Again … you know when you JUST KNOW that something is good and for the right reasons … however … this time the conclusion … is … well … er … ever so slightly odd!
He was told that if he gave his name, arrest will NOT BE NESSESSARY, … OK so far, … no rules or laws broken … great.
Then he was told that if he did not give his name … he would be arrested, not for not giving his name, but for using his megaphone! … in order to confirm his particulars.
Soooooo … how can not giving your name create a crime out of using a megaphone??? … where, if he HAD given his name, there would be no arrestable offence committed??
Cuckoo .. cuckoo … cuckoo …
Good job it’s all on film I say.
Megaphone Wars – The Suppression of Free Speech:
FROM CHARLIES YOUTUBE SITE:
I WAS RELEASED AFTER A 5 MINUTE RIDE IN THE POLICE VAN.
No DNA sample nor fingerprints taken. =)
Megaphone confiscated as evidence.
Suppression of dissent is undesirable in society for a variety of fundamental reasons. Freedom of speech is a cardinal rule for a free society. Dissent is absolutely essential to allow all points of view to be given and considered. Censorship plays a central role in the control of speech and other forms of human expression, often by government intervention (through criminalization or other regulation). It is most commonly applied to acts which occur in public circumstances, and most formally involves suppression of ideas by criminalizing or regulating expression.
Justice Holland in the High Court in 2007 stated that: “Protest is lawful; the use of a megaphone as an adjunct of lawful protest is itself lawful. The starting point is unfettered freedom to engage in so much amplified protest as is neither intimidating or harassing.” HLS Group Plc v SHAC 2007 WL 919475  EWHC 522 (QB) QBD.
The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act is a very good example of unscrutinised, ill considered and under-discussed legislation … civilians with no criminal intent … have suffered receiving a criminal offence simply because they have expressed their views within 1 kilometre of the Houses of Parliament.
Baroness Williams (Lib Dem) 26/01/07
When I pass protestors every day at Downing Street, and believe me, you name it, they protest against it, I may not like what they call me, but I thank God they can. That’s called freedom.”
Tony Blair 7/04/2002. Three years later his government introduced the SOCPA restrictions on protest.
“OWING TO CHANGES IN SOCPA LEGISLATION THE UNAUTHORISED DEMONSTRATION OFFENCES CANNOT BE PROCEEDED WITH”
now, no-one we have come across can explain exactly what this means, and there is no knowledge of parliamentary legislative changes to the act, although various consultations and joint committee hearings have and are still scrutinising the legislation. however, many protestors have been convinced that the police have received instruction that they can no longer prosecute under this legislation, and this case summary would seem to lend weight to that theory.
in the absence of any information to the contrary, it would appear that the claim in this case summary is in itself a lie, but one based on operational instructions from high up the authoritative chain (rather than actual legislative changes as claimed).
what it means to would-be protestors is that SOCPA is over, finished, powerless. if you are protesting near parliament and you are threatened with arrest, you can carry on with impunity. you will not be arrested, or if you are, the case will not be proceeded with and you will have grounds for compensation.
so come on down. we once more live in a free state (ish) – ok, i know there are other far more sinister sections in the act, and then there’s the coming counter-terrorism act, and there’s asbos, and privatisation of public space, and regulatory investigative powers, and id cards, and cctvs, and corporate injunctions, and threats to press freedom, but hey, at least celebrate this one little moment of victory and freedom!
one more anecdotal addition to this story. the other day i was talking with a high-profile socpa criminal, and they told me that they had been in court a few months ago for non-payment of fines relating to a socpa conviction. they told the judge they had absolutely no intention of paying the fines, but the judge would not listen, and chucked them out of court with a warning that they must pay within 28 days. they didn’t. since then, over several months, they have heard nothing more. no bailiffs. no court summonses. no demands. nada. is this an oversight, or is it part of the same pattern? we think SOCPA IS DEAD.
come and protest once more – tell your friends – spread the word – let’s party!!
The right to protest is not a right that is given by our “representatives” in government, it is the mechanism by which the general population assert their authority and wishes on a mis-representative government (usually as a last resort). The right to challenge this often tyrannical mis-representation is almost a tradition and should never be interfered with while the gatherings are peaceful and as far as possible, in good humour.
In Hubbard v Pitt  3 All ER 1, to which my Lord, Lord Justice Glidewell, has already referred, Lord Denning at another passage at pp 10D to 11B said as follows:
“Finally, the real grievance of the plaintiffs is about the placards and leaflets. To restrain these by an interlocutory injunction would be contrary to the principle laid down by the court 85 years ago in Bonnard v Perryman and repeatedly applied ever since. That case spoke of the right of free speech. Here we have to consider the right to demonstrate and the right to protest on matters of public concern. These are rights which it is in the public interest that individuals should possess; and, indeed, that they should exercise without impediment so long as no wrongful act is done. It is often the only means by which grievances can be brought to the knowledge of those in authority — at any rate with such impact as to gain a remedy. Our history is full of warnings against suppression of these rights. Most notable was the demonstration of St Peter’s Fields, Manchester, in 1819 in support of universal suffrage. The magistrates sought to stop it. Hundreds were killed and injured. Afterwards the Court of Common Council of London affirmed ‘the undoubted right of Englishmen to assemble together for the purpose of deliberating upon public grievances’. Such is the right of assembly. So also if the right to meet together, to go in procession, to demonstrate and to protest on matters of public concern. As long as all is done peaceably and in good order without threats or incitement to violence or obstruction to traffic, it is not prohibited: see Beatt v Gillbanks. I stress the need for peace and good order. Only too often violence may break out: and then it should be firmly handled and severely punished. But, so long as good order is maintained, the right to demonstrate must be preserved. In his recent inquiry on the Red Lion Square disorders, Scarman, LJ was asked to recommend ‘that a positive right to demonstrate should be enacted.’ He said that it was unnecessary: ‘The right of course exists, subject only to limits required by the need for good order and the passage of traffic’. In the recent report on Contempt of Court, the committee considered the campaign of the Sunday Times about thalidomide and said that the issues were ‘a legitimate matter for public concern’. It is time for the courts to recognize this too. They should not interfere by interlocutory injunction with the right to demonstrate and to protest any more than they interfere with the right of free speech; provided that everything is done peaceably and in good order”.