No free speech within earshot of Number Ten....


Book Reviewer
bloody HELLFIRE......loooking at a Daily Mail ( which I fully acknowledge is actually the Tory party house magazine) front page headline and slightly astonished not to find this story being discussed on ARRSE:

Yesterday, 28 year old cook Maya Evans became first person to be prosecuted under new law banning unauthorized protests within a kilometre of Westminster. Her crime? Miss Evans, from Hastings East Sussex was arrested on October 25 as she stood next to the Cenotaph in Whitehall reciting the names of the 97 (now 98 ) British Armed Forces personnel who have died in Iraq to date. ......She was considered such a threat that two police sergeants and 12 constables in two minibuses were sent to arrest her. ......Although given a conditional discharge, she now has a criminal record and was ordered to pay £100 in court costs.
Their editorial comment :
The Cenotaph in Whitehall on a drizzly morning, a woman peace protester accompanied by a single supporter slowly reads out the names of all the British soldiers who had laid down their lives in Iraq. Most of us would find little to condemn in the actions of Maya Anne Evans. We might even reflect that, in a free society, such protest is healthy.

But not, of course, in post-Iraq war Britain. No, under Stalinist new laws passed by a Government increasingly intolerant of dissent, two police sergeants, twelve constables, and two police minibuses were deployed to crush her protest. She was then dragged off to Charing Cross police station, locked up for five hours, and hauled before Bow Street magistrates, where she was fined £100 and given a criminal record.

More polls » How on earth can a nation with such a historical commitment to freedom of speech possibly justify this prosecution and the law under which it was brought?
But this is the country where a decent and honourable civil servant can be hounded to his suicide by spin doctors intent on blackening his name.
This is the country where an octogenarian protester, Walter Wolfgang, can be brutally manhandled and detained - wrongfully - under the Terrorism Act after shouting 'nonsense' during the Foreign Secretary's speech to the Labour Conference.

And this is the country where the Government was intent on bulldozing through a Bill that would have allowed them to detain terror suspects for 90 days without charge. Thankfully, Parliament is not yet so cowed that it allowed Labour's anti-terror plans through.

Free speech Britain? What a joke. The sad truth is that we can no longer trust the police and their political masters in Whitehall not to use their power and authority for political ends.

So, let me get this straight - if a dozen of us walk down Whitehall in desert combats, stand in front of the twenty foot gates which now guard the Great Helmsman from his cowering subjects and read the names of the dead, by that mathematics the Metropolitan Police will see ( removes socks to count better)...uh....TWENTY FOUR sergeants 144 coppers to arrest us ????

How long before they slip a quick amendment through that extends 1 Kilometre to 5 kilometres ??

Is it me ? This is a bl00dy OUTRAGE !

That's absolutely crap!! If I read this right (and if I don't I apologise), this woman was reading the names of the dead on THE main war memorial for the nation and she was arrested for it. Not only arested but positively swamped by rozzers. Surely THE WHOLE POINT of a memorial is so that people READ those names and remember the people behind the words. There are 3 names on that list that I knew personally and one of the three was a very good friend, I'm gonna go there next time I'm in the capital (probably on some B*****ks shopping trip with the frau and swhout their bloody names as loud as I can!!! Who the fcuk do these people think they are? Is there some international law that I don't know about that states 'Only so many countries are allowed to be ruled by a democratic government at one time, so as we played a part in (SUPPOSEDLY) bringing democracy to Iraq we have as a trade off to become a dictatorship?!!!
Will Mr Hislop be arrested if his current programme is aired anywhere inside the 1km limit?
Pathetic attempt by Neu Arbeit to stifle free speech and rights of everyone, by spin and 'national security' as reasoning.
What about an impromptu ARRSE remembrance event in uniform, greens et sands somewhere appropriate like the cenotaph? Would it actually be illegal? Surely we should be allowed to remember our dead whenever we like, and not just around 11/11?

Apparently the law was introduced to get rid of a protester from outside Whitehall who's been there for four years, however since his protest predates the legislation he can't be got rid of. Possibly ties in to help control May Day and such like shenanigans.
There have been innumerable threads that have got the ARRSE membership fulminating and muttering darkly into their beer. This one is a subject that really does merit outrage because it is a flagrant breach of our right to free speech and expression. Patently, the great leader and his coterie do not want their great thoughts interrupted by anything so crass as the protests of the citizens that they profess to serve. Nor do they want visiting foreign dignitaries to see that all is not perfect in New Britain. The latter point reminds me both of Imperial Russia with the Potempkin villages and, more hurtfully, of Northern Korea. I could bear comparison with the former but the latter makes me cringe.
I'd be grateful (because I'm a lazy sod) if one of the serving members of the police who is an ARRSE member could tip me the name and telephone number of the nearest nick to the Cenotaph. When next in town I am minded to stand there and read from a list of the fallen. I will, naturally, inform the press beforehand. Serving officer..... served in Aghanistan and Iraq amongst other places..... arrested for......might be worth getting sacked for.

Edited for innumerable mistakes - a consequence of posting whilst extremely hacked off.
I didn't know that there were any names on the Cenotaph.
Let's not kid around here, it was clearly a protest designed to provoke this reaction. She knew what she was doing and bl00dy well done to her.

Thing is, it takes this kind of lunacy to get it across to the Scum-reading mouthbreathers that all is not quite as shiny in Westminster as the nice men in suits would have us believe.

Has anyone else noticed that certain posters who were banging the Neue Arbeit drum a few months ago are strangely silent on this topic.

