This entry was posted on
Wednesday, December 21st, 2005 at
11:37 pm and is filed
under The War on Stupid.
Tonight we established that the definition of what constitutes a demonstration (under Section 132 of the Serious and Organised Crimes and Police Act 2005) is open to interpretation.
The police did not dare show their faces. At all.
Once the cameras were pointed their way, even those at the gates of Parliament were quite obviously directed to keep a low profile. No-one in authority wanted a picture of police challenging this event to make the newspapers.
Given this, and the failure to evict Brian Haw, it is certain that this legislation will have to pass through Parliament once more.
Hopefully, with more scrutiny this time around.
Guido has a report, and a photo that I can better with a screengrab from this evening’s BBC news.
Also, the online report from the BBC has been updated to read: A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said: “We treated the event as a carol service and not as a demonstration so the legislation did not come into play.”
So that’s 51 less weeks that I can expect to spend in prison, then. Nice to know.
Independent – Carol singers provide chorus of disapproval at Parliament: Last night’s event was organised by Tim Ireland, an Australian-born internet campaigner who uses an American-style web-log, www.bloggerheads.com, to campaign on issues from demands for an inquiry into the attacks on London on 7 July to the anti-terrorism laws. He said: “The aim is to sing carols and that is it. The Serious Organised Crime Act outlaws demonstrations within the exclusion zone around Westminster but it does not define demonstrations. You could break it by wearing a Make Poverty History wristband or demonstrating your own stupidity.”
Well, that’s not *quite* what I said (I said that MPs were at risk of prosecution under this act for demonstrating their own stupidity), but I hope that readers of the Independent will see the point regardless… and, if not, I’m hoping that they will see the absurdity of a ‘stupid’ act being targeted (or not) by the Serious Organised Crime Act.
And what of the readers of the Sun? The newspaper that champions the view that our lives have/will not be changed by terrorism? They ran a nativity scene into this area at the same time last year (on the back of a flat-bed truck), in order to ‘save Christmas’… but this year that act was illegal…. technically.
Did the Sun repeat this stunt? Did they even bother to file a report on this carol service?
I’m sad to report that it’s ‘no’ on both counts.
Rebekah Wade is a hypocrite. Rebekah Wade is a coward. Rebekah Wade is a ginger-freckled tosspot. But I wish her a
Merry Christmas Happy Holidays regardless.
UPDATES (22 Dec):
I’ve just counted the donations. We raised almost 300 pounds for Medical Aid for Iraqi Children!
Harlow Liberal Democrats filed this report: The police have been notable by their absence; there are normally far more of them around Parliament than there are tonight. Clearly they’ve decided they’d look utterly foolish trying to enforce Blair’s new law, and arresting a bunch of well-behaved citizens (including at least one member of the House of Lords) for simply singing Peace on Earth and Goodwill to all Men.
They also sent in this great picture of Brian on the night. Says it all for me. Just look how happy he is.
Merry Christmas, Brian… and thanks again to everyone who attended/supported this event.