barbara with her genocide banner
despite this, the only actual case they have ever brought to court was thrown out by judge snow (who is known on the circuit as a tough judge not given to liberal leanings!). the judge used the phrase 'void ab initio' which is the strongest possible legal term, literally translated ' empty from the start' and is often used to denote the possibility of corruption. it certainly means that in his view the police and crown prosecution had absolutely no grounds for bringing barbara to court.
faced with difficulties prosecuting barbara under socpa laws, they have tried various other methods to intimidate and harrass her in order to get her genocide banners off the streets near blair. she has had spurious arrests for obstruction of the highway, and they have tried on two occasions to detain her under the mental health act. on the second of these, she was detained while answering bail, and her solicitor was visibly shaken by the police tactics saying that she had never heard of anything like it before. at that time, police agreed to sign a document promising 'no further action' relating to her mental health, but immediately broke this in court the following week by casting doubt on her sanity in open court.
this morning, just before midday, barbara was in parliament square, and police once again approached her as she stood peacefully with her banner. despite being reminded that she HAS notified the police of her continuing protest, the police claimed she was 'unauthorised' and tried to physically remove her banner. she was then arrested for 'obstruction' and taken to charing cross police station (where she was due to appear on bail anyway). her solicitor is now with her and is trying to ensure that she is heard in court today as a matter of urgency as her safety while in the hands of the police may be at risk.
updates on this story later.
today some people from 'stop the war coalition' were there to greet him and they were using a megaphone. under socpa this is not allowed, and when they were approached and warned by police they left like the well-behaved socialists they are.
meanwhile barbara took up position on the small traffic island lying near the churchill statue side of parliament square. her intention as always to peacefully remind blair of his crimes with her bold pink genocide banner round her neck.
although othere people were free to move around in the area, police targetted her and told her she couldn't stand there. she was pushed at first, and then her pink banner was taken from her. at that point brian haw grabbed it off police.
even though barbara is now without a banner, and other people are walking around freely, police are still telling her she has to move away. her response is to sit down and hold on to the railings, at which point several polce pile in, they attempt to stop clear views of their actions and they arrest her for alleged 'obstruction'.
the whole incident was captured by a dutch tv film crew, and others on film and video.
it seems that while tony blair is allowed to continue committing genocide on that side of the road, police commissioner sir ian blair makes sure he hides the evidence of genocide on this side of the road.
no further news from charing cross yet at 14:40
her lawyer has been told that the crown prosecution service are having a high-level meeting in march to discuss the endless police reports and arrests against barbara and also steve jago. both are bailed until 21st march when they will hear the outcome of that meeting and whether charges are dropped.
it seems possible that the police, in the face of their very rocky legal position over the failure to authorise barbara's protests, may end up cutting and running. in the meantime, their continual spurious harrassment of these peaceful and heroic protestors can surely only end with huge compensation payments.
superintendent terry lost his battle against brian haw on monday when judge purdy ruled that he had acted unlawfully in attempting to impose conditions on brian when he had no legal right to do so. it was brian's refusal to follow those illegal conditions last may that led to the midnight raid at parliament square with 78 officers trashing and removing most of brian's display. the commissioner, sir ian blair was later caught out lying about the cost of the raid, which was later revealed to be more than £28,000.
isn't it time that ian blair and peter terry resigned over this shameful waste of police resources and unforgiveable attack on the freedom to protest about genocide?