Protests and demonstrations in Parliament Square, especially long term ones, are complicated by the legal ownership of the land.

Unlike the roads and pavements, which come under Westminster Council, the central grass in Parliament Square Gardens is owned by the Greater London Authority , under the control of the Mayor of London, the Conservative Boris Johnson.

The recent eviction of the self styled "Democracy Village" squatters encampment, resulted from a High Court case, brought by the GLA.

The Mayor of London v Hall & Ors (Rev 1) [2010] EWHC 1613 (QB) (29 June 2010)


N.B. this is not the first time that the GLA has acted against encampments set up in Parliament Square Gardens, the previous Labour Mayor Of London Ken Livingstone, had contractors erect a fence around Parliament Square Gardens, for a period in August 2007.

See: Mayor of London Ken Livingstone further restricts public access to Parliament Square with an ugly and potentially dangerous fence

The Judgment shows the complexities of the law, but neatly summarises some of the history of protests in Parliament Square.

This case involved several, separate, groups of people, who cannot be held responsible for each others actions.

At what point do the rights of one group of protestors start to impinge or on, or deny the identical rights of other groups or individuals, who wish to use the same prime protest location in Parliament Square ?

The badly draughted and repressive Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 sections 132 to 138 which created the Designated Area for suppressing even peaceful demonstrations around Parliament and Whitehall and the MI5 Security Service and the Metropolitan Police HQ etc. were passed , without proper Parliamentary scrutiny or debate in the so called "wash up" process when the 2005 General Election was called.

This utterly corrupt and anti-democratic fiddle, whereby the major party whips agree in secret, which bits of the lame duck Government's plethora of Bills will get magically amended within a couple of days and passed "on the nod" without any debate or detailed scrutiny.

They basically decide amongst themselves which Clauses are to be kept and which are dropped from these Bills, a process which makes a mockery of Parliamentary democracy.

Incredibly, this "wash up" process has happened again, with the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010, which was rubber stamped and given Royal Assent yesterday.

This Bill used to have the repeal of the Designated Area around Parliament Square in its sub title, and as its first Clause, so you would have thought that this was its primary purpose.

However, the corruption scandals involving MPs and Peers expenses etc. managed to mutate this Bill so that they became the major bits of the politicians (self) interest during its passage.

What had become Clause 61 Demonstrations in the vicinity of Parliament would have repealed SOCPA ss 132 - 138

The associated amendments in Schedule 9 Amendment to Part 2 of the Public Order Act 1986 etc. which, for some unexplained reason would have created a different, slightly less onerous anti-protest zone "no more than 300 metres" (originally 250 metres) from the main entrances to the Palace of Westminster and Portcullis House. This would "only" have restricted the number of people and times and locations of demonstrations, without any arbitrary powers over , say banners or t-shirts etc, or over loudspeakers, like SOCPA ss 132 - 138.

All of this is now lost in the wash up as the Commons voted to accept the final round of Lords' Amendments and the Bill became an Act of Parliament.

We do not live in a democracy any more.

The individual civil servants and politicians who have allowed the notorious SOCPA 2005 ss 132 - 138 to continue as the law, should be publicly Named and Shamed.

Will the next Home Secretary at least have the guts to heavily restrict the existing Statutory Instrument 2005 No. 1537 - The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 (Designated Area) Order 2005 to the bare minimum extent i.e. just to the pavement and highway immediately outside the main entrances to the Houses of Parliament and no further ?


Indymedia report that Brian Haw, the well known peace protestor who has been camped out in Parliament Square since 2nd June 2001 has been yet again arrested.

Brian Haw Arrested

Peter Marshall | 30.10.2009 23:28 | Anti-militarism | Iraq
Brian Haw was arrested around 7pm this evening - Friday 30 October 2009 - in Parliament Square.

Police tonight arrested peace protester Brian Haw who has been carrying out a permanent protest in Parliament Square opposite the Houses of Parliament since 2 June 2001, 3072 days ago. After a lengthy argument, Mr Haw, who now walks on crutches, was walked away by two officers, pushed still protesting into the back of a police van and driven away.

The arrest at around 7pm was witnessed by several of Brian's supporters in the square, one of whom filmed the event, as well as several photographers including myself who were present in the square for another protest.

This is not the first time that Brian Haw has been arrested, and throughout his protest he and his supporters have been subjected to considerable legal and illegal harassment by the police. The arresting officer is one against whom allegations have been made by the protesters of misconduct in previous incidents.

