police observers reporting back
no lack of surveillance
another illegal placard
other socpa cases are due to go to trial on monday morning (9th jan) at bow street, with more on the 18th.
a pattern is emerging that police only arrest people when they think that they can get away with it without much media attention.
when american anti-war activist cindy sheehan came over to meet brian haw in parliament square in december, police issued a socpa warning telling them to disperse, but as the deadline passed, a crowd of up to a hundred people staged a full-scale demonstration, marching up to the gates of downing street with banners and chants, and because of the sensitive nature of any arrests in the week maya evans had appeared all over the media, they backed down and allowed the protest to continue.
just before christmas, a 'carol-singing' congregation in parliament square listened and cheered while brian haw harangued the government, and a megaphone was briefly used illegally. the crowd numbered more than a hundred, and yet the police failed to investigate, and studiously ignored the throng rather than be reported by the attendant media as arresting carol-singers.
the previous day however, barbara tucker had been arrested and charged under the act for standing alone outside parliament with a placard stating "i am not the organised criminal". there were no press around on that occasion.
today, media attended the ceremony, and so despite the fact it was virtually a rerun of maya's offence (though with a larger crowd of 9 rather than 2!), the police watched but did not act. when questioned, one of them said they were just keeping an eye on things and said "we're not all bastards".
on the 18th an activist is due in court - he was attending a picnic at parliament square in august, and was nicked for wearing an 'a4' size placard around his neck stating 'protest my right'. and yet today, one of the participants was wearing the exact same banner in full view of the police but was not even warned let alone arrested. press included spanish tv, london tonight, channel 4, news of the world, and the evening standard. could this explain the police reticence? another banner asked for a public inquiry into the london bombings.
do you see a pattern?
so a word of advice if you want to demonstrate in the exclusion zone. make sure the press is there, and it seems you'll be immune. go alone, and face the consequences.
anti-socpa activists hold a picnic in parliament square every sunday at one o'clock
more info at www.peopleincommon.org
for footage of the remembrance ceremony on the 25th october, see www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2005/10/326409.html (see comments there for the link to working version of smaller format video)