PUBLIC CAROL SERVICE

6pm Wednesday 21st December 2005


NOTE - This is the archived invitation for the 2005 carol service. For 2007, click here.

With apologies to Amnesty International....You are cordially invited to a public carol service in Parliament Square at 6pm on Wednesday the 21st of December 2005.

This inclusive service will contain both Christian and secular verse, and is expected to last no more than an hour.

Candles and song sheets will be made available, with donations going to Medical Aid for Iraqi Children.

Programme:
(Introduction and welcome)
Come All Ye Faithful
Away in a Manger
Little Drummer Boy
The Twelve Days of Christmas
Deck the Halls
Good King Wenceslas
The First Noel
Joy to the World
We Wish You a Merry Christmas
Jingle Bells
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town
(Message of thanks followed by a one-minute silence)
Amazing Grace
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Hark! the Herald Angels Sing
Silent Night
(The Lord's Prayer; led by Brian Haw)

Legal Implications:
Please note that if you attend this carol service, it will classify as a spontaneous demonstration (of faith, hope, joy and/or religious tolerance) and there is a possibility that you will be cautioned or arrested under Section 132 of the Serious and Organised Crimes and Police Act 2005 (more).

Directions:
Parliament Square is located directly opposite the Houses of Parliament (map). The nearest tube station is Westminster (on the Jubilee Line).

Accommodations:
We humbly request that those who attend do not bring placards, banners or circulars to this event.

Section 132 Serious and Organised Crimes and Police Act 2005:
This draconian law was designed to evict Brian Haw and stifle dissent at the heart of our democracy. On that first count, it failed, but on the second.... well, you're probably already aware that Maya Anne Evans was arrested and convicted under this law, merely for reading out names of soldiers killed in Iraq at London's Cenotaph.

Section 132 - Demonstrations in vicinity of Parliament:
Demonstrating without authorisation in designated area:
(1) Any person who-
(a) organises a demonstration in a public place in the designated area, or
(b) takes part in a demonstration in a public place in the designated area, or
(c) carries on a demonstration by himself in a public place in the designated area,
is guilty of an offence if, when the demonstration starts, authorisation for the demonstration has not been given under section 134(2).

A formal warning usually precedes any action, but the Police may arrest any person committing an offence under Section 132 of the Act and if found guilty that individual may be liable to a fine of up to £2500 and/or a term of imprisonment of up to 51 weeks.

Below is a map of the area that this new law applies to. We are forced to use this reproduction, as the Home Office has recently withdrawn the relevant map from its website:

westminster map

In this instance, the police have not been notified. They've been invited, certainly, but they have not been notified. We believe that the public has the right to gather in a public place and sing Christmas carols. The police may see things differently; we shall see. (Technically, under the act, while this may be a spontaneous demonstration of faith, hope, joy and/or religious tolerance, it still classifies as a demonstration.)


Promotion:
Below are instructions for those who may wish to promote this event via their website:

Organisations:
This is an initiative led by Bloggerheads.com, and it has been endorsed by the following individuals, groups and bodies (please get in touch if you wish to add your name/group to this list):

Brian Haw
Supporters of Brian Haw
Maya Evans
JusticenotVengeance.org
Craig Murray (former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan)
Voices in the Wilderness UK
Rachel North
The Green Party


Latest News:
BBC - Singers defy Parliament demo ban: Carol singers are to become the latest group to defy a ban on unauthorised protests around Parliament... A Scotland Yard spokeswoman was not able to comment on whether a carol service constituted a demonstration and said a decision about whether to take action would be taken on the day.

A short post-event report (with a few links). More to come shortly. Thanks again to everyone who attended.

Further report with photos.

Donation update: We raised £285.24 for Medical Aid for Iraqi Children.

 

© 2005