[...]

What are the Metropolitan Police playing at ?

Does this arrest of a political dissident have the sanction of the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson, who claims to be less politicised than his NuLabour predecessor Sir Ian Blair ?

Or is it another case, like that of the introduction of armed police patrols without any local consultation, of middle ranking police commanders not telling their boss what they are up to ?

Remember , that despite their vague promises, this current Labour government has not repealed or modified their controversial Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 section 132 Designated Area around Parliament Square and far beyond, which curtails your rights to protest peacefully and your fundamental human rights to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.

The Labour Government has today published its long awaited

Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill

The Good News - the abhorrent and undemocratic requirement for Prior Written Authorisation by the Police and arbitrary Restrictions on small or spontaneous demonstrations, near Parliament seems to be on its way to being repealed.

Part 4

Public order

32 Demonstrations etc in the vicinity of Parliament

(1) Omit sections 132 to 138 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 (c. 15) (which regulate demonstrations in the vicinity of Parliament).

Hurray !!

However, do not get too excited because:

(2) Schedule 4 (which inserts new powers into Part 2 of the Public Order Act 1986 (c. 64) etc) has effect.

This amendment to the Public Order Act 1986 is even longer and just as complicated as the SOCPA legislation it replaces.

It does not spell out any of the details, as it is enabling legislation, allowing for the creation of arbitrary laws via Statutory Instrument Orders, which can only be accepted or rejected by Parliament, and not amended in any way.

The main difference seems to be the "area around Parliament", defined as no more than 250 metres in a straight line from the nearest point in Parliament Square, rather than the still current Designated Area of up to 1 kilometre (the current Designated Area does not extend as far as that in all directions).

Unlike the current Designated Area, this smaller Area around Parliament would exclude the front entrance of the Metropolitan Police HQ at New Scotland Yard to the west, the MI5 Security Service Thames House building to the south, extend only across Westminster Bridge but no further than the former Country Hall to the east, but would still cover most of Whitehall to the north, including the Whitehall and Horseguards Road entrances to Downing Street and the Whitehall entrance to the Ministry of Defence, if the full 250 metres is designated.

See Google Maps / StreetView

Schedule 4 -- Amendment to Part 2 of the Public Order Act 1986 etc

Apparently there was a march from Trafalgar Square , "via Downing Street" (how, exactly ? - the gates are shut !) ) to New Scotland Yard today, i.e. right through the heart of the SOCPA Designated Area around Parliament Square, to protest about the violent policing of protests and demonstrations.

The left wing organisers, who appear to be drawn mostly from the manipulative Socialist Workers Party and Bob Crow's left wing RMT union, calling themselves United Campaign Against Police Violence seem to have a web blog, but there really has been almost no publicity about this event.

Even Indymedia UK do not seem to have any coverage of it, although there was a brief mention on Sky tv News.

The Palace of Westminster is also mostly empty today, a Saturday during the Whitsun Parliamentary recess, so the politicians and journalists of the "Westminster Village" will have ignored this demonstration, in favour of the "MPs expenses scandals"..

The issues they are nominally protesting e.g. "justice for those killed in police custody and for the right to protest" should really appeal to peaceful, democratic people across political party lines, but this protest seems to be a left wing / anarchist "closed shop",

This is a shame, because many other people are also furious and dissatisfied about the G20 demonstrations policing tactics, the death of Ian Tomlinson, the pre-event police surveillance and media hype about "planned violence".etc.whilst Prime Minister Gordon Brown tried, and failed, to convince people that he was somehow leading the international efforts to solve the world banking crisis, which he was personally partly responsible for.


The Times reports on the public relations disaster for the demonstrations and vigils in support of Tamils in Sri Lanka, which have been occupy Parliament Square on and off during the past few weeks:

From Times Online
May 19, 2009

Police hurt as UK Tamil protests turn violent

Emily Gosden

Twenty-five police officers were injured in the early hours of this morning and ten British Tamil protesters arrested as police attempted to break up a demonstration blocking the streets around Westminster.

The violent clashes took place hours after the Sri Lankan government announced victory over the Tamil Tiger rebels and the death of all the main Tiger leadership.

The clashes outside Parliament left three officers requiring hospital treatment, while five protesters were also taken to hospital and more treated at the scene, all for minor injuries.

The protesters were arrested for public order offences after refusing to move from the roads outside Parliament. Up to 5,000 protesters had broken out of the centre of Parliament Square at around 4pm yesterday and brought Westminster to a standstill. They staged a sit-down protest to call for international intervention in Sri Lanka, where thousands of civilians remain in internment camps at the end of the bloody civil war that has claimed 70,000 lives.

