SOCPA The Movie - Parliament Square protests

Mark mark at
Mon Jul 23 17:22:34 BST 2007

The New film about the Serious Organised Crime & Police Act by Rikki from
Indymedia has just come out to rave reviews.  The Serious Organised Crime
& Police Act (SOCPA) has been used in Parliament Square by City London
Police to seriously curtail peaceful non-violent protests against the war
against Brian Haw and notably 2 other protestors).

Please read this latest blog from Rikki about the treatment being metered
out to Babara Tucker and Steve Jago:

Wake up Britain. The State is still repressing the handful of peaceful
protestors who keep on about the blood on the hands of brown and all the
other members who voted for war. all they want is justice for the
hundreds of thousands of innocents killed, for the children mutilated and
deformed by depleted uranium. they want the corporate looters and the
profiteering arms manufacturers to face the consequences of their evil
actions. They want peace.

SOCPA - the brown stuff

sent to:
Written by Rikki, 20.07.2007

Mainstream media has recently been consistently
reporting that gordon brown has lifted the restrictions on demonstrating
near parliament. this is a lie. socpa has not been repealed, and if
anything the police appear to have been given orders to crack down harder
than ever on the handful of peaceful campaigners who daily dare to point
out that our government is still committing genocide in iraq

i keep reading that socpa is over, that gordon -
'same shit, different asshole' - brown has "relaxed" the laws
controlling protest. this is new new spin from new new labour. the
reality seems quite the opposite. the campaign of harassment on peaceful
protestors by the police has reached new peaks of lawlessness and

last week, barbara tucker was at westminster county court to answer a
case against her. the police claimed she had 'obstructed the highway' in
august last year. it was the day of the huge national lebanon war protest
and whitehall was closed to traffic. the march had passed by and barbara
was outside downing street with her pink banner. somehow, she was
'obstructing the highway' all on her own. that evening she was held for
several hours with tight handcuffs behind her back causing cuts and

when she attended bail, she was scared for her safety and took a friend
along with her. at the police station, they were tricked into a corridor
with no cctv, and then both arrested for 'obstructing police'. her friend
steve jago was also charged with assaulting police. they came out with
more bruising, and in steve's case a stab wound to his neck.

in court the assault charge was thrown out as a work of fiction, but both
steve and barbara were found guilty of obstructing police. remember, the
reason she was at the station was to answer bail for the august offence.
the hearing for that offence had been put off twice by police, and they
tried again a third time last week. the judge wouldn't allow a further
adjournment, and the crown prosecution service offered no evidence. so
basically the august charge was bullshit and should never have been
brought. so barbara should not have been required to answer bail. so the
incident should never have happened.

if you think that sounds unjust so far, check out the sentencing. during
the case, district judge snow kept refusing to hear any evidence from
barbara that related to anything outside the events in that corridor at
charing cross police station. she kept trying to bring in her history of
campaigning in the socpa zone, and the fears for her safety that the
police reactions had created, but judge snow kept bringing it back to the
station and that date alone. so, it was very weird that, after finding
steve and her guilty, he passed a sentence of a community exclusion
order, banning them from the socpa zone for a year. a community exclusion
order is meant to be used to stop an offender from committing more of the
same type of crime, but the offence of obstructing a police officer had
occured at charing cross police station, outside the zone, and the
exclusion order would not stop barbara and steve from obstructing police
at charing cross on future occasions if they were so inclined. it would
however stop them from peacefully protesting inside the socpa zone.

barbara and steve both lodged appeals against the conviction and the
sentence, and are awaiting retrial.

what's all this got to do with brown? well, barbara took her pink banner
to court last week to the hearing for the original august 'obstructing
the highway' offence. she wanted to use it as evidence of what little
obstruction she could cause on sixty metres of highway that the police
had closed to traffic. but she didn't need to because the prosecution
offered no evidence. she came out of the horseferry road court with some
friends and supporters and was immediately accosted by police who claimed
that she (holding her banner) was carrying on an 'unauthorised' protest.
this was a whole week after the stories of brown's relaxation hit the
news. police tried to wrestle the banner off her, and then four people
ended up being arrested, mainly for 'obstructing police'. if brown's
announcement were true, the police wouldn't be nicking banners and no
"obstruction" would be necessary. two of those assaulted
(barbara and steve) came out of the police station several hours later
with more bruising and cuts at the hands of the police. barbara's right
hand was still blown up to double its usual size the next day.

back now briefly to january. barbara had taken up position, as she often
did, on the tiny traffic island in parliament square at the bottom of
whitehall. it was prime minister's question time and she was ready with
her genocide banner for blair to see as he was driven past. suddenly she
was surrounded by police. eye-witnesses were aghast at the unprovoked
aggression of several large policemen as they threw her over the
railings, dragged her along the ground and held her face down on a wall
until a van turned up. at first they told her she was being arrested for
a possible breach of the peace - they claimed she intended to throw
herself in front of blair's car (although she had been there several
times before without the slightest sign of doing such a thing). they then
changed the charge to resisting a police officer.

the case came to court today, and the crown said they'd upped the charge
to assaulting a police officer. the first few police witnesses took the
stand at clapham magistrates' court, and as their evidence was confused
and contradictory, the crown lawyers huddled briefly and then changed the
charge back down to 'resisting'. the trial continues on august 30th, but
something far more sinister took place the moment the judge left the
courtroom. one of the police witnesses, pc roger smith, re-entered the
courtroom. this strange officer stalks barbara at all her trials (it
remains unclear whether in an official capacity or out of some deranged
obsession). this time, he was armed with a warrant for her arrest, for
breaching the exclusion order set by dj snow. remember, she is appealing
this dubious conviction and sentence, but today she was whisked away in a
van to charing cross police station. there, she is being held in a cell
at the hands of some of the men who have assaulted her in the past, and
tomorrow she will appear at westminster county court in the morning with
the possibility of a prison sentence as the outcome.

steve jago has heard that there is a summons out for him too.

welcome to brown's new new liberal labour. socpa is repealed. you can all
demonstrate again. as long as you don't mind being assaulted, detained,
and imprisoned.

the newspapers keep spouting this rubbish. even mark thomas believed it -
i was very surprised when he cancelled his last 'mass lone demonstration'
- i didn't think he believed politicians. perhaps they've got something
on him, or it's just old age - who knows - disappointing nevertheless.

wake up britain. the state is still repressing the handful of peaceful
protestors who keep on about the blood on the hands of brown and all the
other members who voted for war. all they want is justice for the
hundreds of thousands of innocents killed, for the children mutilated and
deformed by depleted uranium. they want the corporate looters and the
profiteering arms manufacturers to face the consequences of their evil
actions. they want peace.


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