Defying the parliament exclusion zone

Posted by Tim Ireland at 17 June 2005

Category: The War on Stupid

This entry was posted on
Friday, June 17th, 2005
at
9:35 am and is filed
under The War on Stupid.

I’ve been racking my brain over the best way to deal with this disgraceful state of affairs (slipped into law late last Friday afternoon), but Robin seems to have a worthwhile approach:

Perfect – They’ve taken away another little bit of our freedom

The Pledge: “I will apply for authorisation to demonstrate in the vicinity of Parliament every day for a month from 1st August 2005 but only if 50 other responsible citizens will too.”

This is a start, but something needs to be done to shut this down before it comes into action.

Telegraph – Why I’d join the nutty protester in Parliament Square: Mr Haw may be a nuisance and a pain. But suddenly I feel the urge to join him in Parliament Square. Who is up for a mass demonstration, supporting the freedom to demonstrate?

Sorry, but a mass protest will almost certainly be spun as a justification for the legislation. Using the ‘nutter’ angle yourself doesn’t help much, either.

Guardian – Liberty backs exclusion zone protest: Liberty, the human rights group, indicated yesterday that it would consider aiding the first protester arrested under new regulations banning unauthorised demonstrations within half a mile of parliament.

Yes, well, good luck with that. Via the Mayor of London Blog we learn of a cheeky little passage in Explanatory Memorandum (PDF):

6. European Convention on Human Rights
6.1 Not applicable.

Pfft! That pretty much sums up the Home Office’s stance on just about everything these days.

Still thinking….

UPDATE: Chicken Yoghurt – Hit me baby one more time

######################### HEADS UP #############################

Public meeting Wednesday June 29th: “Organising Opposition to New Restrictions on Protest around Parliament”

######################### HEADS UP #############################








7 Comments

  1. bigdaddymerk says

    I don’t get it. Who are the Home Office to decide if the European Convention on Human rights is applicable or not? Surely it’s down to European Court of Human Rights to decide? otherwise what’s the point of it?

  2. D-Notice says

    Anyone think it’s odd that they say that Art 6.1 (right to a fair trial) is n/a, but that they make no mention of whether they think Art 11 (freedom of assembly) is applicable?

  3. mark says

    The “6.1” statement didn’t apply to section 6.1 of the Human Rights Act, it was just a definition under teh “6. European Convention on Human Rights” heading.bigdaddymerk – I agree. The problem is that under the provisions of the Human Rights Act, and also under the constitutional principle of Parliamentary Sovereignty, parliament can enact any law it wants regardless of whether or not it is compatible with the HRA. A court can declare provisions of the enacted legislation to be incompatible with the HRA, but that doesn’t affect their validity.HOWEVER, the HRA DOES say:3. – (1) So far as it is possible to do so, primary legislation and subordinate legislation must be read and given effect in a way which is compatible with the Convention rights.The question is if it is possible to read this legislation in such a way. Any loopholes in it, for example? I very much doubt there would be, but it might be worth a look sometime.

  4. mark says

    I just looked at the penalties for offences…Organising a demonstration in a public place in the designated area (132. (1) (a)): 51 weeks in prison, or £2500 fineTaking part in a demonstration, or carrying out a demonstration *by yourself*: £1000 fineThis is absurd!

  5. Mayor of London Blog says

    Public meeting Wednesday June 29th: “Organising Opposition to New Restrictions on Protest around Parliament”

    You do not have to agree with everything that Brian Haw is protesting about, in order to be outraged by the excessive Designated Area protest exclusion zone: “Organising Opposition to New Restrictions on Protest around Parliament Public meeting on 29…

  6. Manic says

    I especially love the special treat for ringleaders – almost a year in prison. Nice.

  7. mark says

    Yeah, and also the fact that you can get fined ?1000 for walking in the designated zone if any police officer decides that you’re protesting…I liked the quote that Lembit Opik raised in the debate on this, by Blair on 7 April 2002:”When I pass protestors every day at Downing street… I may not like what they call me, but I thank God they can. That’s called freedom.”(and also when Bush visited – “Protest if you will, that is your democratic right”)Unfortunately I don’t think I’ll be able to make that public meeting, though I’d appreciate it if you’d make post of the comments on your site. Just make sure it doesn’t look like you’re seditiously organising protest!

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