This morning around 30 protestors remained in Parliament Square, where they have had a continuous presence since April 6. A peaceful vigil and hunger strikes has now escalated into illegal roadblocks on four occasions.

[...]

It does not matter if the protestors were provoked by the Police actions or not, this outbreak of violence is a public relations disaster for the protestors' cause.

The weak Labour Government and the Foreign Office bureaucracy will now be able to discount and ignore any moral pressure they felt on them caused by the hitherto peaceful demonstrations, which have now all gone to waste.

The now "traditional" long running "Peace Camp" protestors permanently encamped in Parliament Square led by Brian Haw, has been swelled in recent weeks by Tamil demonstrators,protesting about the humanitarian crisis involving the thousands of trapped civilians in the Tamil Tigers versus Sri Lankan government combat zone.

What they really expect the British Government to actually do about this situation is unclear, in spite of the hunger strikes which some of them are now on.

The Police seem to have penned these protestors in on Parliament Square Gardens, with lots of barriers etc. and the annual London Marathon race does not seem to have been affected.

BBC_Jam_Cam_Parliament_Square_26april09.jpg

The largest Tamil demonstrations were when Parliament came back from Yet Another of their recesses at Easter, when the road between the Palace of Westminster and Westminster Abbey was blocked by thousands of protestors sitting down peacefully.

This demonstration was not an authorised one under SOCPA Designated Area but there seem to have been few arrests under that legislation.

The fact that Parliament continued business as normal, with no problems for MPs or Peers being able to attend, (they do, after all, have underground tunnel access to the building from Westminster Tube station and from Portcullis House) also shows that the "sessional orders" and indeed the SOCPA section 132-138 Designated Area is far too widely drawn, over far too large an area, to be justified on the grounds of protecting access to Parliament.

The Liberal Democrat Peer, Lord Tyler, has introduced a Private Members Bill into the House of Lords, which, amongst other things, seeks to stir up the moribund Government's promise (made by Gordon Brown in 2007) to repeal the controversial Designated Area around Parliament Square restrictions of freedom of assembly and speech, and peaceful protest, inflicted on us via sections 132 to 138 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005,

The wording of the first section is identical to the Government's own Draft Bill.

Demonstrations in the vicinity of Parliament

1 Repeal of sections 132 to 138 of Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005

(1) Omit sections 132 to 138 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 (c. 15) (which regulate demonstrations in the vicinity of Parliament).

(2) In the Table in section 175(3) of that Act (transitional provision relating to offences), omit the entries relating to section 136.

(3) In paragraph 1(1) of Schedule 2 to the Noise and Statutory Nuisance Act 1993 (c. 40) (which is about consents for the operation of loudspeakers), omit "or of section 137(1) of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005".

(4) Omit paragraph 64 of Schedule 6 to the Serious Crime Act 2007 (c. 27)
.

Lord Tyler explains in this Lords of the Blog article: Wake up call

In tune with so much of what has been happening in London this week, I attempted on Tuesday to arouse some politicians from their complacency about the dire reputation of Parliament.

My Constitutional Renewal Bill, which received its First Reading then, seeks to put this whole issue back on the agenda. You may recall that, in his very first statement as Prime Minister, Gordon Brown set out proposals to "agree a new British constitutional settlement that entrusts more power to Parliament and the British people." Those brave intentions have long since been diluted, through a series of documents and even a draft Bill, but the need to revive them now is greater than ever. In the midst of this economic crisis, with the reputation of Parliament and politicians at a very low ebb, people may well feel completely disillusioned, disconnected and dangerously alienated. That is how extremist groups can flourish.

The Joint Committee on Human Rights, comprising of both Members of the House of Commons, and Peers from the House of Lords, has published another report Human Rights Joint Committee - Seventh Report - Demonstrating respect for rights? A human rights approach to policing protest,which has a Chapter entitled:

5 LEGAL REFORM: PROTEST AROUND PARLIAMENT


Unfortunately, the reports of this Committee are routinely ignored, or simply paid lip service to, by the current Labour government.

They intend to propose some amendments to legislation , to stimulate debate:

AMENDMENTS TO THE POLICING AND CRIME BILL

138. It is now four years since Parliament had the opportunity to debate the law on protest around Parliament, since which time the provisions passed in 2005 have been widely discredited. Debate on this issue now would ensure that the Government could hear and reflect on the views of both Houses while drawing up its own proposals and would encourage the Government to conclude its own consideration of the matter without undue delay.

