view, or unemotional reports but I do know you are better than gleefully repeating obvious state provocation. Go and kill a cop if that makes you feel better, but don't direct others into that trap.


rage can take many forms

14.05.2009 08:03

point about PR rhetoric taken danny, but sometimes rage can be a good thing - it can move people to act, and some sort of action is badly needed in this country.

rage is not equivalent to violence, and does not have to lead to violence.

rage can lead to extraordinary acts of peaceful resistance - i believe rage is what has kept brian haw and his campaigners going all these years and he is not a violent man.

you carry on watching people sleepwalking if you like - i'm ready for some rage


Rikki & Admins

14.05.2009 08:11


Just ignore hypocrite Danny, whose activities on this site are basically one big smear and violent threat campaign against peace activists.

Who the fuck wrote anything about killing cops???


Please hide this and Danny's batty trolling.

IM UK should be taking steps to exclude Danny! He's far more damaging than the people already shitlisted.

SOSELD (Sex Offending Spies against Egomaniac Liar Danny)

repressing dissent from Danny

14.05.2009 13:59

Summer of rage I have to say, isn't really a phrase the cops or state use because they actually want riots, it's not literally a provocational phrase.

They want to create the perception that there would have been riots when in fact there are merely largely peaceful protests, in order to justify their own violence. Their violence has the subconscious effect on the individual member of the public of chilling dissent. The phrase, when repeated as propaganda, has the effect of sublimating the fear of the police under the delusion that they're morally justified. Thus, people don't protest, and they don't even get angry about the fact that they're too scared to protest. Instead they get repressed emotions like anxiety and stress. A perfect outcome for the state.

I don't see why it's a bad thing to have a debate about the potential dangers of mouthing the language that comes out of the gov't PR machine. Yes, it's an argumentum ad hominem to say, every choice of phrase the police use is bad. But it's essential to think critically about it.

And by the way, how does the "shitlist" work if the server doesn't keep connection logs?


meanwhile back to the main point

14.05.2009 15:28

when this goes ahead, parliament square pavements will come under the gla square byelaws

this means boris (or whoever he deems to appoint) will have the final say to grant permission (or not) to do pretty much anything in the area other than breath.

given that socpa made a big deal out of being compliant with human rights legislation by inserting the words "the commissioner MUST authorise", it seems unlikely that the gla bye-laws will be compliant without some adjustment.

so have michael martin and his conspirators thought of that? perhaps not. but then they're a lawless bunch anyway, so will probably instruct the police to act to remove protestors, even if it involves breaking the law, and then try and brave it all out in corrupt courts afterwards.

or perhaps he'll find a way to do away with human rights law too. we know the politicians would love that - no place for such nonsense in a proper fascist regime.


Secret meetings my arse

15.05.2009 11:36


You say that there's been evil secret meetings 'not recorded in Hansard'. I don't get the feeling you know what Hansard is. It doesn't take down every word said in the Palace of Westminster, you know! Hansard's the official record of debates within Parliament, not for meetings with outside bodies like, er, the Met, Westminster Council, the GLA...

In any event, as a meeting which involved members of a number of public authorities in their official capacity, you can submit a Freedom of Information Act request for the minutes - as I wrote on London Indymedia, before someone (& I don't want to point a finger) took my comment down.

Lee Dixon

Autumn of Apoplexy

15.05.2009 13:34

Rikkis' article is an important scoop because most people wouldn't have heard about this important story without his reporting. I worry about activists co-opting provocative police rhetoric while they are using violent provocateurs but it is such a minor point I should've bitten my lip. I fully agree that anger is a healthy and rational response to the stories Rikki covers, such as the Tamil genocide and the clampdown on protest here, but Haw wouldn't be able to motivate himself furiously without his underlying love. Rage can escalate into apoplexy, an inability to do anything more than fume and lash out.

SOSELD are a group now? I hope you two are both happy together, maybe you can copy me your newsletter. It's hard not to be 'Egomanicial' when I have a group dedicated to me, and I'll accept your 'Liar' label now that you unironically label yourselves as spies and sex offenders.


Michael Martin, fascist lackey

15.05.2009 21:44

Some English people here, some MPs too, still fall for the 'Michael Martin defence' which goes as follows. 'I am being criticised by rich English snobs solely for being a working class Scot'. That defence may have been true in the distant past but it's wearing a little thin, even to working class Scots. Personally I find it a patronising and exploitative argument nowadays and I hope no one else still falls for it.

Michael Martin is a venal and corrupt class traitor, a fat little fuck who should be hanging from a lampost. Due to the blatant and partial excesses of English Conservatism which helped destroy my country from the 60's, Labour were guaranteed power in Scotland. Labour in the West of Scotland became a bye-word for corruption and nepotism because 'at least they're not the Tories'.

Scotland has the added problem of sectarianism. I've worked with local Labour councillors (now senior party figures) who advertise their religion for electoral gain by sticking a red, white and blue pencil, ruler and pen in their top pocket, or having a red white and blue car. In other constituencies, obviously, they go to mass and display green, gold and white.

Corrupt cunts like Martin don't get their moats cleaned or their tennis courts fixed, instead he gets chaffeur driven to Parkhead where he sits in the directors box at the invitation of John Reid, war-criminal (I say that as a former Celtic fan). And yet when he gets criticised he still plays the class card, the race card.

The most corrupt politician of this government who won't be appearing in the Torygraph is Tony Blair. He has made himself a multi-millionaire by sending British troops as mercenaries in Bushes resource wars. There is a ba'hair between him and Thatcher, but although I loathe Thacther and will piss on her grave, she was slightly more honest, and at the end of her reign she had murdered far fewer people.


IM's Summer of dick flapping

16.05.2009 16:05

Rikki, any explantaion why you hang around with so many empty mouthed cock fighters?

Indymedia is currently promoting the police idea of 'Summer of Rage, which will inevitably lead to innocent deaths, but when ever someone points out a slightly violent way to reduce the overall level of violence, they shit their pants and run away.

Maybe the rage should be directed directly at the IMCistas - at least one of whom is a kiddy-diddler much to the approval of the others?

You are a bunch of utter hypocrites.

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Back to the point.

17.05.2009 12:10

Now that the speaker seems to be facing a vote of no conifidence by the dishonerable members.
Will the Incumbent speaker take over pushing this through via the back door or have the oppurtunityto drop this attempt to silence the public even futher or will it be rushed through before Mr Martin gets the boot therefore giving them the oppurtunity to say it had nothing to do with us.


Good point

18.05.2009 12:49

"or will it be rushed through before Mr Martin gets the boot therefore giving them the oppurtunity to say it had nothing to do with us."

They then call this a 'legacy policy' to avoid addressing it. Very smart of you to notice this, one of the cornerstones of our pseudo democracy. Please ignore/hide my previous comment, I was hungry, broke and in severe dental pain.