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Parliament buildings now Designated under SOCPA Section 128 - even the formely public areas

[via ParliamentProtest.org.uk]

It seems that, as of the 1st June 2007, the Palace of Westminster and Portcullis House now Designated under SOCPA Section 128 - even the previously public areas !

Home Office Minister Tony "not fit for purpose" McNulty has signed Statutory Instrument 2007 No. 930 - The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 (Designated Sites under Section 128) Order 2007 which comes into force on 1st June 2007.

This "designates" some more sites, under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 Section 128

Most controversially this now "designates" the entire Palace of Westminster and Portcullis House office buildings, crucially, even the formerly public access areas such the Central Lobby or the Committee Rooms.

It is intolerable for any Police officer and / or the Attorney General to have the power of arrest and prosecution on a charge which could lead to up to 51 weeks in prison in these particular areas, threatneing and chilling the democratic right of constituents. to meet and lobby their Members of Parliament, or to listen to the proceedings of Select Committees etc.

Designating the exterior of the building and the private office spaces and the Chambers of Parliament seems fair enough, but not the public areas. There are plenty of other existing laws to deal with "disturbing the peace" or any threats of actual violence etc which apply to these areas, it is typical of the Labour Government control freaks like Tony McNulty and his boss John Reid, to ineptly further restrict our democratic freedoms to assemble and protest and lobby democratically and peacefully.

Members of Parliament seemed to have not understood that these public areas of Parliament itself are already curtailed, under Section 132 of the same Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005, since the Palace of Westminster is within the Designated Area around Parliament Square, which includes:

Section 132 (7)

(b) "public place" means any highway or any place to which at the material time the public or any section of the public has access, on payment or otherwise, as of right or by virtue of express or implied permission,

It now appears that, as of 1st June, you can be arrested, on the whim of a Police officer, inside Parliament, when engaged in peaceful democratic lobbying of MPs, or watching Select Committee sessions etc., both under Section 128 and Section 132 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act Act 2005.


They've muffed this up a bit:

At the top of the HTML version it says the Order comes into force on the 1st June... and a few lines down it says it comes into force on 1st May!

The PDF version has the date 1st June in both places.

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