139. We intend to table amendments on protest around Parliament to the Policing and Crime Bill in order to prompt debate in both Houses. The amendments we suggest below are essentially probing amendments, based on our recommendations, rather than a fully worked-out scheme for tackling the problems we have discussed. Crucially, we note that the onus is on the Government to bring forward the necessary reform which commands the support of the police, the parliamentary authorities and the local authorities.

    Protest around Parliament: repeal of provisions in the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005

    To move the following clause:

    "In the Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill 2005 (c. 15), sections 132 to 138 are repealed."

Surely that should be "Act" rather than "Bill" ?

Imposing conditions on public assemblies: Parliament

To move the following clause:

"(1) The Public Order Act 1986 (c. 64) is amended as follows.

(2) At the end of section 14(1)(a) there is inserted ", if it takes place in the designated area or areas, it is a security risk, or".

(3) After section 14(1)(b) there is inserted the following paragraph:


    "(c) it is taking place or will take place in the designated area or areas and will seriously impede, or be likely to seriously impede, access to the Houses of Parliament,".

(4) After section 14(2) there is inserted the following subsection:

    "(2A) In subsection (1) "the designated area or areas" means the area or areas specified as such by the Secretary of State:

      (a) by description, by reference to a map, or in any other way; and

      (b) which lie within 300 metres of the perimeter of the Palace of Westminster or Portcullis House".


The forthcoming protest called by professional, amateur and political activist Photographers will highlight several of the Labour government's repressive policies, which afflict normal, law abiding people's rights and freedoms, without producing any tangible "security" benefit against terrorists or criminals.

Mass photography protest - 11 am Monday 16th February 2009, Metropolitan Police HQ, New Scotland Yard

Which of the various police powers will be used to harass and intimidate peaceful, lawful protestors and professional media photographers, outside of the Metropolitan Police Service HQ ?

The SOCPA section 132 to 138 Designated Area around Parliament Square ? (New Scotland Yard in Broadway is just within the Designated Area - see The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 (Designated Area) Order 2005)

The Terrorism Act 2000 section 44 stop and search without reasonable cause ?

The new Terrorism Act 2000 section 58A "eliciting or attempting to elicit" or publishing or communicating "information" about a current or former police officer ?

N.B. New Scotland Yard is not a Prohibited Place, under the Official Secrets Act 1911.

Parliament Protest Web Button

Either save this image and link to us, or copy the HTML code below into your web page or template:

Peaceful resistance to the curtailment of our rights to Free Assembly and Free Speech in the SOCPA Designated Area around Parliament Square and beyond

Click here for a larger version of this web campaign button graphic.

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Recent Comments

  • Peaceful Demonstrator: You can check to see that the Constitutional Reform and read more
  • Peaceful Demonstrator: SOCPA ss 132-138 law is still being used arbitrarily, as read more
  • aj: Brian Haw your a British legend and Britain needs more read more
  • Emma: I live in hope that your protest stops falling on read more
  • robbie hardy: Brian - Your the Hero who couldn't turn away... Your read more
  • thanks so much for being at the spot: I just read your peace on Brian Haw. I live read more
  • Keith: Is this the Alan Buttle now banned from demonstrating because read more
  • Terence Claude Buttle: Your photograph of Brian Haw has prompted me to use read more
  • Peaceful Demonstrator: @ Hasan - you may be waiting a long time read more
  • hasan arikoglu: This man stole my wallet in june 9/2006 just walking read more

Hints and Tips for Whistleblowers and Protest Organisers

The hints and tips below are just as important to anybody organising a peaceful Protest near to Parliament Square, as they are to other people who might come under UK Government or Multinational Corpotation:

Please take the appropriate precautions if you are planning to blow the whistle on shadowy and powerful people in Government or commerce, and their dubious policies. The mainstream media and bloggers also need to take simple precautions to help preserve the anonymity of their sources e.g. see Spy Blog's Hints and Tips for Whistleblowers - or use this easier to remember link: http://ht4w.co.uk

BlogSafer - wiki with multilingual guides to anonymous blogging

Digital Security & Privacy for Human Rights Defenders manual, by Irish NGO Frontline Defenders.

Everyone’s Guide to By-Passing Internet Censorship for Citizens Worldwide (.pdf - 31 pages), by the Citizenlab at the University of Toronto.

Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents - March 2008 version - (2.2 Mb - 80 pages .pdf) by Reporters Without Borders

Reporters Guide to Covering the Beijing Olympics by Human Rights Watch.

A Practical Security Handbook for Activists and Campaigns (v 2.6) (.doc - 62 pages), by experienced UK direct action political activists

Anonymous Blogging with Wordpress & Tor - useful step by step guide with software configuration screenshots by Ethan Zuckerman at Global Voices Advocacy. (updated March 10th 2009 with the latest Tor / Vidalia bundle details)

Convention on Modern Liberty - 28th Feb 2009

Convention on Modern Liberty - 28th Feb 2009
Convention on Modern Liberty - 28th Feb 2009

The Convention is being held in the Logan Hall and adjoining rooms at the Institute of Education in Bloomsbury, central London.

Address:

The Institute of Education
20 Bedford Way
London
WC1H 0AL

There are video linked screenings or other parallel meetings being held across the UK in Belfast. Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff and Manchester.

Convention on Modern Liberty blog

Campaign Button Links

NO2ID  Campaign
NO2ID - opposition to the Home Office's Compulsory Biometric ID Card and National Identity Register centralised database.

UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign
UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign

link to www.peopleincommon.org

People in Common - weekly Picnics etc. in Parliament Square, every Sunday at about 1pm.

Save Parliament: Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (and other issues)
Save Parliament - Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (and other issues)

cfoi_150.jpg
Campaign for the Freedom of Information

Please help us to find this man! He was arrested(?) in Parliament Square on 1st August 2005

This man was one of the very first people arrested in Parliament Square on 1st August 2005, but he has apparently disappeared.

link to SilentProtest.org.uk
Silent Protest - a web photo gallery "encouraging people to stage a virtual, government un-sanctioned protest. All you need to do is get a picture of yourself, or your friends, within the protest free zone. Assume the pose (hand over mouth), aim and click."

repeal-SOCPA-info_150.gif
. repeal-SOCPA.info - useful background briefings for the Managing Protest around Parliament public consultation, and model letters to MPs etc.

About this blog

This web blog has been set up as an information resource and discussion area (please be polite in the comments) to help organise resistance to the restrictions on peaceful democratic demonstrations and protests, which have been enacted by law, in a wide Designated Area around Parliament Square in London.

It appears that in order to remove the peace protestor Brian Haw, who has now been demonstrating continuously in Parliament Square, day and night, for over 5, 6 years, 7, 8 years, the NuLabour Government have overreacted, and have granted themselves draconian and arbitrary powers, which affect the rights of all individual British citizens to lobby their Members of Parliament, or to walk in a vast Designated Area wearing a "political slogan" T-shirt, badge, rubber wristband etc. without first seeking prior written permission from the Police.

This is an affront to democracy and is not justified even on any spurious "climate of fear" alleged "security" grounds.

Email Contact

Please feel free to email us your news, views or suggestions about this blog, and about the issues it highlights.

info @ParliamentProtest [dot] org [dot].uk

For those of you who want to send us information in confidence, here is our PGP Public Encryption Key

A low volume e-mail list (with a daily digest option) has been set up for those of you who /want to share ideas about how the restrictions on demonstrations without prior written permission etc. can be resisted legally and peacefully:

parliamentsquare-subscribe@ yahoogroups.com

Syndicate this site (XML):

Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005

The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 was rushed through, "on the nod", with minimal debate, during the undemocratic "wash up" process at the end of the last Parliament when the General Election had been called.

The bulk of the Act deals with the setting up of the Serious Organised Crime Agency, but there are also sections such as:

Section 110 Powers of Arrest

From 1st January 2006 this section makes any offence, no matter how minor, into an arrestable offence. Arrests by the police these days can mean taking 10 fingerprints and two palm prints, a DNA tissue sample and processing it into a digital "DNA fingerprint", forcing you to remove any facial coverings, (even those worn for religous purposes) to take photographs of your face etc. All of these items of personal data can then be retained forever, even if you are not charged, or any charges against you are dropped, or if you go to court and are found not guilty.

These new powers are regulated by the new statutory Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) Code of Practice G (.pdf)

Section 128 Trespass on a Designated Site - e.g. Crown Property or National Security

Sections 132 to 138 Demonstrations in the vicinity of Parliament - the controversial restrictions in detail.

The Public Whip website has details of how the Members of the House of Commons voted on these controversial clauses.

