SOCPA - first told on the phone that I was denied... not in writing; then Inspector Robinson lies through his teeth on the stand at Brian's trial in the statement that no one had been denied authorization and poof!...and I get the acceptance letter... with conditions...no letter for my daughter...yet...
CX/588/2007 – SOCPA Authorisation
Detective Superintendent Peter Newman
CX - Charing Cross Police Station
Detective Superintendent Peter Newman,
Thank you for your letter dated October 24th and post marked November 2nd, 2007 and received today. I note my notification form was completed and hand delivered on October 18th, 2007 at the same time, on the same day, to Charing Cross Station, as my daughter Miss Maranda Cameron and my friend, Carolyn Emmerson who also handed in her notification form. I am informed that she received her letter of authorisation some time last week.
I assume you will also be writing a letter to my daughter, at your earliest convenience, as she is most excited to be receiving mail through the post and has been expecting a letter such as the one I received from yourself today. Her SOCPA experience will prove to be a most interesting lesson in civics and the role of an up-and-coming citizen of England, participating in a democracy, as she experiences it – from the perspective of an eight year old child. She has handed in a completed form as per the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act legislation states and the Metropolitan Police Force suggests and we are both waiting for an answer.
I understand from Metropolitan Police Form 3175A and SOCPA that the Commissioner may impose conditions on my right to freedom of expression and as I have received this letter from yourself, I can only assume that you are acting on Sir Ian Blair’s behalf. Please correct me if I am wrong. I understand from your letter and SOCPA that conditions may be imposed if the Commissioner perceives or believes or assumes that the following must be prevented:
a) Hindrance to any person wishing to enter or leave the Palace of Westminster. Sir, I can assure you as can the Head of the Metropolitan Parliamentary Police Force, that I have never, in the past two years of being watching from various angles, from various CCTV cameras and dealt with by numerous police officers, ever obstructed the Queen’s Highway nor moved with the public, out of the way of any incoming or outgoing vehicles of Parliament. It would be foolish to sit with an easel in the middle of any road or entranceway where one is expected to be moved on. I also have absolutely no desire to be mowed down by any manner of vehicle as I am a mother of three beautiful children.
b) Hindrance to the proper operation of Parliament. I cannot see how one woman exhibiting art or with an easel, sitting and painting, could halt the proper operation of Parliament. Furthermore, I also cannot see how 20 artists could quite possibly halt the operations of Parliament.
c) Serious Public Disorder. Artists creating and/or exhibiting art do not generally cause or create serious public disorder. When did the last riot break out at an art gallery?
d) Serious damage to property. I can assure that artists enjoy creating and not destroying, Sir. I am not a vandal nor do I associate with vandals who commit criminal damage to public property. I was brought up with respect as I would hope you also were.
e) Disruption to life on the community. I believe that art only adds to the life of the community which is why children are generally encouraged to attend these buildings, on school field trips, in which are contained the treasures of days gone by, recorded in art, for posterity.
f) A security risk in any part of the designated area. Is creating or exhibiting art a security risk in any shape or form? Is art now a potential crime?
g) Risk to safety to members of the public. Once again? Is it risky for the public to be exposed to art in the community, in public? Is it not pleasant to stroll through an area where artists are busy painting, or drawing or sketching or exhibiting?
I completely disagree with the ban from the East Pavement of Parliament Square as there is no known or foreseeable foundation for this unreasonable condition to be placed upon myself.
I accept and concede that more than and not including 10 easels, although spread out in distance, could possibly obstruct the highway on the East pavement of Parliament Square and do not accept any reasoning whereas less than and including 5 easels, including myself and my daughter may not paint/draw/sketch Mr. Brian Haw from said ‘out-of-bounds’ area.
At the very least, I am duly notifying yourself, in this letter, that it is my intention to be an artist on the East pavement of Parliament Square, solely with my daughter, as per the intentions laid out within my notification of October 18th, 2007 with or without the permission of Sir Ian Blair and the Metropolitan Police force as I believe the conditions imposed upon myself regarding the East pavement of Parliament Square are entirely unreasonable and completely unworkable.
I would obviously undertake not to obstruct the highway by locating myself on the pavement that is the driveway and entrance to Parliament, nor any other driveway into any other building and am asserting my right to freedom of expression – Article 10 HRA in choosing my subject matter and the perspective from which I choose to create my art. I am also asserting my right to freedom of assembly – Article 11 HRA by way of access to be myself and to be an artist in places of public access, with my child.
I respectfully request you review your decision to ban myself from the East pavement of Parliament Square as there is no sound reasoning that can suggest why such wholly disproportionate ‘conditions’ may be placed upon my presence, as an artist, in places of public access without reasonable grounds for making such unreasonable assumptions.
I look forward to hearing from you, at your earliest convenience.
Mrs. Charity Sweet