I wonder why? :roll:
If this is true,it´s time to kick T*ny out;or this Hanging judge.Being an ex-pat,I have strong feelings of freedom and democracy,and having picked up a weapon and risked my life,with of course many others,to defend it,I am appalled.

The police should be ashamed of themselves;what´s the next charge,Treason,for being against wars?

I was in Moscow,in November 1990,big, nearly permanent demo,with tents and hunger strikers;opposite the Kremlin and Hotel Rosa.The so called,communist Police just looked on, amused,let them carry on,I saw no intimidation or threats at all!

I feel totally disgusted,it´s literally Un- British,do they want to turn London into a No Go Zone.What hope, a help the homeless ex-forces sleep in, outside Whitehall,be quite funny to see what the Plod do against a couple of hundred squaddies.This of course,is a rhetorical question,wouldn´t want to upset a couple of ´Hanging Judges´?

Midnight......getting very angry.......!
What really grips my goat is the whole PC aspect of the whole thing. How comes the "protestor" (and I use that term loosely) who is calling out the names of the British Servicemen gets arrested, prosectuted, conditionally discharged, now picks up a criminal record and gets fined 100 quid - but - her companion who is reading out the names of dead Iraqi civilians gets arrested BUT NOT CHARGED!. So what is the great difference between what they were BOTH doing and as a result why did they BOTH not receive the same treatment.

A nice footnote to wrap up the article mentioned that a few days after she was arrested Tony Blair took his place at the Cenotaph for the annual Remembrance Sunday ceremony. What a fu**ing, bl**dy hypocrite!!


Book Reviewer
rickshaw said:
When next in town I am minded to stand there and read from a list of the fallen. I will, naturally, inform the press beforehand. Serving officer..... served in Aghanistan and Iraq amongst other places..... arrested for......might be worth getting sacked for.
When you do, PM me beforehand because I will stand next to you.
Rickshaw, goatman.. if I'm in the country I'll come too!!
Goatman said:
rickshaw said:
When next in town I am minded to stand there and read from a list of the fallen. I will, naturally, inform the press beforehand. Serving officer..... served in Aghanistan and Iraq amongst other places..... arrested for......might be worth getting sacked for.
When you do, PM me beforehand because I will stand next to you.
Thank you Goatman. As and when I either pluck up the guts or get p*ssed and angry enough, I'll post it here. Come one. Come all. At least there might be a witness or two.
Allowing for multiple-ID members, there still have to be over 10,000 ARRSErs. How about we all rock up, one by one after the others have been carted off: I'm sure they'll soon run out of coppers to arrest us all... 8)
Now that would be interesting.... my mind wanders back to the old days and the miners strike. Bus loads of out of town rozzers brought in. Oh! it would be worth any sh1te incurred after the event just to be part of it and make a statement...Imagine the squieming at no.10 when that hit the 10 o'clock news.
It was only a joke. Seriously, though if I can I'll be there (if it happens).
How about having our cake and eating it...

Wizz down to the last line :D
Demonstrations in vicinity of Parliament
132 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).

(2) It is a defence for a person accused of an offence under subsection (1) to show that he reasonably believed that authorisation had been given.

(3) Subsection (1) does not apply if the demonstration is-

(a) a public procession of which notice is required to be given under subsection (1) of section 11 of the Public Order Act 1986 (c. 64), or of which (by virtue of subsection (2) of that section) notice is not required to be given, or
(b) a public procession for the purposes of section 12 or 13 of that Act.
(4) Subsection (1) also does not apply in relation to any conduct which is lawful under section 220 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 (c. 52).

(5) If subsection (1) does not apply by virtue of subsection (3) or (4), nothing in sections 133 to 136 applies either.

(6) Section 14 of the Public Order Act 1986 (imposition of conditions on public assemblies) does not apply in relation to a public assembly which is also a demonstration in a public place in the designated area.

(7) In this section and in sections 133 to 136-

(a) "the designated area" means the area specified in an order under section 138,
(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,
(c) references to any person organising a demonstration include a person participating in its organisation,
(d) references to any person organising a demonstration do not include a person carrying on a demonstration by himself,
(e) references to any person or persons taking part in a demonstration (except in subsection (1) of this section) include a person carrying on a demonstration by himself.
138 The designated area

(1) The Secretary of State may by order specify an area as the designated area for the purposes of sections 132 to 137.

(2) The area may be specified by description, by reference to a map or in any other way.

(3) No point in the area so specified may be more than one kilometre in a straight line from the point nearest to it in Parliament Square.
So we turn up with a GPS and put ourselves 1001m from the nearest point in Parliament Square and start protesting. I don't know London but I'm sure there must be somewhere worthwhile to protest outside that's 1050m from Parliament Square. A quick glance at a 1:50000 map shows the Queen Victoria memorial and the Front gates of Buck House as being 1100-1300m from Parliament, but I'm loathe to drag HM into this.

Any Cockneys think of anywhere better? Where's Labour Party HQ? What about Chequers? Are all the MOD offices too close? Blair's constituency office (if he can remember where it is!). :idea: How about that £3m flat he bought in Belagravia (what mortgage company would lend £3m against a £183,932 salary that is not guaranteed?)??
Just on the off-chance that one of our esteemed readers from the press happens to coome across this string, it might be interesting to contrast the role of the Armed Forces exporting enforced democracy to places such as Iraq whilst the very values we are supposed to defend are being eroding in our own country........

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