Brian Haw

Veteran peace protestor Brian Haw has been physically camped out in Parliament Square since 2nd June 2001 i.e. for over 8 years.

The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 sections 132 to 138 Designatd Area law seem to have been written to try to specifically suppress his protests, although, through sheer incompetence, the Government found that Brian Haw himself was initially exempt from some of it, since his protest started before the stupidly worded repressive legislation came into force, although a later High Court Appeal, at public exepnse, did apply the law to him.

See Parliament Square website for news and support details.

Designated Area

The current Designated Area is set out in:

Statutory Instrument 2005 No. 1537 The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 (Designated Area) Order 2005

Read more about the Designated Area in our category archive.

Write to politicians

Write To Them - identify and contact your local councillors, Members of Parliament, devolved Assembly members and Members of the European Parliament

You can also write to the Home Secretary David Blunkett Charles Clarke John Reid, Jacqui Smith, Alan Johnson

You can send an email public.enquiries@ homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk or a letter to:

Rt. Hon. Alan Johnson MP
Home Secretary
c/o Direct Communications Unit
Home Office
2 Marsham Street
London SW1P 4DF

Home Office Contact Us page

Mass Lone Demonstrations

Comedian Mark Thomas's website has details of Mass Lone Demonstrations which legally show up the absurdity of this law, and the bureaucracy involved in enforcing it. These multiple independent one person demonstrations take place on the third Wednesday of the month, from 5pm - 7.30pm within the Designated Area (often in Parliament Square, but not exclusively so)

Meet on the second Wednesday of each month outside Charing Cross police station (located at Agar Street, London, WC2N 4JP - see the map) any time between: 5.30 pm -7.30pm to hand in your Metropolitan Police SOCPA forms (download the optional Word or PDF forms from the Metroplitan Police) or your own personal Written Applications for Prior Permission.

Regular Protests in Parliament Square

Parliament Square - supporting the long running, 24/7, peace protest by Brian Haw in Parliament Square

Global Women's Strike who held "open mike" loudspeaker protests every Wednesday for over two and a half years, which are now banned.

London Critical Mass - group bicycle ride on the last Friday of every month, for the last 10 years, which often strays into the Designated Area.

The People's Commons Meeting / Tea Party / Picnic-Protest is now meeting every Sunday afternoon starting at 1 for 1.30pm on the Green in Parliament Square. wiki - new website PeopleInCommon.org

Website Links

Home Office - "Not fit for purpose. It is inadequate in terms of its scope, it is inadequate in terms of its information technology, leadership, management, systems and processes" - Home Secretary John Reid. 23rd May 2006.

Metropolitan Police Service

Metropolitan Police Authority - meant democratically to supervise the Metropolitan Police Service

Independent Police Complaints Commission

United Kingdom Parliament - Palace of Westminster, House of Lords, House of Commons etc.

Booking Parliament Square - Greater London Authority booking forms, terms and conditions for filming and photography for Parliament Square - "The GLA does not grant permission for demonstration, rallies and public meetings on Parliament Square Gardens".

They Work For You - a more user friendly version of the House of Commons Hansard

Pledgebank pledge:

"I will form part of a human chain around the Westminster no protest zone but only if 6,000 other people will join in."

Repeal-SOCPA-Info has useful briefing material for the Public Consultation into the laws restricting demonstrations, marches and assemblies, sample letters to MPs etc..

Blog Links

Spy Blog - Privacy and Security and Civil liberties campaigning

Mayor of London Blog - unnofficial comments on the Mayor of London and Greater London Assembly

Fuel Crisis Blog - Petrol at £1 per litre ! Protest !

Bloggerheads graphics of the 1km zone and the actual Designated Area

Charity Sweet - who has been harrassed for reading a copy of the Independent newspaper outside Downing Street etc.

BBC Travel Jam Cams

BBC Radio London has some links to Traffic Monitoring CCTV cameras, which they publish every 5 or 10 minutes, not usually in real time.

Whenever there is an "incident" or a march or demonstration, these online images are deliverately censored i.e. "not available for operational reasons", This is despite the images being of too low a resolution to identify anybody, and, the effect of not diverting traffic away from the incident, which should be the whole point of the online Traffic Cam images in the first place.

Whitehall / Parliament Square - this camera view sometimes shows Brian Haw's peace camp, and the new GLA fence around Parliament Square Gardens. (now removed, for the time being)

Northumberland Avenue / Victoria Embankment

Trafalgar Square (on the edge of the Designated Area)