Anti-Christmas carols: we have a verdict from the police

This entry was posted on
Monday, December 17th, 2007
at
11:51 pm and is filed
under The War on Stupid.

Section 132 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 makes it illegal to demonstrate anywhere near Parliament without official police permission. Under this act, it is an offence to organise or take part in a demonstration within the ‘designated area’ (up to 1 km around Parliament) if authorisation has not been applied for and granted by the Metropolitan Police Commissioner.

Unless of course you believe in Santa Claus, in which case an exception will probably be made.

In 2005, I organised and staged a pro-Christmas demonstration in the form of a carol service in Parliament Square.

Traditional songs were sung in support of varying aspects of Christmas, a minute’s silence was held, and money was collected for Medical Aid for Iraqi Children.

No singers were arrested. In fact, Police said they treated it as a carol service, not a demonstration:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/4545704.stm
http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/article334675.ece

The event was repeated in 2006 and again the Police chose not to classify the event as a demonstration.

It also needs to be noted that – in cases where permission is applied for and Police do not regard a proposed event to be a demonstration – they will issue a statement to the applicant saying so instead of approving the application.

Following an epiphany inside the main lobby of Parliament, this year I decided that the time had come to take a stand against Christmas.

On 12 December 2007, I submitted an application to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner for a carol service that would be exactly the same as previous events, with one primary difference; carols would be sung condemning varying aspects of Christmas, instead of supporting them.

On 17 December 2007, notice was given that this application was approved.

In other words, staging an event in support of Christmas is legal within a designated area without police permission, and staging an event against Christmas is not.

The implications of this should be clear. Press releases just went out. Cheers all.

Click here for details of the anti-Christmas carol service in Parliament Square at 6:30pm on Thursday the 20th of December 2007

UPDATE – The full press release appears below the fold. For those who haven’t worked out the obvious implications yet (well done, Parliament Protest) the police are guilty of religious discrimination.


18.02.2007PRESS RELEASEAnti-Christmas demonstrators claim discriminationSUMMARYYou don’t need police permission to sing carols in support of Christmas near Parliament, but you do need police permission to sing carols against it.WEBSITEhttp://www.bloggerheads.com/carols/DETAILSSection 132 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 makes it illegal to demonstrate anywhere near Parliament without official police permission. Under this act, it is an offence to organise or take part in a demonstration within the ‘designated area’ (up to 1 km around Parliament) if authorisation has not been applied for and granted by the Metropolitan Police Commissioner.Unless of course you believe in Santa Claus, in which case an exception will probably be made.In 2005, Tim Ireland organised and staged a pro-Christmas demonstration in the form of a carol service in Parliament Square.Traditional songs were sung in support of varying aspects of Christmas, a minute’s silence was held, and money was collected for Medical Aid for Iraqi Children.No singers were arrested. In fact, Police said they treated it as a carol service, not a demonstration:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/4545704.stmhttp://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/article334675.eceThe event was repeated in 2006 and again the Police chose not to classify the event as a demonstration.It also needs to be noted that – in cases where permission is applied for and Police do not regard a proposed event to be a demonstration – they will issue a statement to the applicant saying so instead of approving the application.Following an epiphany inside the main lobby of Parliament, Tim Ireland decided that the time had come to take a stand against Christmas.On 12 December 2007, he submitted an application to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner for a carol service that would be exactly the same as previous events, with one primary difference; carols would be sung condemning varying aspects of Christmas, instead of supporting them.On 17 December 2007, notice was given that this application was approved.In other words, staging an event in support of Christmas is legal within a designated area without police permission, and staging an event against Christmas is not.This is a clear case of discrimination, likely to be in contravention of the Human Rights Act and the Equality Act.Tim Ireland said; “Speaking as one of many who have seen the argument from both sides of the pole, I find it appalling that someone who does believe in Santa Claus should be given preferential treatment over someone who does not. In fact, I’d like to take this opportunity to ask Gordon Brown what the official government policy is on Santa Claus; is it their position that he exists, that he doesn’t exist, or that this is a matter that should be the business of the individual and not the state?”Sadly, Santa Claus is only the tip of the iceberg. Some people who reject Christmas do so because they do not believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God, and see no reason to celebrate that birthday. Others will object to Christmas because they reject the notion of an all-powerful deity altogether.There are also many devout Christians who reject Christmas on the basis of commercial, secular or pagan influences:http://www.dailypress.com/news/local/virginia/dp-religiontoday1214dec14,0,2910292.storyThere are even some pagans who object to Christmas on the grounds that many aspects of their winter festivities have been ‘hijacked’ by the Christian church:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/special_report/for_christmas/_new_year/pagan_christmas/37276.stmAll of these people suffer from discrimination, not only at the hands of the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, but also from certain tabloid newspapers that are positively rabid in their defence of Christmas.Someone should probably stage a demonstration about that… but they’ll need police permission first.EVENT SPECIFICSThe anti-Christmas carol service will take place at the base of the statue of Winston Churchill in Parliament Square at 6:30pm on Thursday 20 December 2007Song sheets and candles will be made available, with donations going to Medical Aid for Iraqi ChildrenThose attending should dress warm, and bring a bell, whistle, or other form of non-electronic noisemaker for the minute of noise (which will replace the traditional minute of silence).CAROL EXCERPTSThe following are excerpts from our song-sheet, a full version of which is available for download until the afternoon of 19 Dec in exchange for a £2 donation (again, with all proceeds going to Medical Aid for Iraqi Children):http://www.bloggerheads.com/carols/Bah, Humbug!(to the tune of ‘Jingle Bells’)Ebenezer ScroogeWasn’t all that dumbUntil he met the GhostOf Christmas Yet to ComeThen he lost the plot, and woke up with a screamThen foolishly made life decisions based upon a dream!Oh, bah-humbug, bah-humbugBah-humbug, I sayWe are demonstrating hereProtesting Christmas Day-God Rest Ye, Jobsworth GentlemenA Santa Claus who asks a childTo sit upon his kneeMight likely be a paedophileOr threat to elf safetySo issue now the orderThat he cease and leave them beO warnings of health and safetyHealth and safetyO warnings of health and safety-The Twelve Days of *Hic*-masOn the first day of Christmas,My true love gave to meFour shots of ginThree cigarettesTwo pints of beerAnd a breath test on the M3-Santa Claus is Coming to Town!Oh! You better watch out,You better not plot,You better suppress bad thoughts that you’ve gotSanta Claus is coming to town!He’s making a list,Misplacing it twice,And now you can buy that list at a priceSanta Claus is coming to town!CONTACTSPlease contact Tim Ireland via tim AT bloggerheads DOT com if you have any queries regarding this story.ENDS








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